September 25 — The second debate for Republican candidates in the 2024 election will be held Wednesday at 9 p.m. on Fox Business Network, live from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute in California.
The Republican National Committee will organize the event, where six candidates are expected to attend.
Former president Donald Trump will not be there and did not attend the first debate.
Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “He will be in Michigan. He’s going to rally with the UAW striking workers. Everyone else will be on the debate stage except it looks like Doug Burgum, North Dakota governor and Asa Hutchison. As of this morning, they have not qualified, so it will be a slightly smaller group than we saw a few weeks ago.”
Some state-level polling released late last week from New Hampshire that showed Trump ahead 40 or 50 points.
Barkdoll noted, “Understandably, his advisors are saying don’t even bother going to these debates. You’re ahead by a mile. Why take a risk going into a debate that might damage you?”
Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “I just saw a Washington Post poll of just a pummeling. If the two were to match up again Biden and Trump, it would be a bloodbath.”
Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “What’s hilarious about this poll was that the Washington Post almost immediately criticized its own poll when it said ABC Washington Post poll, and they do it the same methodology every time. I am just laughing when I see the irony and here’s a column from the Hill talking about it that just made me almost want to laugh out loud. They pointed out that the ABC News analysis that the question order could be a factor. It said the survey first asked about their performance, economy sentiment and various other issues such as looming government shutdown, Ukraine aid and abortion. So you mean you made people actually think about the things that are affecting their lives and the policies and then Trump got a resounding yay from the poll and Biden was down? To me that only makes it more substantive. The other thing that made me laugh is they’re trying to say that Biden is broadly unpopular, and there’s a lot of negative news coverage right now for Biden. Oh, you mean if you put out a lot of negative stories about a candidate, true or false, it affects how people think about a candidate? So maybe bias in journalism actually does have an impact. The irony in this column is hilarious.”
The poll shows Trump with a big lead over Biden.
Barkdoll said, “This is a national poll, and we realize national polls have limited use, but it’s nonetheless very interesting. This ABC Washington Post poll has been an outlier in their last several cycles of polling. They’ve consistently shown Trump way ahead of Biden. Now at the same time this poll was released, the NBC Wall Street Journal poll shows Trump and Biden in a tie. That’s where most of the other polls have them and that’s why this ABC Post poll is getting a lot of attention. It’s hard to say. I mean, maybe the ABC Post poll was more reflective of where most of the country is, maybe they have something in their methodology that’s tapping into sentiment that the other polls are not.”
Jansen pointed out, “The Washington Post poll actually is heavy on Independents. It was 46% Independent, 25% Democrat, 25% Republican. So I would be curious to see how many Independents are in those dead heat polls, because that could be very telling, if you’re losing the Independents, you’re in trouble.”
Barkdoll agreed, “Yes and Independents, nationally and state, Pennsylvania here are the fastest growing voter registration demographic and we know that’s the group that often controls who wins these elections. I think that is a very key point.”
The Wall Street Journal NBC poll showed about 75 percent of all voters, including Democrats and Independents, did not like Biden’s age. The same poll had about two thirds of the same voters showing similar concerns about Trump, including the criminal indictments.
Barkdoll said, “One of the takeaways there is again that we have two of the most unpopular candidates in history that are likely going to be the nominees of their respective parties. I’ve never seen a dynamic like this in American politics.”
Ryan asked, “What’s it about age or was it about ability? This president, he’s air handshaking, he walks into flags. He has to go take a nap, he doesn’t take any questions. You back this guy as the most transparent guy, what a bag of lies you were sold and you bought. Because he’s not transparent. He has to answer questions with a helicopter wash in his background. And yet half of the country seems to still be okay with this guy. So is it about age or is it about ability?”
Barkdoll suggested, “I think it’s some of both. I mean, the polling question did deal with age but the same poll, his approval ratings are just abysmal, particularly on areas like the economy, border security, there’s this whole list of things. He’s been hovering in the middle to upper 30s, which are Jimmy Carter-type numbers. It’s just remarkable here. We’re heading into primary campaign season and it looks like the Democrats are going to anoint him as their nominee when he would be the most unpopular incumbent president, really in 50 years.”
Why would the AFL/CIO back Biden?
Barkdoll said, “I think this is a reflection of the inertia of the system. Not only why are they endorsing, but why doesn’t the party itself come up with some competition for this guy? Here’s where I think Trump sees some openings. He’s going to rally with those UAW workers this week. If you look at a lot of key Republican officials, JD Vance late last week, the new Senator from Ohio, made very sympathetic remarks towards the UAW, showing support for a lot of the demands that the workers are making. You see some other key Republican officials making similar comments. I think they see an opening here that these unions shouldn’t just rubber stamp Biden as their endorsed candidate. Wouldn’t it be interesting, if you see a debate on that? Trump did have some union support and endorsements going back to 2016. I think he’s very much making a play for that again, and I wonder if part of his pitch this week, the labor negotiations aside, will be to look at how much more difficult the economy in general is under Biden’s watch and you as the workers would be better off seeing a change in administration. That’s similar to what you’re seeing some of these other Republican officials make.”
On a national level are people truly that upset about any of this?
Barkdoll said, “Look at Bob Menendez, the senior Senator from New Jersey, who got indicted last week, very serious charges. He had the same charges against him, five, six years ago, and it was a mistrial and life moved on for him.”
Menendez had a press conference where he announced his bid for re-election in New Jersey.
Barkdoll continued, “It’s almost like some of these things have become normalized and no doubt, he’s looking at what has happened with Trump politically, his numbers have gone through the roof, the more charges that get filed. I wouldn’t be shocked, as crazy as it sounds, that Menendez gets reelected next year, even though it looks like there’s overwhelming evidence against him that he was using his office as a Senator for corrupt purposes. I don’t know what it is in our country that it’s just become normal. There’s this sort of malaise that has set in that in previous times, no way would the public have accepted this kind of conduct. But now today, it almost seems like these guys wear it as a badge of honor and they just stay in office.”
Jansen said, “You said the word normal. It’s been normalized. We don’t have standards anymore. We don’t expect standards from everything from the idiotic dress code in the Senate to telling kids in school it doesn’t matter whether you get the answers right or wrong, we’re still going to give you passing grades. We’ve lost all standards. So of course when we hear these things they’re no longer shocking because we’ve come to expect it. Menendez though I’m going to add and this fine call it a conspiracy theory. I don’t think it is. They’ve known this guy is a crook. He’s been twice before looked at. I couldn’t believe it when he survived the last round of the bribes and the businessmen and the trips. Now they’re talking about pockets full of money, envelopes of money stuffed in the pockets of his jackets in the closet, gold bars found. It’s just absurd and blatant and he says he’s not going to leave. I feel like they’ve known this guy’s like this all along. They knew they were getting criticism for going after Republicans and not Democrats. They knew they were going to do this whole thing on Donald Trump. So how convenient in the fall of 2022 to start investigating Menendez and now we’re going to come out and say oh, this guy, he just might get indicted this time. And so what? He’s a New Jersey Senator. They’re not going to lose any power from this guy. Another Democrat will likely be elected because the people in New Jersey have lost their minds and are totally run now by a very progressive leftist. I think this is just a cover. We’re going to throw a few charges at this guy, I actually heard a politician say, we’re not going to cover for this guy like the Republicans cover for Trump. It’s an absurd comparison, but that’s what they’re going to do.”
Barkdoll said, “I was struck over the weekend that Fetterman and AOC, there were a number of people that came out that said this guy needs to resign immediately. Now, there’s not a lot that has come out yet with that sentiment. It’ll be interesting today, when he announces he’s running for reelection and he’s not going anywhere, will there be other calls from Democratic leadership for him to get out?”
Could the timing of the indictment be suspect?
Barkdoll noted, “The reporting is this investigation that led to the current charges going back to 2017, 2018. So presumably, Trump’s DOJ had this for at least two years, if not three years. Biden’s DOJ has had this now, for the last two years. They did a search warrant of his house where they recovered all the gold and the money and the new Mercedes, over six months ago. So why is it taken over five years to bring charges against this guy? All this time he’s been sitting in the Senate. He chaired the Foreign Intelligence Committee. I think there’s some real questions there. How much more damage was this guy allowed to do by virtue of not bringing charges against him years ago?”
Jansen suggested, “They need a Democrat fall guy.”