Today’s Horserace Snapshot. . . [With Comment by John]

A few days ago, in “State of the Race,” I passed along the latest Bloomberg poll showing Trump surging back into a significant lead over Biden. Today it is CNN’s turn:

Trump’s support in the poll among registered voters holds steady at 49% in a head-to-head matchup against Biden, the same as in CNN’s last national poll on the race in January, while Biden’s stands at 43%, not significantly different from January’s 45%.

Looking back, 55% of all Americans now say they see Trump’s presidency as a success, while 44% see it as a failure. In a January 2021 poll taken just before Trump left office and days after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, 55% considered his time as president a failure. Assessing Biden’s time in office so far, 61% say his presidency thus far has been a failure, while 39% say it’s been a success.

As before, some of the internals must be giving Democrats heartburn:

In the Biden vs. Trump matchup, the poll finds Biden faring worse than in previous CNN polls among the youngest voters, trailing Trump by a 51%-to-40% margin among voters younger than 35. . .

And when you add in third party candidates, Trump’s lead is even bigger:

Though I strongly doubt RFK Jr. will get above 10 percent—if that—in November.

JOHN adds: It seems to me that the third-party candidates are the most interesting joker in the deck in this year’s election. In the past, third-party candidates have generally faded as the election draws near. Six or seven months before an election, it is easy to tell a pollster you intend to vote for someone other than the major party nominees, but when it comes time, many will decide not to waste their votes. That will undoubtedly happen to some degree this year.

But this year’s major party candidates are seen as historically weak. Will that cause more voters than usual to stay with their minor candidate preferences? It could. I don’t expect Jill Stein or Cornel West to draw a significant number of votes, although one or both could hurt Joe Biden in a swing state if the vote is close enough.

But how about RFK Jr.? Might he hang on to a surprisingly large number of ballots? I think he could, given the weakness of the major party candidates, although like Steve I would be shocked if he gets into double figures. But he is also an unusual case: unlike Stein and West, he is drawing voters away from both Biden and Trump. As Kennedy’s support fades, I expect Biden to benefit somewhat, but perhaps not greatly, as some of those voters will migrate to Trump.

On the whole, I think the third-party candidates, especially Kennedy, make this election, which promises to be close, unusually hard to predict.

ONE MORE THING: I confess that I have paid zero attention to the appalling Ms. Stein, but it turns out that, although Jewish, she is pro-Hamas. In fact, she got herself arrested yesterday at a pro-Hamas demonstration in St. Louis. Might Stein become the favored candidate of the Democrats’ anti-Semitic wing? It seems she might. If she raises a little money and starts to get some traction, she might take away a more than nominal number of votes from Biden in states like Michigan and Minnesota.

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