Pollster describes Trump as 'return to normalcy' candidate for growing number of voters

 December 29, 2023

In a political twist most may not have seen coming, former President Donald Trump is increasingly viewed as a “return to normalcy” candidate, given President Joe Biden's demonstrated inability to right the ship of state, at least according to pollster Kristin Soltis Anderson in an op-ed written for the New York Times.

The Republican strategist and co-founder of Echeleon Insights outlined a number of issue areas in which voters believe Biden has not lived up to expectations or promises made during the 2020 campaign regarding his ability to restore order after a period of national volatility.

Anderson lists a series of concerns that remain largely unaddressed, at least in the eyes of voters who once believed in Biden's ability to bring things back to an even keel after succeeding Trump in the White House.

Those areas include the aftermath of the U.S. military's withdrawal from Afghanistan, a return to pre-pandemic freedoms, the skyrocketing cost of living, the seemingly endless influx of migrants at the southern border, and the emergence of new conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine.

As such, according to Anderson, the contours of the 2024 election could be different than any other contest in recent history.

“The 2024 election will not be fought along the conventional axis of left and right or even change and more of the same,” she opined.

Anderson went on, “Voters very much want change; they have made that clear with the absolutely abominable ratings they give our leadership in poll after poll.”

However, she noted, “instead of clamoring for someone to blow everything up, they are crying out for someone to put things back in order.”

“Voters wanted this from Mr. Biden and clearly feel he didn't deliver, which is why Trump currently leads by notable margins across most of the key swing states,” the pollster added.

Anderson also referenced the ongoing lawfare being waged against Trump, noting the prevailing assumption among Democrats that the ensuing chaos would dissuade the lion's share of voters from giving him a serious look in 2024.

“If this election is between Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump and is fought on chaos versus stability, even with all of the drama constantly swirling around the former president, don't assume most voters will consider a second Trump term to be the riskier bet,” Anderson cautioned.

Underpinning many of her assertions was a recent New York Times/Siena College poll of swing state voter preferences, which showed Trump currently ahead in five of those all-important jurisdictions.

Referencing the results in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Nevada, Anderson mused, “Discontent pulsates throughout the Times/Siena poll, with a majority of voters saying Mr. Biden's policies have personally hurt them.”

“Demographic groups that backed Mr. Biden by landslide margins in 2020 are now far more closely contested, as two-thirds of the electorate sees the country moving in the wrong direction,” she wrote, but whether her overall hypothesis about the positive perception of a possible second Trump term among growing swaths of the electorate holds true, only time will tell.