Certainly, Democrats from the White House on down were alarmed by the just-completed New York Times/Siena College poll showing former President Donald Trump defeating President Joe Biden in five of six battleground states.
But perhaps more alarming to the Biden-Harris campaign camp was a key statistic buried within the poll: Trump is favored by 22% of the Black voters — a modern high for any Republican presidential nominee.
"In a remarkable sign of a gradual racial realignment between the two parties, the more diverse the swing state, the farther Mr. Biden was behind," wrote the Times' Shane Goldmacher, "and he led only in the whitest of the six [states]."
Should the vote actually turn out in 2024 the way the poll shows, it would be the largest percentage of Black voters to support a Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon got roughly 36 percent of the Black vote in 1960.
And should Trump be nominated and go on to capture the 22% among Black voters, he would almost surely defeat Biden in key battleground states with large Black populations such as Michigan and Pennsylvania.
He would also win as many as 300 electoral votes nationwide — well above the 270 required to elect a president.
Political analysts did not react with much surprise to the figures from the Times/Siena polling.
"It seems a little high, but we can see it coming," Bill Ballenger, editor of the much-read, on-line The Ballenger Report on Michigan politics, told Newsmax.
In Michigan, the poll showed the former president leading Biden 48-to-43 percent among likely voters.
"His aggressive, non-traditional approach appeals to many people regardless of ethnicity or race," said Wayne Thorburn, former executive director of the Texas Republican Party and author of two critically-acclaimed books on Texas politics.
"Some people simply like an aggressive, and even obnoxious, person who attacks what is perceived as the establishment. Trump is perceived as a fighter."
With Black voters long considered a bulwark of Democrat support at the polls, the Times/Siena poll is almost sure to have the Democrats anxious.
Chapman University Professor Luke Nichter, author of the critically-acclaimed "The Year That Broke Politics: Collusion and Chaos in the Presidential Election of 1968," agreed that the specter of Trump drawing 22% of the Black vote "increases pressure among Democrats to have a fallback plan, perhaps even a replacement for Biden, and on states to find ways to deny former President Trump a place on the ballot."
Some Democrats are already sounding the alarm.
David Axelrod, who was a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, went on X shortly after the Times poll was released, urging Biden to consider dropping out.
"It's very late to change horses; a lot will happen in the next year that no one can predict & Biden's team says his resolve to run is firm. . . . only @JoeBiden can make this decision. If he continues to run, he will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. What he needs to decide is whether that is wise; whether it's in HIS best interest or the country's?"
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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