No Fooling

For release: 11/16/23

No fooling the voters

By Cal Thomas

Tribune Content Agency

Few politicians say things that immortalize their words. Abraham Lincoln was a notable exception.

The 16th president’s comment about fooling voters resonates today: “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” 

That wise statement is becoming increasingly evident as we head into the 2024 presidential election. In addition to the latest polling by The New York Times and Siena College, which shows President Biden leaking significantly from his base of Black, Hispanic, and especially young voters. Another poll gives the reason behind the leakage.

An ABC News/Ipsos survey finds that more than 75 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. Only 25 percent think we’re headed in the right direction. One wonders where that 25 percent are getting their information. Don’t they see higher prices for gas, food, and mortgage rates since Biden took office, or are they wedded to him as one might be wedded to a cult leader (Trump?) about whom no negative information or facts will be believed?

Even worse news for Democrats is the response to the question about which party they believe can better handle the economy, nearly always the top issue in any presidential campaign. Thirty-five percent said Republicans would do a better job with only 25 percent saying the same.

The Biden administration is defaulting to the usual position when things look bad. They claim their message isn’t getting through and blame the media, their closest friend in promoting all things liberal and Democrat. And they claim the full impact of their policies is not being felt by average Americans. Yes they are and a majority don’t like them.

President George H.W. Bush was mocked for not understanding the purpose of bar codes on grocery products. The media and Democrats claimed it proved how out of touch he was with average people. The same can be said of the current administration. Those at the highest levels ride in government cars, don’t have to pay for fuel and can eat at the White House mess for lower costs than the prices at most Washington restaurants. No wonder so many are out of touch with average people.

Opinions are almost always a reflection of voter’s positions on issues that matter to them. There is another poll that should also concern Democrats. Given the administration’s denial that there is a problem with an open southern border, it probably won’t motivate them to do anything to curtail the flood of migrants into the country, including possible terrorists intent on causing harm. The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights, asked 2,500 registered voters, including 1,000 registered Democrats, 1,000 registered Republicans, and 500 independents: “How concerned are you about the situation at the border?”

Eighty-two percent responded that they are concerned, with 47 percent saying they are very concerned and an additional 35 percent saying they are somewhat concerned. Just 13 percent said they are not concerned at all and 4 percent are unsure.

Democrats may be hoping that Donald Trump’s legal problems will tank his re-election prospects, but they may be betting on the wrong horse. Their focus on Trump becoming the GOP nominee and easy to defeat again ignores the perception among a majority of voters – including Democrats – that Biden is weak and too old for a second term.      

They won’t be able to fool most voters this time as they did in the 2020 election when Biden claimed to be a “uniter.”

Readers may email Cal Thomas at [email protected]. Look for Cal Thomas’ latest book “A Watchman in the Night: What I’ve Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America” (HumanixBooks).


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  1. Donald Maresca on November 17, 2023 at 6:03 pm

    I have been thankfully been following Mr. Thomas since the Reagan years and I hope he is correct about the voters in 2024 but they weren’t when they re-elected Obama in 2002. Fool them twice, shame on them.What did they think Obama meant when he said “we are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America” and everyone clapped?
    Sincerely, Don Maresca

  2. Tom Schmidt on November 22, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    Certainly the polls raise concerns about Biden’s reelection in a rematch against Trump. However, the only poll that counts is on election day. The so-called red tsunami that was supposed to transpire in 2022 flopped miserably. Although Trump has a rabid base of supporters, history has shown that he can win only if the Democrats run apocalyptically bad candidates (eg Crooked Hillary). Unless Biden is seen in that context (Fetterman was not), he will win in 2024, given concerns over Trump’s character.

    The problem is that while Democrats have become manifest sinners (which you rightly oppose), Republicans under Trump have become manifest criminals (a judge has indeed ruled that he incited an insurrection). We need to confront the cult of Trump with all the reasons why it is unbiblical (idolatrous support for someone who feels no accountability to any authority outside himself). If anyone can, it is you. Then support efforts to bring criminals to justice rather than demonizing such at every turn. As you have said, we Christians can do better than such a Faustian bargain. It may hurt in the short term, but moral authority is more important than transient political gain.