August 19, 2022 7:00am

Power Poll to Biden: Don't Run, Joe

Meanwhile, to Trump: The nomination is going to someone else.

Photo of Bruce Dobie
Nashville, TN Correspondent
 
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With varying degrees of conviction, over half of Power Poll Nashville members do NOT believe that Donald Trump will be the Republican presidential nominee for president in 2024.

Also, over half of Power Poll members believe that President Joe Biden should NOT seek reelection.

As to who benefits most from the FBI seizure of records from Mar-a-Lago—Republicans? Democrats?—respondents were split evenly, with roughly one-fourth selecting each of the following: "Republicans," "Democrats," "Neither party," and "Not sure."

The questions and answers are more fully explored below.

(As to the "Unimportant, Completely Non-Political Question of the Month" that asked about our favorite restaurants/bars that have closed, we will cut in to that at the end of this piece.)


DISCLAIMER AND METHODOLOGY

A total of 1746 Power Poll members were sent the survey, with 669 responding, for a participation rate of 38%. The Power Poll is not a scientific survey. It is, however, an accurate portrayal of the positions that powerful and influential local leaders take on issues of local, state, and national importance. It is nonpartisan. All votes are anonymous.

Power Poll exists in some two dozen cities across the country and it is expanding. This is beginning to sound like a broken record, but Power Poll Nashville broke records again this month in terms of the number of people participating.

CONTEXT

For my money, two things stood out in this survey.

First was the level of opposition to Biden running again. It was large. 42% "strongly" felt he should not run again, while another 22% "somewhat" felt that way. Given that Power Poll here, in Nashville, probably skews center-left, the results—if they reflect national trends as I suspect they do— are a serious "holy-cow" moment that he and his team are no doubt paying attention to. (Note to Jim Free: Forward this story to your White House friends, how about it?)

Biden is 79 years old. No American president has ever been that old. At the end of a second term, he would be 86. He appears to shuffle a bit when he walks. He destroys the English language, but then again, he always has, in part due to an unavoidable stutter, and in part because he lets himself Be Joe.

He has passed significant legislation recently. And he is still Not Trump. But his age is a big elephant in the room.

The other thing that leapt out at me in this survey was the number who do not believe Trump will win the Republican nomination. Having bulldozed Liz Cheney, successfully backed the candidacies of a number of other congressional candidates, and maintained command and control of his party, Trump (no spring chicken himself) would seem on a glide path to victory. But there is one nagging problem: wherever he turns, he's got a prosecutor or investigator or judge breathing down his neck.

So Power Pollers could very well be saying that while Trump has a virtual army of supporters—literally, an army—at his disposal, he may find himself running his campaign (at least in the dreams of Democrats) from inside a white-collar prison somewhere. That would make it damn hard to win the nomination.

Finally, Power Pollers were all over the map in saying which side benefits politically from the Mar-a-Lago document-search fallout. Some think Republicans get the boost. They have been offered up a delicious talking point—"See, the Democratic Deep State is out to get us." Democrats have been provided ammunition as well—"See, Trump is a criminal." Importantly, half of respondents think neither side benefits more or they say they not know which does.

One thing is certain—for political junkies, the next few months are going to be like front row seats in Cannes.

CHENEY

I'm diverging from my Power Poll questions here, but if anyone heard Liz Cheney's concession speech Tuesday night, one thing seemed to escape the attention of most of the talking heads. So maybe I'm off my rocker here.

That was the overwhelming focus on the American Civil War, and war in general.

She began her speech by paying tribute to the member of a Gold Star family whom she had recently met. She talked about Lincoln, and his electoral losses prior to winning the presidency. She talked about Grant, who, after suffering enormous casualties in the Battle of the Wilderness, kept his head down and charged towards Richmond.

My point is this: here's this member of one of America's most hawkish neoconservative families. And she is aware that many Trumpers are threatening violence and posting on social media about another Civil War in our country. Rather than deflect such discussion, Cheney made it central to her speech. She was saying, "American values are worth dying for, and so is vanquishing those who would destroy those values."

She was saying: If the other side can talk Civil War, so can I.

Coming from a Cheney, the ears of every military man across the country had to perk up. I am not saying that she was encouraging people to pick up arms to slay the Trump Army. But she was certainly comfortable in saying that we have gone to war before. She was not speaking in code. She was saying it could happen again and she's in the fight.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has every hawk in America on speed dial. And his daughter is openly sending signals that history shows it sometimes takes a fight to preserve our values, our Constitution, our country.

That's what my antenna picked up on in her concession speech. It astonished me.

Otherwise, I think the golden ticket in 2024 is Cheney-Corker running as independents. That would be special. You heard that first at Power Poll.

UNIMPORTANT, COMPLETELY NON-POLITICAL QUESTION OF THE MONTH

Asked which now-closed restaurant Power Pollers most miss, Sunset Grill came out on top, with a whopping 42% of the vote. Way to go, Randy (and what about a Voodoo Pasta Food Truck—just one menu item?). Rotier's was not far behind at 31%.

Tons of people submitted their own favorite but now-closed eateries. The full list is in the comments below. It'll make you hungry. And weepy.

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