A political earthquake rocks Biden and Trump

Published October 7, 2021

By Carter Wrenn

John Bolton and I both supported Reagan in 1976; four years later when Reagan’s campaign emerged from the New Hampshire primary dead-broke John told me: The Congressional Club needs to do an independent campaign for Reagan.

Puzzled, I asked: What’s an independent campaign?

Americans for Reagan spent millions to help elect Reagan.

Last February as we talked, catching up, John asked: Do you believe Trump rules the Republican party?

No. But you’d need a poll to know for sure.

John believed conservative principles, not Trump (or any one man), should be Republican’s lodestar. Took a poll.

Trump’s popularity had plummeted since he’d lost to Biden. But he was still powerful.

In John’s second poll in July Trump’s decline continued. Many Republican primary voters liked Trump’s policies but not his personality. But he still led in the primary with 46% of the vote.

Political earthquakes are rare but Afghanistan was an earthquake.

Withdrawal was popular. Biden and Trump withdrew. Americans saw what happened, thought, That was a mistake. Withdrawal became unpopular. Taliban had given Osama bin Laden a base in Afghanistan before 9/11; now back in power it could give terrorists safe havens again.

In his third poll last month John asked: Are we safer today than we were before the withdrawal from Afghanistan? Americans said No. Conservative Americans said no louder than anyone else.

John asked: Should we have withdrawn all our troops or kept some troops in Afghanistan? Only a third said withdraw all our troops.

Do you think Taliban is a terrorist group? 88% said Yes.

Do you think Trump should have negotiated with Taliban? No.

Was withdrawal a good idea Biden botched or a bad idea? A bad idea.

Did Trump and Biden both make the mistake of trusting Taliban’s promises. Yes.

Who’s to blame: Biden, Trump, or both? Some only blamed Trump, some only blamed Biden, more blamed both.

The earthquake hit: Joe Biden’s popularity plummeted 30 points with Independents. Trump dropped 20 points in the Republican primary – in July he led with 46% of the vote, now only leads Ron DeSantis by a whisker: 26% to 25%. Trump’s biggest drop was with conservative primary voters.

John asked one last question: Do we need new leaders to more forward?

Most voters nodded said Yes…a sign of hope.