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The Right Resistance: How much will disgruntled ‘double haters’ factor into the 2024 election?

Pick a street – any street – in Somewheresville, U.S.A. and poll the passersby as to their preference in this year’s presidential election, and you’re almost certain, based on location, to get a decent percentage favoring Republican Donald J. Trump, a separate tally for

Democrat president senile Joe Biden, a still different number for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. – and so on.


The people may look similar in ethnic origin but their opinions would reveal real diversity.


What you’re also likely to receive is a measurable quantity of respondents (assuming they’ll talk to you at all) answering, “I don’t like either one of ‘em! All politicians are corrupt and just in it for themselves, and nothing will ever change, and, and…”


It’s a fact of life – some Americans will never be happy or satisfied with the offerings on the political menu. 2024’s selections are particularly divisive, as actual surveys regularly show both men’s unfavorable ratings are well below the water line. But to dislike (or hate) both Trump and Biden? What happens then?


In an opinion piece titled “Will Biden or Trump win 'double haters'? Unhappy voters may decide 2024 election.”, Democrat pollsters Celinda Lake and Christine Matthews wrote recently at The USA Today:


“One important voting group we will be watching is voters who are unfavorable toward both Biden and Trump. These ‘double haters’ or ‘double unfavorables’ show significant volatility, questionable turnout and a keen interest in third-party candidates.


“They will be an essential group to understand and haven’t been discussed enough. We have never seen an election like the upcoming 2024 contest, and this group is one of many reasons why.


“The latest Marquette University Law School national survey pegs this group as 17% of the electorate, which is nearly identical to the share of voters in 2016 who disliked both Hillary Clinton and Trump. Trump ended up winning this group, which broke toward him in the late stages of the campaign and may have been a key factor in his victory.”


In essence, then, it almost helps Trump when both candidates are universally loathed, since Trump wins on policy, and at least a portion of the public votes for something other than a good-guy-in-chief reputation and cares about whether government policy will make their lives better, worse, or wrongly predict will have no effect on them whatsoever.


The “double haters” concept is fascinating, isn’t it? We encounter them all the time. Personally, my family’s longtime tax preparer often stated that she couldn’t stand either of them (Trump or Biden) and also didn’t like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney or George W. Bush, either – though I do remember that she might’ve felt warmly about John McCain.


The “double haters” apparently do vote, however. I’ve referred to them in the past as “fence sitters” or the “eternally disgruntled” or “hopeless malcontents” – but usually within the context of talking about Never Trump. The leaders of the anti-Trump movement – at least most of them – never quite pledged allegiance to Joe Biden and the Democrats while stating the reasons for their continued obstinance towards the new leader of the GOP. They’ve primarily issued blanket statements like, “I could never vote for Trump” and swore that they were undecided in terms of what to do about an election.


Since many of you probably are wondering, the “double hater” group from 2020, according to Lake and Matthews, was just three percent of the electorate. To me, this relatively miniscule total indicates most “haters” were antagonistic to Trump alone at the beginning of the decade, which means that senile Joe Biden captured most of this group’s votes – because they didn’t hate him.


It makes sense since the Trump-hating establishment media had spent years dedicated to the proposition that Trump was a criminal, Russian collusion-ist, Tweet addicted madman – but who, in their right mind, would be against gentleman Joe Biden? The real “haters” blamed Trump for every COVID death even though the evil communist Chinese are the ones who purposely (at least the way it looks) unleashed the deadly (to some) novel coronavirus and didn’t do a whole lot to take responsibility for it or aid the helpless world population prepare for its consequences.


Then there was Joe Biden, who all-but secured the Democrat presidential nomination just prior to the COVID crap hitting the fan in America with impromptu school and business closures and all sorts of mandates to shutter one’s life for a period of time – 15 days? A month? Two months? A summer? Heck, it’ll stop the spread, won’t it?


The doddering old dunce (even four years ago) did the prudent thing, right? He kept his proper federal authority mandated “social distance” from regular, COVID virus carrying ordinary folks and therefore “kept people safe” by not spreading the virus to himself or others in three counties away. I never heard the term applied, but senile Joe Biden could’ve easily been coined “Lockdown Joe” for his willingness to confine himself to his home’s basement, donning sweaters and other business casual-wear for media interviews and photo ops while that ignorant baboon Donald Trump was holding mask-free irresponsible political rallies attended by thousands of ignorant rubes who didn’t mindlessly accept what the powers-that-be were telling them.


As a result, only three percent of 2020 voters hated both Biden and Trump. Praise be.


Lake and Matthews did add, “Trump has managed to win votes among people who say they don’t like him as a person, but winning among people who dislike him is new terrain for Biden.”


This statement says it all, and it’s one of the multitude of reasons why Biden is lagging in the polls now and has little hope of making up ground, because disliking “Lunch bucket Joe” is a new phenomenon. Biden’s made a political career out of flashing his pearly white grin, slapping a lot of backs, sniffing a ton of ladies’ coiffeurs, bending low to speak to gaggles of freaked out children and gotten passes from the establishment media for his creepy behavior because it was just “Joe being Joe”. Biden was a very loving man, for sure.


But now that that carefully fostered and maintained Biden reputation has been shattered beyond hope of mending, many of the voters who selected Biden in 2020 – largely because they hated Trump and senile Joe was less offensive than the tabloid celebrity-turned politician-turned president – are in the “double hater” category. These folks still harbor their ill feelings about Trump, but senile Joe Biden stinks just as bad in their estimation.


Benjamin Franklin said it: “Fish and visitors smell after three days”. How about three years (the length of time Biden’s been in office)? The stench is overpowering.


In their column, Lake and Matthew suggest that some of the “double haters” will remain so turned off by the two major party tickets that they’ll go third-party in November. Every election cycle there are media reports of voters becoming more and more frustrated by the choices before them, driven to the point where a third-party alternative is the only option their consciences can live with.


And every cycle the third-party vote percentage (the major exception being Ross Perot in 1992 and to a much lesser extent, 1996) never seems to change much. That’s because most people with common sense recognize that backing a candidate other than a Democrat or Republican is akin to either not voting or casting a coin down a bottomless gopher hole. The vote may show up in statistics somewhere, but it won’t count towards the big prize.


I had a libertarian (yes, small “l”) friend a while back who routinely voted third-party – or even Democrat – based on the probability that the leader would keep America out of disastrous, costly wars. The rest of his beliefs fell in line with the Republican Party (mostly), but the GOP’s Bush-era concentration on offensive wars couldn’t be reckoned with in his opinion.


A good share of the “double haters” probably fall into this type of fence-sitter. Some would label them “independents”. But the issues themselves – and the candidates’ positions on them, will determine how this slice of the voting pie is distributed. Senile Joe Biden can no longer hide behind his “good guy”/moderate myth persona. He’s got three years’-plus worth of policy record to stand behind now. And his “haters” figure has elevated accordingly.


The USA Today commentators further suggested that the “double haters” could sit out the election entirely, which, also seems like it could happen. But with politics the way it is today and coverage of the general election race bound to be all around us – on TV, the internet, radio and streaming talk shows, social media, email, phone pings, “breaking news” blurbs… who could possibly avoid it?


Sooner or later even the most determined holdout will have to make a choice. Even the “double haters” themselves. As the days and weeks go by and the fall campaign season shines a light on the respective candidates’ platforms, Americans will make their selections. Rumors have it that Biden and the Democrats intend to make “preservation of democracy” the centerpiece of their 2024 message, so they’ll be attempting to scare people off Trump, even if it means choosing a man who can’t speak and needs help finding the proper direction to exit the stage after a speech.


Trump can help himself in this regard by staying focused on Biden’s record and refraining from repeating the type of personal/ego stuff that’s caused people to “hate” him in the first place. And, avoiding excessive focus on the 2020 election results.


Any way you look at it, some American voters aren’t going to appreciate the two major party presidential candidates this year, but hoping for an alternative doesn’t mean they’ll get one. Political choices are incredibly important. Likeability is a small consideration in the big scheme of things.

  • Joe Biden economy

  • inflation

  • Biden cognitive decline

  • gas prices,

  • Nancy Pelosi

  • Biden senile

  • January 6 Committee

  • Liz Cheney

  • Build Back Better

  • Joe Manchin

  • RINOs

  • Marjorie Taylor Green

  • Kevin McCarthy

  • Mitch McConnell

  • 2022 elections

  • Donald Trump

  • 2024 presidential election

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