TIM SKUBICK: Many reasons why Biden could run for president

If Vice President Joe Biden was looking for a reason to run for president, he need look no further than the State of Michigan where the Hillary Clinton campaign is in a bit of a tail spin.

“People don’t like her,” the plain-spoken pollster Bernie Porn observes. His latest EPIC-MRA head-to-head numbers are a complete flip-flop from earlier this year.

Back then she was beating GOP candidate Jeb Bush, but now he beats her by 5-points not to mention his staggering 22-point lead with the critical independent voters.

Also in a tail-spin are her favorable vs. unfavorable numbers. Last year she was on the plus side with a 47 percent-43 percent rating. And prior to then as Secretary of State, before all the email hub-bub, she scored in the mid-50’s while her boss the president was floundering.

Fast forward to right now and you find 55 percent with an unfavorable impression.

“Anytime you get 55 percent unfavorable, you have a problem connecting with people,” Porn suggests while adding for good measure, “that’s a serious erosion of support” and he warns the Hillary brain trust it needs to find a “different way of dealing with issues.”

If there is any consolation in the Clinton camp it is under the heading, “misery loves company.”

Turns out she and GOP front-runner Donald Trump have something else in common other than their deep bank accounts. Both are equally unpopular with Michigan voters.

How can that be you say given his packed-house performance in Birch Run the other night? Selling tickets is one thing; convincing main-stream voters to follow you is quite another.

Porn reports that Trump’s backing in Michigan does not cut across party lines as he does well with hard-core TEA Party and regular Republicans, but independents and Democrats, who have been known to cross-over in the past, are staying away from the Donald.

“They don’t like him,” Mr. Porn repeats what he uttered about the Hill. “Maybe it’s his arrogance or the way he deals with women?” But whatever it is, he does not have widespread support in this state. “Absolutely not,” the veteran pollster concludes.

Having said that, there’s time for both of them to find a new voice. Recall when she ran the first time, Clinton showed a warm and fuzzy side in a restaurant. Remember her apparent honest attempt to relate to those around her with a beer in her hand?

Silly as it seems, her numbers went up.

There’s been nothing warm and fuzzy about her latest performance in the face of controversy. An attempt to joke about her email challenges back-fired. But she got good marks for ditching the rope line at the Iowa State Fair and actually mingled with the common folk.

If Porn’s numbers are correct, however, in Michigan none of that seems to have taken hold.

As for Trump, he does show broader political appeal in national surveys, but not around here.

Pick any region, any age, any income group, any religion in the state and his unfavorable numbers surpass the positives.

The good news from a primary standpoint is that strong GOP backing, but in the general election, Porn points, you can’t win elections with just that.

So back to Biden who is undoubtedly looking at all the numbers and Porn has a suggestion that would knock the socks off the political media: If he runs, he should announce he is doing it but at the same time name Elizabeth Warren as his running mate.

Can you say stop the presses?

Tim Skubick is Michigan’s Senior Capitol correspondent and has anchored the weekly public TV series Off the Record since 1972. He also covers the Capitol and politics for WLNS-TV6 in Lansing.

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Posted by Tim Skubick

Tim Skubick is Michigan’s Senior Capitol correspondent and has anchored the weekly public TV series Off the Record since 1972. He also covers the Capitol and politics for WLNS-TV6 in Lansing.

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