Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF NOV. 20, 2023

Year-ahead polls indicate a 2024 presidential race of Biden vs. Trump could be close

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React to coverage of President Biden's birthday this week.

Lots will change before U.S. voters pick a president next Nov. 5. But if they had to choose now between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, polls suggest it would likely be very close. "According to an average of national 2024 general election polls, [they] are currently neck-and-neck among likely voters, with Trump at 42.9 percent and Biden at 42.4 percent," ABC News politics analyst G. Elliott Morris posted recently. Separately, a set of New York Times voter surveys recently showed the current president trailing the ex-president in five key battlegrounds -- Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, Georgia and Nevada.

But Morris cautions that early polls aren't very useful. "For one thing, the two major parties have not officially selected their nominees," adds the ABC News editorial director of data analytics. "While Trump leads handily in both state and national polls of the Republican primary, there is still time for one of his challengers to turn their luck around — or for a major news event to significantly disrupt his campaign." After all, he's on trial in Georgia for alleged 2020 election law violations is scheduled to go on federal trial next March in Washington, D.C., on charges linked to the U.S. Capitol violence on Jan. 6, 2021 and to classified documents found at his Florida home. At the same time, U.S. support for Israel in its war against the militant Palestinian group Hamas could affect Biden's re-election campaign. Plus, he has low approval ratings and faces continued concerns about his handling of the economy and his age. (He turned 81 on Monday this week).

For his part, the Democratic president notes that his party on Nov. 7 regained control of Virginia's House and held onto the governorship in Kentucky – despite a $30-million Republican campaign trying to tie Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear to Biden and make the gubernatorial election a referendum on the president's performance. Democrats also did well in Ohio. "We need to stop wringing our hands over the pundits and the polls," tweeted Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler said in a media statement this month: “There's no doubt this will be a very close election [in 2024]. Joe Biden has been counted out time and time again and proved pollsters and pundits wrong."

Biden aide says: "Polls don't matter; elections matter. And now we've seen three resounding outcomes — in 2020, in 2022 and in 2023." – Olivia Dalton, White House deputy press secretary

Retired journalist says: "One big factor is what is going to happen to President Biden's likely opponent, the most famous criminal defendant in America. Will he be a convicted felon come November? And will that matter?" – Dan Rather, former CBS News anchor

Blogger posts: "Political coverage driven by polls is usually best ignored." – James Fallows, journalist and author, at Substack

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2024

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