Biden’s “Soul of the Nation” Speech Tonight
The President is trying to protect “democratic values,” but unless Republicans join him in speaking out, Trumpism won’t break.
Between May and August, something shifted in the minds of a lot of American voters. They got a lot more worried about what is happening to our democracy. Tonight in Philadelphia, President Biden is expected to address that issue head on. The slow boil that is political conflict in America is about to get a lot hotter.
First, what changed? In May, the NBC News national poll asked registered voters what the most important issue was facing the country, gave them a list of possible responses, and then combined their first and second choices. At the top was the cost of living, with 36% mentioning it as their first or second biggest worry. Second came jobs and the economy, with 33%. A distant third with 20% was “voting rights and election integrity.”
In mid-August, the top issue had changed radically. Now, according to NBC News, 29% of registered voters say “threats to democracy” is the biggest issue facing the country, with 21% listing that as their first choice. The cost of living was tied at 29%, but only 16% made it their first choice. Jobs and the economy wasn’t far behind, at 28%.
What’s behind this shift? Well, the most obvious answer is that the January 6th committee started its run of nationally-televised hearings in early June and extended them into late July. Polls show that public attention to the hearings rose substantially as they went on. The NBC poll shows a solid majority of 57% now favor continuing the hearings “because if there is wrongdoing by Donald Trump, he needs to be held accountable just like anyone else.” Forty percent think the hearings should end “because they are political motivated against a former president and divide the country.”
In addition, the second poll was conducted August 13–15, a week after FBI agents conducted a widely publicized search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, but before details had been released about the classified documents found…