ormally, scandals have no impact on elections or even public opinion. We saw that during the Clinton years with assorted sex, commodity futures and influence-peddling scandals, and worse still, in the great skating of the Obama administration, which spied on Americans, sicced the IRS on political dissidents, left a U.S. ambassador to die, and worst of all, tried to derail the next incumbent with a pile of Russian-generated chaos-inducing propaganda, a phonily premised impeachment, a string of riots, and a host of dirty political tricks. Water off a duck’s back. Nobody’s paid, and Joe Biden’s ahead in the polls.
Scandals, it seems, excite the base of an opposing party, but they don’t sell among the broader electorate. They don’t affect elections. Or so the view would go of anyone who’s watched U.S. politics for the past 40 years.
But every once in awhile, there is one that takes off, changes the momentum. Watergate comes to mind. Now there’s Bidengate, exposed to great impact by the New York Post. A new poll shows it may just be having an effect:
Joe Biden’s polling edge over President Trump eroded this week amid The Post’s scandalous revelations about his son Hunter’s foreign dealings — but the Democratic candidate still maintains a substantial lead.
The IBD/TIPP national tracking poll, released Saturday, puts Biden at 50 percent in the head-to-head matchup, with Trump at 43 percent. The 7-point advantage is well outside the survey’s 3 percent margin of error.
But the poll of 1,009 likely voters saw Biden’s support slip by just over 2 percentage points since Monday — and found an increase of just under 1 percent for the incumbent.
The IBD/TIPP survey found strength for Biden among independent voters, who split their support between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016, but now back the challenger by a 9-percent margin.
The poll caught my attention because it is the IBD/TIPP poll, which is the best in the business. They have a consistent history of calling elections correctly by…