OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Democrats were dealt another blow this week as another state lawmaker announced he was leaving the party.
Louisiana State Rep. Jeremy LaCombe announced he has left the Democratic Party and will be registering as a Republican. Although the reason for LaCombe’s switch was not immediately clear, he is now the second Louisiana Democrat in less than a month to do so, and the third in the country after a state lawmaker in North Carolina did the same.
Because another Democrat, Rep. Francis Thompson of Delhi, switched to the GOP, Republicans recently gained a supermajority in the state House, a necessary threshold for overriding vetoes and passing tax measures.
Tricia Cotham, a state representative from North Carolina, did the same earlier this month.
LaCombe defeated Republicans with 68% of the vote in a special election and 62% of the vote in a general election to win his House seat in 2019.
My opponents are spreading lies about my record. The truth is, I would do anything to protect my daughter.
— Rep. Jeremy LaCombe (@LaCombe4LA) September 15, 2023
The party switches comes as President Joe Biden faces a near-record low approval rating among key groups.
A RealClearPolitics (RCP) average shows former President Donald Trump has surpassed Biden in polls for a potential match-up, The Daily Wire noted.
An RCP average showed that Trump had a 0.6 percentage point lead over Biden as of Sunday, with four of the seven polls conducted this month leaning in his favor.
Since the aggregator started keeping track in November 2022, when Trump announced his candidacy, the two have switched positions numerous times, with leads reaching as high as 2.5-2.8 percentage points. Trump’s lead in the RCP polling average last occurred in July.
Trump has 56.6 percent of the vote and is the current front-runner for the GOP nomination. Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, has maintained his position in second place the entire time, but RCP’s tracker shows a decline in his average from a peak of 31.3% in January.
In Democratic Party primary polls, Biden commands a much smaller field. He typically received 40% to 60% of the vote, compared to Robert Kennedy Jr.’s support, which ranged from single digits to numbers in the teens.
Voters have expressed strong concerns about Biden in recent polls regarding his age (80) and ability to lead effectively. Trump, who is 77, also raises age concerns among respondents, though not to the same extent.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has announced an impeachment investigation into allegations of corruption, which Biden must also deal with.
Trump is currently involved in four criminal cases in addition to civil lawsuits. Both financial resources and media attention are being devoured by his legal defense.
Trump, however, has denied all wrongdoing, entered a not-guilty plea to the charges he is facing, and asserted that prosecutors are engaging in a “witch hunt” against him because of their political motivations.
If Democrats and the Biden administration believed that indicting Trump would damage the 2024 GOP frontrunner’s brand — they were wrong.
Not only has Trump’s polling numbers rocketed since he was hit with four indictments in New York, Washington, D.C., Fulton County, Ga., and southern Florida, but he is also moving past Biden in critical swing states, according to a new survey.
“The states that had the narrowest margin of victory for either candidate last cycle were Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, with Biden winning all but North Carolina. Across those key swing states, Trump is ahead of Biden 41% to 35%, and 24% of voters remain undecided, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll,” The Daily Caller reported.
“Among independent voters, the former president also held a slight advantage over Biden, according to the poll. Trump received 32% support among independents compared to Biden’s 30%, and 38% were undecided. Uncertain voters favored Biden over Trump at 49% to 38%,” The DC noted, citing the survey.
In a hypothetical head-to-head contest for the 2024 election, Biden and Trump are deadlocked at 39%, as per the survey. Many voters cited concerns about the president’s age, along with worries about the economy and crime, as significant factors influencing their choice.
The survey “found that 48% of respondents in swing states would probably or definitely vote for Trump, compared to just 41% for Biden. Though Biden is narrowly favored overall by likely voters, with 43% favoring him compared to 42% for Trump, the Republican front-runner could win 270 Electoral College votes by seizing the swing states,” the Washington Examiner reported.
Additionally, when considering the challenger Cornel West from the Green Party, Biden’s grip on the overall vote is also not guaranteed. The poll reveals that West has the potential to attract a substantial portion of Biden’s liberal voters, potentially enough to tilt the majority of the ballot in favor of Trump.
“When taking West into consideration, Biden’s share of the vote drops to 42%, with West taking 4% of the vote. Trump emerges triumphant with 43% of the vote,” the Examiner added. “Trump’s lead in swing states is further solidified when West is involved as well. Trump’s share remains at 48%, while Biden’s drops to 40%.”