Categoria: Presidential election

Thousands Of Pro-Trump Bots Are Attacking Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley

By DAVID KLEPPER

WASHINGTON — Over the past 11 months, someone created thousands of fake, automated Twitter accounts — perhaps hundreds of thousands of them — to offer a stream of praise for Donald Trump.

Besides posting adoring words about the former president, the fake accounts ridiculed Trump’s critics from both parties and attacked Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador who is challenging her onetime boss for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

When it came to Ron DeSantis, the bots aggressively suggested that the Florida governor couldn’t beat Trump, but would be a great running mate.

As Republican voters size up their candidates for 2024, whoever created the bot network is seeking to put a thumb on the scale, using online manipulation techniques pioneered by the Kremlin to sway the digital platform conversation about candidates while exploiting Twitter’s algorithms to maximize their reach.

The sprawling bot network was uncovered by researchers at Cyabra, an Israeli tech firm that shared its findings with The Associated Press. While the identity of those behind the network of fake accounts is unknown, Cyabra’s analysts determined that it was likely created within the U.S.

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To identify a bot, researchers will look for patterns in an account’s profile, its follower list and the content it posts. Human users typically post about a variety of subjects, with a mix of original and reposted material, but bots often post repetitive content about the same topics.

That was true of many of the bots identified by Cyabra.

“One account will say, ‘Biden is trying to take our guns; Trump was the best,’ and another will say, ‘Jan. 6 was a lie and Trump was innocent,’” said Jules Gross, the Cyabra engineer who first discovered the network. “Those voices are not people. For the sake of democracy I want people to know this is happening.”

Bots, as they are commonly called, are fake, automated accounts that became notoriously well-known after Russia employed them in an effort to meddle in the 2016 election. While big tech companies have improved their detection of fake accounts, the network identified by Cyabra shows they remain a potent force in shaping online political discussion.

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The new pro-Trump network is actually three different networks of Twitter accounts, all created in huge batches in April, October and November 2022. In all, researchers believe hundreds of thousands of accounts could be involved.

The accounts all feature personal photos of the alleged account holder as well as a name. Some of the accounts posted their own content, often in reply to real users, while others reposted content from real users, helping to amplify it further.

“McConnell… Traitor!” wrote one of the accounts, in response to an article in a conservative publication about GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell, one of several Republican critics of Trump targeted by the network.

One way of gauging the impact of bots is to measure the percentage of posts about any given topic generated by accounts that appear to be fake. The percentage for typical online debates is often in the low single digits. Twitter itself has said that less than 5% of its active daily users are fake or spam accounts.

When Cyabra researchers examined negative posts about specific Trump critics, however, they found far higher levels of inauthenticity. Nearly three-fourths of the negative posts about Haley, for example, were traced back to fake accounts.

The network also helped popularize a call for DeSantis to join Trump as his vice presidential running mate — an outcome that would serve Trump well and allow him to avoid a potentially bitter matchup if DeSantis enters the race.

The same network of accounts shared overwhelmingly positive content about Trump and contributed to an overall false picture of his support online, researchers found.

“Our understanding of what is mainstream Republican sentiment for 2024 is being manipulated by the prevalence of bots online,” the Cyabra researchers concluded.

The triple network was discovered after Gross analyzed Tweets about different national political figures and noticed that many of the accounts posting the content were created on the same day. Most of the accounts remain active, though they have relatively modest numbers of followers.

A message left with a spokesman for Trump’s campaign was not immediately returned.

Most bots aren’t designed to persuade people, but to amplify certain content so more people see it, according to Samuel Woolley, a professor and misinformation researcher at the University of Texas whose most recent book focuses on automated propaganda.

When a human user sees a hashtag or piece of content from a bot and reposts it, they’re doing the network’s job for it, and also sending a signal to Twitter’s algorithms to boost the spread of the content further.

Bots can also succeed in convincing people that a candidate or idea is more or less popular than the reality, he said. More pro-Trump bots can lead to people overstating his popularity overall, for example.

“Bots absolutely do impact the flow of information,” Woolley said. “They’re built to manufacture the illusion of popularity. Repetition is the core weapon of propaganda and bots are really good at repetition. They’re really good at getting information in front of people’s eyeballs.”

Until recently, most bots were easily identified thanks to their clumsy writing or account names that included nonsensical words or long strings of random numbers. As social media platforms got better at detecting these accounts, the bots became more sophisticated.

So-called cyborg accounts are one example: a bot that is periodically taken over by a human user who can post original content and respond to users in human-like ways, making them much harder to sniff out.

Bots could soon get much sneakier thanks to advances in artificial intelligence. New AI programs can create lifelike profile photos and posts that sound much more authentic. Bots that sound like a real person and deploy deepfake video technology may challenge platforms and users alike in new ways, according to Katie Harbath, a fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and a former Facebook public policy director.

“The platforms have gotten so much better at combating bots since 2016,” Harbath said. “But the types that we’re starting to see now, with AI, they can create fake people. Fake videos.”

These technological advances likely ensure that bots have a long future in American politics — as digital foot soldiers in online campaigns, and as potential problems for both voters and candidates trying to defend themselves against anonymous online attacks.

“There’s never been more noise online,” said Tyler Brown, a political consultant and former digital director for the Republican National Committee. “How much of it is malicious or even unintentionally unfactual? It’s easy to imagine people being able to manipulate that.”

Trump Attorney Eastman Wraps Himself In First Amendment Protections

John “Serpent-in-the-Ear-of-the-President” Eastman defends himself against a litany of withering charges from the California Bar — moral turpitude, dishonesty and/or corruption, willful misconduct and/or gross negligence, trying to reverse the legitimate results of an election, essentially yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater — in a riveting 112-page defense that seeks to protect his law license.

It was not unreasonable for Eastman to believe there was massive fraud and illegality in the 2020 election and file lawsuits to try to rectify it, he argues.

He was not advocating that former President Donald Trump or former Vice President Mike Pence take any particular course of action in the infamous “coup memos,” but simply laying out possible scenarios.

And the incendiary claims he made before an agitated crowd on Jan. 6 — “We know there was fraud. …We know that dead people voted” — is a matter of free speech, sanctified and protected by the First Amendment.

John Eastman (left) at a rally in support of President Trump in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6, 2021, with former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. (JACQUELYN MARTIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS) “American Citizens have the right to question illegality and fraud in the conduct of their elections, and … his intent in making those statements was to expose such illegality and fraud, as was his constitutional right under the First Amendment,” Eastman’s response says. He “DENIES that his statements were false or misleading, or that he knew or was grossly negligent in not knowing that they were false or misleading.”

Eastman’s exhaustive response catalogs, with footnotes and links, just about every conspiracy theory floated over the past two years. His law license remains active as the Bar presses its case against him, he’s still a Senior Fellow at the conservative Claremont Institute and his Constitutional Counsel Group still lists an Anaheim address.

But his GiveSendGo fundraiser seeks $500,000 for his legal defense fund — more than double its original goal of $200,000 — and has raised $313,000 to date. “The left is pure evil out to destroy all that is good,” wrote donor Kathy Gremer, who kicked in $50 on March 1. “I am so sorry for the pain and betrayal you are enduring. At some point what goes around, comes around even if we have to wait until the after life!”

Eastman’s day of reckoning may come a lot sooner. A pre-trial conference on his proposed disbarment is set for May 1, and his trial is scheduled for May 10-12, 16-19 and 23-24.

“The Notice of Disciplinary Charges alleges that Mr. Eastman actively and knowingly participated in an egregious and unprecedented attack on our democracy,” said George Cardona, chief trial counsel, by email. “The Office of Chief Trial Counsel stands ready to present the evidence supporting the charges to the State Bar Court.”

Hard times It hasn’t been particularly easy being Eastman lately.

In the wake of Jan. 6, he was pressured to leave Chapman University’s law school, where he used to be dean. He also lost his post at the University of Colorado.

He continued to do the sympathetic media circuit, speak at conferences where he was received like a war hero and advise states on how they might decertify their election results — more than a year after the election. Then federal Judge David O. Carter concluded it was “more likely than not” that federal crimes were committed by Eastman and Trump.

They “launched a campaign to overturn a democratic election, an action unprecedented in American history,” Carter wrote. “Their campaign was not confined to the ivory tower – it was a coup in search of a legal theory. The plan spurred violent attacks on the seat of our nation’s government, led to the deaths of several law enforcement officers, and deepened public distrust in our political process.”

John Eastman testifies in Washington in 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) Then the Jan. 6 committee weighed in, concluding that “Donald J. Trump, John Eastman, and others corruptly attempted to violate the Electoral Count Act of 1887 in an effort to overturn the 2020 Presidential Election.” Both should face criminal charges for obstructing an official proceeding and conspiracy to defraud the United States, it said.

He appeared before a special grand jury in Georgia. And then, after more than a year’s investigation, the California Bar filed its “Notice of Disciplinary Complaint” against him. It’s “filled with distortions, half truths, and outright falsehoods,” he wrote on Substack,  and said he was confident he’ll escape discipline from the California Bar.

Santa Fe residents protest this month against their neighbor John Eastman who was President Donald Trump’s attorney. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal) While property records indicate he still owns a home in Long Beach, he and his wife have been living in New Mexico, where she grew up. Protesters regularly gather near their Santa Fe home hoisting hand-written neon signs: “Traitors attempt coups,” “Reject fascist tactics” and “Santa Fe rejects J Eastman,” the Albuquerque Journal reported.

“Over the years, the Eastmans have attended neighborhood parties, where they stood out for his stance against the COVID-19 vaccines,” the Journal said. It also said Eastman was remembered in unfriendly terms from his wife’s 40th high school reunion. “He was a jerk, he was arrogant,” one of her classmates told the paper.

He responded with a letter to the editor, assailing it as a mean-spirited and undignified hit job “well beneath the standards of decency that ought to prevail at any reputable newspaper.”

And, given the events of Jan. 6 and Eastman’s championing of free speech, this question may be a bit ironic: “What editor allowed into print an unsubstantiated ‘he’s dangerous’ quotation that might well be taken as an open invitation to violence against us?”

Defense To recap, Eastman’s memos explored the untested theory that the vice president has the power to accept, reject or send back for further investigation electoral votes from the states, even those already certified by the states. Mike Pence should act without asking permission, Eastman wrote, asserting that the 12th Amendment gave him that power.

Trump seized on these ideas and did not let go. Pence’s rattled attorney told Eastman that “the advice provided has, whether intended to or not, functioned as a serpent in the ear of the President of the United States, the most powerful office in the entire world.”

An image of former Trump advisors, Chapman University law professor John Eastman and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is displayed during a House select committee hearing investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on October 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, in possibly its final hearing, has been gathering evidence for almost a year related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol.  On January 6, 2021, supporters of former President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for President Joe Biden. (Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

Vice President Mike Pence hands the electoral certificate from the state of Arizona to Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., as he presides over a joint session of Congress as it convenes to count the Electoral College votes cast in November’s election, at the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 6, 2021. (Saul Loeb/Pool via AP, File)

A federal judge said on March 28 that former President Donald Trump and attorney John Eastman may have “corruptly attempted to obstruct” the Jan. 6, 2021 congressional certification of the presidential election. (File photos)

Trump supporters participate in a rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The California Bar charged him with trying to reverse the results of a legitimate election, and said “no reasonable attorney with expertise in constitutional or election law would have concluded that the Vice President was legally authorized to take the actions respondent proposed.” He knew, or was grossly negligent in not knowing, that the scenarios he outlined were not supported by either the facts or law.

Eastman retorted that he knew no such thing.

“Respondent DENIES that the memo proposed ‘to reverse the legitimate results of the 2020 election,’ ” his response says. “Whether or not the results of the 2020 election were ‘legitimate’ was hotly disputed at the time and remains so. Moreover, none of the scenarios described in the memo would ‘reverse’ ‘legitimate’ election results. …

“The temporary adjournment (of Congress on Jan. 6 as it tallied electoral votes) scenario invited further investigation into the illegality and fraud of the election, and expressly noted that ‘If, after investigation, proven fraud and illegality is insufficient to alter the results of the election, the original slate of electors would remain.’”

The Bar says that he repeated outlandish claims of fraud and illegality in court filings even after being told repeatedly that there was no fraud on a scale that could change the results – even by then-Attorney General Bill Barr.

Eastman responded that he doesn’t view Barr as a credible source. And he quoted legal arguments asserting that, “Although attorneys may not present evidence they know to be false or assist in perpetrating known frauds on the court, they may ethically present evidence that they suspect, but do not personally know, is false.”

Though he continues to repeat fraud claims, Eastman puts much more emphasis on “illegality” — specifically, the steps states took to make voting easier during a global pandemic that weren’t explicitly approved by the state legislatures.

State legislatures hold absolute power to decide how elections can be conducted. In the Trump/Eastman calculus, throwing out millions of votes from states that eased signature requirements or allowed defective ballots to be corrected, without express permission from the Legislature, is warranted, even if it disenfranchises millions of people.

The legal world is watching how this plays out. Potential criminal charges up the stakes. Stay tuned.

John Eastman appears on screen during the fourth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images) “In his response to the State Bar of California’s disciplinary action, John Eastman doubles down,” said Aaron Scherzer, senior counsel at the States United Democracy Center, which filed a complaint against Eastman.

“He refuses to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that the 2020 election result was not impacted by fraud, and that the outcome reflected the will of the people. This is unfortunate, but not surprising. Eastman has spread lies and conspiracy theories about the election results for over two years.

“Eastman’s plot to try to overturn the 2020 election was — and continues to be — deeply damaging to our democracy. He violated the oath he swore to uphold as an attorney, and the California Bar is rightfully holding him accountable.”

We’ll see how this turns out.

Nikki Haley Announces Presidential Campaign, Challenging Donald Trump

By MEG KINNARD

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, announced her candidacy for president on Tuesday, becoming the first major challenger to former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination.

The announcement, delivered in a tweeted video, marks an about-face for the ex-Trump Cabinet official, who said two years ago that she wouldn’t challenge her former boss for the White House in 2024. But she changed her mind in recent months, citing, among other things, the country’s economic troubles and the need for “generational change,” a nod to the 76-year-old Trump’s age.

“You should know this about me. I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels,” Haley said. “I’m Nikki Haley, and I’m running for president.”

Get excited! Time for a new generation.

Let’s do this! 👊 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/BD5k4WY1CP

— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 14, 2023

Haley, 51, is the first in a long line of Republicans who are expected to launch 2024 campaigns in the coming months. Among them are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.

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President Joe Biden has said he intends to seek reelection in 2024, stalling any jostling for the Democratic nomination.

Haley has regularly boasted about her track record of defying political expectations, saying, “I’ve never lost an election, and I’m not going to start now.”

If elected, Haley would be the nation’s first female president and the first U.S. president of Indian descent.

The daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley grew up enduring racist taunts in a small South Carolina town and has long referenced that impact on her personal and political arc.

In the three-and-a-half minute video, Haley referenced that past, saying she grew up “not Black, not white — I was different.”

Haley never mentions Trump by name in the video, instead saying “the Washington establishment has failed us over and over and over again,” Haley leans into a call for “a new generation of leadership,” which has become the refrain of her messaging leading up to the launch.

She was an accountant when she launched her first bid for public office, defeating the longest-serving member of the South Carolina House in 2004. Three terms later and with little statewide recognition, Haley mounted a long-shot campaign for governor against a large field of experienced politicians.

She racked up a number of high-profile endorsements, including from the sitting South Carolina governor, Mark Sanford, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a tea party darling.

With her 2010 victory, Haley became South Carolina’s first female and minority governor — and the nation’s youngest at 38. She earned a speaking slot at the 2012 Republican National Convention and gave the GOP response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union in 2016.

The defining moment of Haley’s time as governor came after the 2015 murders of nine Black parishioners in a Charleston church by a self-avowed white supremacist who had been pictured holding Confederate flags.

For years, Haley had resisted calls to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds, even casting a rival’s push for its removal as a desperate stunt. But after the massacre and with the support of other leading Republicans, Haley advocated for legislation to remove the flag. It came down less than a month after the murders.

In the 2016 presidential primary, Haley was an early supporter of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, later shifting to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. She ultimately said she would back the party’s nominee.

Shortly after Trump’s victory, he tapped Haley to be his U.N. ambassador, a move that rewarded Henry McMaster, the lieutenant governor who was the nation’s first statewide elected official to back Trump’s 2016 campaign. Haley’s departure cleared the way for McMaster to ascend to the governorship he had sought, since losing a bruising primary to none other than Haley seven years earlier.

With her Senate confirmation, Haley became the first Indian American in a presidential Cabinet.

During her nearly two-year tenure, Haley feuded at times with other administration officials while bolstering her own public persona.

One of her most memorable moments as U.N. ambassador came in 2018 after National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow suggested Haley had suffered “momentary confusion” when she said Russian sanctions were imminent.

“With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” she responded. The first half of the quote became the title of her 2019 memoir.

Her departure from the job later that year fueled speculation that she would challenge Trump in 2020 or replace Pence on the ticket. She did neither.

Instead, Haley returned to South Carolina, where she bought a home on the wealthy enclave Kiawah Island, joined the board of aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co., launched herself on the speaking circuit and wrote two books, including the memoir.

After the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, Haley initially cast doubts on Trump’s political future but said she wouldn’t challenge him in 2024. She later shifted course, citing inflation, crime, drugs and a “foreign policy in disarray” among her reasons for considering a White House campaign.

During his South Carolina stop last month, Trump told WIS-TV that Haley had called to seek his opinion on running for president. Trump pointed out her earlier pledge not to run against him but said he made no attempts to stop her.

“She said she would never run against me because I was the greatest president, but people change their opinions, and they change what’s in their hearts,” Trump said. “So I said, if your heart wants to do it, you have to go do it.”

Who Should Be The Next President? Democrats, Republicans Struggle To Decide

By HANNAH FINGERHUT

WASHINGTON — While President Joe Biden and his predecessor, Donald Trump, are preparing for a possible rematch in 2024, a new poll finds a notable lack of enthusiasm within the parties for either man as his party’s leader and a clear opening for new standard-bearers.

About a third of both Democrats and Republicans are unsure of who they want leading their party, according to the poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

No single Democrat captures significant support when asked who should be their party’s leader; instead, Democrats sprinkle their attention across more than a dozen politicians. Yet they also feel more hopeful than dejected about their party. Some Republicans, meanwhile, coalesce around a couple of individuals — Trump included. But a majority remain uncommitted to him despite his grip on the party, and Republicans have grown somewhat more pessimistic about the GOP’s future.

The findings reflect a deep sense of uncertainty about the future of the nation’s political parties and the challenges both face in tethering their frayed — and perhaps disenchanted — coalitions.

For Democrats, it’s another warning sign about the depth of Biden’s support amid concerns about nominating someone who would be 86 at the end of a second term.

“He’s certainly at an age where he’s not going to run for office, he’s gonna walk,” said David Townsend, a 58-year-old veteran services manager in Indianapolis who leans toward the Democratic Party.

Townsend said he would support Biden if he were the nominee, but he wants a new voice to lead with vigor and energy. He suggests Biden could have a role in shaping the future.

“He needs to be on the lookout for a standard-bearer, someone that could carry his message forward,” Townsend said.

Despite his status as an incumbent president who has accomplished many of the party’s long-sought priorities, fewer than half of Democrats — 41% — identify Biden as the current leader of the party in an open-ended question. Just 12% said they want Biden in the role.

But Democrats are far from rallying behind someone else. They lack consensus on one individual — or even two or three — to lead them. Instead, in the open-ended question, 15 people are each mentioned by between 1% and 5% of Democrats. Thirty-seven percent say they don’t know or don’t answer the question.

By contrast, among Republicans, 22% name Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and 20% name Trump as the individual they want to lead the party.

Republican Daniel Alvarez, 30, of Lakeland, Florida, likes both his governor, DeSantis, and Trump.

“I would preferably take either one of those guys,” said Alvarez, a lineman for a telephone company. But if it came down to it, he’d choose Trump in a primary.

“The country was better” when Trump was president, he said.

Still, there appears to be openness to a new face among Republicans, as there is among Democrats, even if there isn’t someone specific in mind.

A majority of Republicans don’t choose Trump or DeSantis, though no other individual comes close to their level of support. Eleven others — including former Vice President Mike Pence and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who launched her 2024 bid Tuesday — are each named by just 1% of Republicans.

Angela Foster became emotional talking about how she feels the country is going in the wrong direction under Biden’s leadership. The 66-year-old Republican-leaning independent voted for Trump in 2020.

“I would love to see Trump back in the Oval Office to straighten things up. Followed by DeSantis. That’s what I want. I want an eight-year plan,” she said with a laugh.

But Foster, who lives in Gallipolis, Ohio, and works part-time as a cashier, said she wants to see the Republican Party get back to its traditional values and quit the infighting.

Only 38% of Republicans say they are optimistic about the future of the Republican Party, while 36% are pessimistic and 24% say they feel neither. Pessimism has grown since October, when 27% said they were.

By comparison, more Democrats look ahead with hope. Forty-four percent of Democrats say they are optimistic about the future of the Democratic Party, while 26% are pessimistic. An additional 30% say they are neither.

Republicans who are pessimistic are less likely than optimistic ones to name a chosen leader. Overall, 34% of Republicans — more than either Trump or DeSantis get individually — say they don’t know or didn’t respond to the question.

Hugh Lawing considers himself an independent who leans toward the Republican Party. He doesn’t want Trump to run and isn’t sure about DeSantis, who he said “wants to be “Trump Jr.” The 59-year-old retiree in Marietta, Georgia, hopes that more options will come forward.

“It’s a long way away and it’s up in the air,” Lawing said.

For Democrats, there’s no shortage of options, including lawmakers and others unlikely to seek the nomination. Trailing Biden at 12% as the preferred leader, new House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez each earn 5%.

Greg Davis, 34, voted for Biden in the 2020 general election. But as a self-identified social Democrat, he was “not impressed” with Biden during the primary campaign and would prefer a progressive candidate.

“I would rather he not,” the Hilliard, Ohio resident said of Biden running for reelection. “But I don’t really have a specific candidate in mind.”

Vice President Kamala Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and even former President Barack Obama are each named as the preferred party leader by 3% of Democrats.

“I can’t admire that man enough,” Darlene Zwolinski said of Obama.

Zwolinski, a 63-year-old acupuncturist in Lakewood, Colorado, said she’s happy with what Biden has done, but he was mainly the one “to get the win” against Trump and, for that reason, might have to be the one again.

“If there was somebody in the wings that was like (Obama) that could step in, I would love to see Biden bless that person and maybe graciously bow out,” she said. “However, I don’t see anybody right now.

The poll of 1,068 adults was conducted Jan. 26-30 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.