Monmouth University’s latest survey of voters ahead of the midterm elections deserves to make news. That poll found that the bad odor around the GOP that prevailed in August is all but gone today. It showed that the enthusiasm Democrats felt in the wake of the Dobbs decision has disappeared. And it revealed that the relevance of the issues the Democratic Party had promoted—climate change, racial inequality, gun control, and even abortion—has faded. But the headline Monmouth chose to encapsulate its findings crystalized these disparate factors into a single, overarching grievance against Democratic governance. Joe Biden is, according to voters, just “not paying enough attention to [the] most important issues.”

What issues? Inflation, obviously, which is the single most important issue on all voters’ minds, regardless of party affiliation. Crime is another, as is immigration. Both issues matter more to voters today than they did a month ago. If there’s a common banner under which these seemingly disparate issues can be filed, it is a general sense of precarity. Voters who don’t feel safe in their homes or on their streets, who are concerned about the capacity limits of America’s social services, and who don’t know what the money in their bank accounts is going to be worth tomorrow will prioritize those concerns over just about everything else. Only 31 percent believe the president and his party are focused on those “bread-and-butter concerns.” They’re right. But that’s just what the voters that the White House is courting want.

There is a popular Twitter account that goes by the handle “Mueller, She Wrote.” The account is managed by a former employee at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Allison Gill; and she was fired for it. An internal audit of her conduct at the VA turned up some discomfiting questions “about how she could record a podcast and perform live shows while claiming to have post-traumatic stress disorder,” as Politico reported. But creating speculative “Resistance” fiction has proven a lucrative alternative to government work. It’s clearly much more personally rewarding, too.

“If you’re wondering why Twitter is so quiet today,” Gill wrote, it’s because so many of the people who constituted “Resistance Twitter” during Donald Trump’s presidency spent the day at the White House. Given how politically engaged these people are, it’s a safe bet that their agenda at the White House today was dominated by politics. For some participants, it’s the first time they’ve been in the president’s proximity since September, when the White House inexplicably threw a party for itself to celebrate what a great job Democrats had done to contain inflation. You’d think they’d have learned their lesson.

It’s tempting to question the competence of a political operation that would so indulge an unrepresentative sample of people who dominate an unrepresentative platform like Twitter. Are the president’s advisers cosseting Joe Biden in a cocoon of admirers? Is the administration settling into an information silo that filters out the many mounting signs of imminent disaster on the horizon? Maybe. But there appears to be an insatiable appetite among the president’s supporters for news and information that distracts, if only for a moment, from the pervasive sense of impending doom.

On October 20, the same day Monmouth’s portentous new survey was published, a casual survey of the Washington Post’s politics section suggests that what readers of the capital city’s biggest paper want is more Trump.

The outlet’s most-read stories that afternoon indicate that there is a profound hunger abroad for stories that suggest the Republican base is fracturing. Readers homed in on stories involving a Georgia-based judge’s assessment that Trump and his allies knew the 2020 election was not stolen. They clicked on Mike Pence’s admonition of the Republicans providing rhetorical cover for Russia’s war in Ukraine, and they parsed a speculative report about Trump’s subpoena by the January 6 select committee. They pored over analysis on “why resentful rural Americans vote Republican” and how the “fear of Trump’s base helped turn” former Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler “against reality.” What Post readers apparently didn’t want to hear is the degree to which the 2022 midterm elections are slipping away from the Democratic Party.

Far from splintering, Republican voters are in the process of “coming home” to their party’s nominees as the primary season’s bitter struggles fade into memory. For every Republican “distancing themselves from [the] GOP,” which Politico’s “Pulse” determined to be the most newsworthy item of the day, there are hundreds of examples of party members queuing up to toe the line. Indeed, Monmouth University’s latest poll is close to accurate; it’s the Democrats that have internal cohesion dynamics to worry about.

This is not to say that the White House is ignoring this poll entirely. On Thursday evening, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain highlighted the observation that in this poll—which found only 80 percent of Democrats committed to voting Democratic this year, and in which Joe Biden’s job approval had declined to just 39 percent—the “gender gap had evaporated,” and women are jazzed about Joe Biden’s economic performance. It was the second poll Klain cited on October 20. The first was a CNBC survey in which the GOP enjoyed a two-point advantage in the generic-ballot test and a 15-point advantage on inflation. So, what is there in this poll for the White House to celebrate? Biden’s approval on “economic issues” is up for the month. He’s now only 10 points underwater on the issue.

As spin jobs go, Klain turned in a workmanlike performance. Hopefully, it thrilled the ranks of “Resistance Twitter,” which is clearly its intended audience. Everyone else seems to have made up their minds.

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