Sorry Bernie, We Want to Win and Biden is The Choice
Biden should be able to put the nomination out of reach with a few more wins in upcoming primaries. Sanders could only hope that Biden stumbles badly, but the last debate did not present that picture. He will stumble over some words, but so far has not made an irreversible and election ending gaffe. Biden was always the choice of those most concerned with beating Trump rather than a revolution as Sanders has been gunning for.
Now that the coronavirus spread and panic has kicked into high gear it has exposed Trump’s greatest weakness—the inability to bring people together in a time of crisis. Trump will point to Biden’s leadership during the H1N1 crisis in 2009, but Gallup polling showed that the public had a 57% approval rating for how the Obama administration handled that epidemic. Recent polling shows that only 43% of the public approves of the way the Trump administration has handled the coronavirus outbreak.
Trump’s greatest bragging point has always been the stock market. However, it is 30 percent down from the highs, went into bear market territory in the shortest amount of trading days of all time (20), and is unlikely to recover enough by election day to provide Trump the bragging rights he desires.
So do Democrats really need a revolution? The public thinks not. Sanders’ support has dwindled and the general population (beyond his rallies) has been less than enthusiastic about his push for socialist systems. The debate exposed how the coronavirus has given socialism a black eye. Sanders tried to make a point that if the U.S. had socialized medicine we wouldn’t be in the position we are in. Biden was able to pounce on that argument by pointing out all the socialized-medicine countries who are suffering the most from this pandemic. Italy has stopped treating some patients over 80 years old because their healthcare system is overwhelmed, Spain and France have been suffering daunting numbers, and China was unable to control the spread.
The financial recovery packages will give Sanders’ supporters fodder in the Main Street vs. Wall Street debate as many of the bills will inevitably protect big business and banks over small employers and individuals. But Democratic voters will probably not latch onto an overhaul the system argument, but rather a kick Trump out and start making changes on Day 1.
In recent exit polls, two-thirds of Democratic voters rated their number one priority as beating Trump. Of those voters Biden overwhelmingly won their votes. He is seen as a steady force and an agent of change but does not scare the electorate the way Sanders would in a general election.
Biden has always appealed to the white working-class voters that were able to propel Trump to victory. He has had a broad coalition of voters during the primaries, which should bode well for the general. Other than voters under the age of 40, Biden wins every other category, including heavily in the African American community.
Obama’s electorate was difficult to beat based on how broad it was. Biden should be able to reignite some of that base, as well as be on equal footing with Trump when it comes to the economy. Now that coronavirus has taken over, Trump has looked extremely vulnerable. People know Uncle Joe and voters seem to trust him to lead despite his gaffes. To beat Trump we need a guiding force and agent of small changes, not a revolution.