Dr. Jill Biden urges voters to consider her husband’s electability, saying: “your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, healthcare than Joe is, but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election.” pic.twitter.com/xdPk95wWnv
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 19, 2019
Courtesy of The Guardian:
Much like Hillary Clinton in 2016, Joe Biden’s Democratic primary campaign has thus far cloaked itself in an aura of inevitability. You might not like Joe Biden. He might say racist or sexist stuff from time to time. His gaffes might be occurring at an alarming rate. He might have uninspiring policy ideas. But he’s going to win the primary anyway, so you better get used to him.
That was the subtext, at least, and an explanation for how banal Biden’s campaign has been so far. If victory is certain, why not hold the ball and milk the clock? Jill Biden, the former vice-president’s wife, made the case bizarrely explicit on MSNBC earlier this week. “Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” Biden said, “but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”
To be sure, Joe Biden is leading among Democrats thus far. The RealClearPolitics average has him ahead of Bernie Sanders by around 12 points, and he has the support of major party funders. But less than a third of Democratic voters are planning to vote for Biden, down from more than 40% the week after his 25 April announcement. An Economist/YouGov poll from this week shows the race narrowing to within the margin of error – Biden at 22%, Sanders at 19%, and Elizabeth Warren at 18%.
Electability has to be a consideration, I agree.
But with Elizabeth Warren moving up as quickly as she has just in the last week the conventional wisdom is no longer that Biden is the best bet against Trump.
And if that is all he has going for him, that and his relationship with Obama, I don’t think it is not going to be enough to excite the electorate into turning out to vote for him.
Democrats are much more likely to vote for a candidate who inspires them, and right now that sounds an awful lot like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.