Joe Biden is simply dominating the field in the Democratic primary. Real Clear Politics has him at +16.9% nationally over second place in a suffocatingly crowded field. Biden has won dozens of races, been on countless debate stages and has a donor network worth more than some countries. However, things may not be as optimistic as Team Biden thinks.
- Kamal/Bernie/Elizabeth – The progressive voting block is essentially being split at the moment. Similar to how in 2012 conservatives were split between Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, and Bachmann vs a unified but moderate Mitt Romney, Democrats are facing the same obstacle. Biden is in the lead but when you break down the numbers, it’s nowhere near as impressive as it appears. Nationally, Biden is at 31.9% with Sanders at 15.0%, Warren at 11.9% and Harris at 7.1%. If the progressives in the party get their act together, unlike conservatives in the GOP of 2012, they have a quite legitimate shot at taking out Biden in the early states. More importantly, the early states play to their advantage.
- The Early States – While polling is impressive for Biden nationally, it is notably less so in the early states. Biden is +5% in Iowa and +13% in New Hampshire, a noted drop from his +16.9% nationally. As Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz can attest, winning Iowa doesn’t mean the nomination is a lock but it’s defiantly a good start.
- The Pissy Progressives – The progressive in the Democratic party are pissed and rightfully so. The Bernie Bros of 2016 have not forgotten what the DNC did to Sanders. With a weak moderate Hillary Clinton shoved down their throats, only to be slaughtered on election night, it stands to reason that an equally moderate Biden would have a profoundly difficult time convincing the sizable progressive block in the party that he is their guy. No amount of repositioning or rebranding can turn Biden into the fiery progressive the left needs him to be which leads us to the next point.
- Biden is Essentially Hillary 2.0 – Sure, Biden doesn’t have the same screeching voice nor the general Clinton baggage but there are some eerie similarities. Biden has essentially undergone the identical evolution process that Hillary did. Take gay marriage: Biden, like Clinton and most Democrats, was against gay marriage until mid-2012. Build the wall? Biden is famous for saying back in 2006, “Folks, I voted for a fence, I voted, and unlike most Democrats — and some of you won’t like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence.” Hillary essentially said the same thing. On abortion, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden both followed the trend of the Democratic party from wanting abortion only when it was absolutely necessary in the 90s, to celebrated it in the streets and used at one’s convenience. In fact, with Biden’s commitment to the Hyde amendment until just recently, it appears Hillary was more in step with progressives than Joe.
- The Gaffes, Oh The Gaffes – Biden announced his run on April 25th, a mere fifty-seven days ago. In that time, Biden has gaffed his way through his position(s) on the Hyde amendment, promised to cure cancer, miserably failed to explain his relationship with segregationists, and can’t quite maneuver past his son’s foreign business dealings. Again, we’re only fifty-seven days into this.
Again, it can’t be underscored enough that Biden is the clear front runner with a massive war chest to make life difficult for his opponents. However, with all things considered, it seems that Biden has a more difficult path to the nomination than the polls indicate.