It’s remarkable, isn’t it? The Democratic party is in the midst of a leftward stampede the likes of which we have never before witnessed. And yet, the candidate with the large, steady, and seemingly insurmountable lead in their presidential primary is the lone non-progressive now positioned on the far right of this increasingly socialist party.
While the rest of the field is replete with outspoken leftists convinced they must appeal to the Democrats’ rabid progressive base, it is Joe Biden who shot to the top of the pack even before he announced his candidacy and has stayed there ever since. He has done so while renouncing many positions he has held for a lifetime, but primarily with policy prescriptions – particularly on the enormous issue of healthcare – once defined as liberal but which now present as moderate.
Since his entry in the race some five months ago, Biden has been as steady in the polls as he has been unsteady on his feet. He jumped in with about 30% of the vote in an exceptionally crowded field, and has stayed within a point or two of that ever since. His lead in national polls has never dipped below double digits.
So with a lead that big for this long, together with the perception that Biden is the most “electable” and him emphasizing that very theme in his own campaign – the former vice president is the undisputed favorite for the nomination, right?
Not so fast.
In fact, Biden may have no shot at all.
Why such a drastic statement, you say? Well, it’s not because he stumbles and bumbles. Or because of looming scandals involving his son’s sweetheart deals while Biden was vice president. It’s not because his beliefs are aberrant to the American mainstream. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: The fact that Biden is a traditional liberal Democrat who has some appeal to the center pushes him squarely out of the mainstream of his own party’s thought.
See, this all comes down to some relatively simple math. With Biden at 30%, the rest of the bloated field totals 70% – for 20 candidates. Thus, the central question is what happens when the field narrows, as it certainly will before the initial contest in Iowa, then after Iowa, then again after the second contest in New Hampshire, and in the weeks leading up to the Democratic convention? Where will the supporters of all those dropouts turn?
Given that the only other non-progressives (loosely defined) in the field are all at one percent or below, an Amy Klobuchar or John Delaney withdrawal will provide only a tiny bump for Biden. But what happens when the likes of outspoken leftists Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Beto O’Rourke et al. inevitably fall by the wayside, and then either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, the two progressives titans running on almost identical platforms, goes down. Where do all those votes go?
Sure, some of that support could theoretically go to Biden based on his perceived ability to take down Trump, but given the direction of a party faithful demanding full-on socialist policies, it appears certain that the vast majority of those millions of primary votes will go to the last progressive standing.
Biden will be buried.
So, you ask, what could change this equation leading to a Biden defeat? In theory, Lunch Bucket Joe could somehow find his footing, as he did to some degree in the latest debate. He might manage to convince hard-core progressives that he really is one of them, as signified by his reversals on, or apologies for, multiple positions he has held for his more than four decades in politics – from the once-popular, now-toxic crime bill he authored to his support of the Hyde Amendment outlawing federal funding for abortion.
If Bernie poses a serious challenge, his perpetually angry countenance could scare off the progressives at the last minute, or leftists could come to their senses and realize that a Bernie or Elizabeth Warren calling for a green new deal that would outlaw fossil fuels, a government takeover of healthcare, virtually open borders, and free taxpayer-funded healthcare for illegal immigrants, among other radical notions, has no chance of winning those critical states in the heartland.
The Democratic National Committee could also put its weighted fingers on the scale as it so famously did to lock up the nomination for Hillary Clinton in 2016. The DNC bigwigs could labor in a similarly underhanded fashion to secure the nomination for Biden in order to avoid the potential humiliation of a landslide loss to Trump by one of their hard-left candidates. But after what they pulled on Bernie three years ago, could they get away with it again? The DNC was already forced to remove the elite superdelegates who handed Hillary the nomination, at least for the first ballot, and leftists outraged at what happened to Bernie three years ago are keeping a sharp eye tuned on the DNC.
Another theory is that, if the party writ large senses inevitable defeat at the hands of the 45th president, it could choose to put Biden forward as the lamb to slaughter and spare the future presidential prospects of younger candidates who will still be in the game long after Biden is out.
But of course, any of these eventualities appear unlikely at best.
If this Liberty Nation author were bold enough to predict the reelection of President Trump with at least 350 electoral votes, we should be equally prepared to make a reverse call if the situation warrants. So, hard as it is to envision at this point in the process by looking at the polls, the betting odds and the relatively unthreatening nature of his candidacy, the immediate past vice president is doomed. Joe Biden will not be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.