Tuesday, 07 May 2019

Biden’s Crushing His Opponents in Polls, But Can He Defeat the Party’s Radicals?

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To put it in terms even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can understand, Joe Biden is beating Bernie Sanders like a rented mule.

The latest Hill/Harris X poll has Biden way ahead of Sanders, and the old friend of Daniel Ortega and Fidel Castro isn’t faring much better in the Real Clear Politics average.

Message: Rank-and-file Democratic voters prefer Biden, an elderly white man who doesn’t sound like a reincarnation of Castro’s top hitman, Che Guevara.

The Latest Polls
If the Hill/Harris poll indicates anything, Sanders is in trouble.

Voters preferred the man of many nicknames — Creepy Joe, Crazy Joe, and Sleepy Joe — 46 percent to 14 percent. Pollsters sought answers from “1,002 statistically representative registered voters,” The Hill reported, and reckoned a “margin of error of 3.1 percentage points and a confidence level of 95 percent.”

Mallory Newell, the director of research at Ipsos Public Affairs, said "Biden has seen a little bit of a bump from his announcement, anywhere from 12 to 15 percentage points. His standing is strong at this point but again, you have to keep in mind that he is by far the best known in the race.”

Appearing on the same program, The Hill reported, GOP strategist Conor Maguire said Biden shouldn’t put too much stock in the polls given what happened to Donald Trump’s opponents in 2016. “This is a long, long primary,” he said. “At this point, Trump hadn’t even made his ride down the escalator yet, so there's going to be a lot of things that are going to change and we're going to see how they move.”

Still, Biden isn’t just strong in the Hill/Harris X poll.

The RCP average has him ahead of Sanders by 23.5 points, an average that would be much higher if the Monmouth poll of early April is tossed out. That one had Biden just seven points ahead of Sanders.

A look at the other polls since then show a remarkably consistent Biden lead:

The most recent Morning Consult poll shows Biden over Sanders 40-19, a 21-point margin. Last week’s Harvard-Harris poll has Biden a whopping 30 points ahead, 44-14. The Quinnipiac poll of late April gave Biden a 27-point lead, 38-11, and fake Indian Elizabeth Warren came in ahead of Sanders by a point in that one. Biden prevailed in a CNN poll at about the same time, 39-14.

The average Biden lead over Sanders minus the Monmouth poll? About 27 points.

Another Clinton?
Of course, the radicals in the party don’t want Biden, and so moderates are concerned about repeating 1972, when the party nominated hard-left candidate George McGovern, who took an historic beating from incumbent President Richard Nixon.

Though Biden’s campaign looks similar to Hillary Clinton’s in 2016 given their age, style, and résumés, the New York Times observed, he faces more than one radical. Clinton fought Sanders, but Biden stands athwart an array of angry, hard-left radicals who advocate policies that are, frankly, nuts: infanticide, slavery reparations, gun confiscation, socialist medicine, and “trans” rights.

“It’s a very different moment,” Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change, told the Times. “At the end of the day, Hillary was a historic figure, and Biden will have to explain, in a moment when there are many historic figures running, why him?”

Because the goal in 2020, Biden and his supporters will answer, is to defeat Trump, not elect an “historic figure” who will mount a quixotic but ultimately losing campaign.

Explained Biden’s former top legman in the Senate, “Number one is who can beat Trump. That will be the determining issue when we actually start voting.”

Even a man who supported Sanders in 2016 told the Times he just might vote for Biden, even thought he’d likely prefer a more “progressive” candidate.

“At the end of the day, if I don’t think anyone else can win, I’m going to vote for Biden,” he said.

The question is whether Biden can persuade Democratic voters to do likewise in a party controlled by the radical Left.

Which brings up Sanders, who will “play rough this time,” the Daily Beast reported, and quickly distingiush himself from Biden. His loss to Clinton in 2016, campaign co-chair Nina Turner told the Beast, taught him “to show what separates you very clearly from the rest of the people running.”

That includes establishing himself as a hard-left candidate. Noted the Beast of his interview with ABC News, “Sanders dismissed the idea that Biden could match his progressive bona fides: ‘I don’t think there’s much question about who’s more progressive.’”

Photo: AP Images

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