Despite Biden’s faults, he’s still ahead
“The only thing Joe Biden has had going for him in this race is Democratic primary voters,” said Ramesh Ponnuru. The assumption now is that the former vice president’s campaign will soon implode, because of his “tongue-tied” debate performances, embarrassing gaffes, and dismal fundraising. We are repeatedly told that Biden “is past his prime, that nobody is enthusiastic about him.” Despite all of that, Biden still enjoys at least a 10 percentage point advantage over every other Democrat in national polls. Many pundits are still predicting Biden’s campaign will suffer embarrassing losses in Iowa and New Hampshire and then collapse. But he remains in second place in both states. He holds solid leads in the next two contests, Nevada and South Carolina, where he is buoyed by strong support from Hispanic and black voters. And while Biden has been written off as too moderate for today’s Democratic Party, most rank-and-file Democrats prefer a moderate, and have serious doubts about all the other candidates. It’s true that Biden has significant flaws, and he may fall short in the end. But he “is the only candidate with a coalition that looks like the Democratic Party.” It’d be foolish to dismiss his chances.