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Biden riding high atop a slippery slope

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Biden riding high atop a slippery slope

Biden riding high atop a slippery slope
April 30
13:55 2019

What is going on with the polling?  Prior to his announcement, the media-reported polls showed former Vice President Joe Biden with approximately 29 percent of the potential Democrat vote – with Senator Bernie Sanders at around 22 percent.

One post-Biden announcement polls show Biden with 17 percent and Sanders at barely over single digits with approximately 13 percent.  The novelty candidate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg  comes in at 10 percent.  Everyone else is in single digits – and some languishing at the insignificant less than one percent level.

Later polls show Biden up to low 30 percentiles, with Sanders actually losing a few points.  Between them, they still have almost two-thirds of the potential Democrat primary vote.

It appears that the Democrats may offering up a redux of the 2016 campaign – with the establishment frontrunner – this time Biden — being challenged by the from the radical left by Sanders. Much of the future depends on how many and how soon all the irrationally optimistic Democrat candidates start dropping out of the race.

While Biden looks good coming out of the gate, he may not have the lead in the home stretch.  There are several reasons for that.

In highly contested presidential races – and 2020 is certain to be one for the Democrats – frontrunners do not fare well.  Some call it the “frontrunner jinx.”  There are better explanations, however.  One is that the public gets tired of seeing that person constantly in the opening of the evening news. In this season it would require the media to get over their everything-is-Trump obsession, however.

In addition, early frontrunners are in the sights of every other contender.  In this case, there are 19 others – so far – who will be looking to shove Biden from the king-of-the-hill position.  In terms of targets for criticism – vulnerabilities — Biden is a centipede of Achilles Heels.

The greatest problem for Sanders is the number of far-left candidates dividing up the vote.  Biden – as the so-called moderate – has only his philosophic compatriot, Senator Amy Klobuchar, siphoning off the less radical Democrat voters.

That is good for Biden unless – or until – the overly optimistic field of left-wing candidates starts to shrink.  If everyone but Biden and Sanders were to drop out, who gains the lion’s share of those freed-up votes?  Today, it looks like Sanders.  It is hard to believe that those currently favoring Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren are going to break in favor of Biden.  And that goes for most of the remainder of the current field.

Of course, Biden can be thankful that his chief – and most likely enduring — opponent is Sanders – another old white male.  That basically nullifies the anti-old white male sentiment that courses through the Democrat ranks today – and is the basis of the identity politics foundation of most of the other candidates.

Of course, all this assumes that the winner for the Democrats will be determined in the primaries.  That has been the tradition in modern presidential politics, but not always the case.  In fact, the so-called “brokered conventions” — where the nomination of a standard bearer was decided by deals made in smoke-filled rooms at the national convention – were once the norm.

The possibility that no Democrat candidate will go into the convention with the requisite number of committed delegates to secure the nomination is greater this year than in decades.

Generally, a brokered convention is beneficial to the establishment candidates – but not so when there is a significant anti-establishment mood with the country.  Perhaps, the best example was 1972, when left-wing South Dakota Senator George McGovern beat the Democrat establishment to win the nomination. He was able to do that because of a change in the rules and the large number of delegates from the left wing of the party – two factors that seem to be repeating themselves for 2020.

Trump beat the establishment in 2016.  Whereas McGovern was soundly defeat by the scandal-plagued President Nixon, Trump managed to eke out a technical Electoral College victory.

While many experts and pundits – including a number of the Democrat types —  believe Sanders would be another McGovern, there is a real possibility that he could secure the nomination in the primaries or even in a brokered convention.

While he is on top of the polls today, Biden has a long, long road to the nomination – and it is filled with bumps, potholes and pitfalls.

So, there ‘tis.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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5 Comments

  1. Chastran
    Chastran May 01, 18:36

    “BIDEN’S RIDING HIGH ATOP A SLIPPERY SLOPE.” Wait!! That’s no slippery slope!! That’s a greased female’s inner thigh!!!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Billy Williams
    Billy Williams May 01, 19:44

    The refreshing thing about the democrats so far is they are intelligent,decent, good morals not calling people names,threatening and acting like a school yard bully. Hope Joe wins if so got my vote.

    Reply to this comment
    • Mikey speaks
      Mikey speaks May 01, 20:13

      I guess you haven’t been following Virginia, or listening to the Barr witch hunt, Schiff, Nadler, Page, Strozk,”Masie” or the socialist antisemitic 3 musketeers
      Name calling and narcissistic infantile behavior is one thing. Plotting to overthrow the presidency another

      Reply to this comment
    • Reason
      Reason May 01, 21:41

      And just what democrats are you WATCHING? That and obstruct seem to be all any of them do.

      Reply to this comment
    • GrandmaDel
      GrandmaDel May 02, 03:52

      I think you found Biden’s real problem well part of it. Seems 70% of those polled favor candidates that you call far left but many of us maybe 70% think is right center. Right on.

      The other part of Biden’s problem is the disconnect between party officials and the electorate. The party officials kept Sanders out of the race and refused to include any of his people or ideas after the election.

      I thought Sanders should have gone with a third party and I think he would have won. I think it is those party officials who are responsible for Trump and they will give us Trump again unless there is a change.

      Reply to this comment

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