Well, so much for the theory that the impeachment trial would benefit former Vice President Joe Biden in his bid to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for president. At first, it appeared that the Senate proceedings would hurt most of his competitors due to their presence being required in Washington, D.C. But this isn’t the case for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is leading Biden in some recent polls.
Multiple polls show that Biden and Sanders are locked in an up-and-down battle. Some surveys show Biden still in the lead while others show Sanders as the frontrunner. A USA Today/Suffolk University poll released yesterday puts Biden ahead of Sanders by six points. However, a New York Times/Siena College poll published on Saturday shows Sanders leading Biden by seven points.
As if that weren’t confusing enough, a CBS News/YouGov survey shows Sanders (26%) narrowly edging out Biden (25%) by one percentage point. Fox News also released a poll showing Biden at 26% to Sanders’ 23% among registered voters. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), whose numbers began falling after the last Democratic debate, trails both contenders by at least ten points in most of the polls that recently came out over the weekend. Even Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has struggled to get traction, is leading Warren in some of the polls.
So what’s going on here? With Sanders stuck in D.C. for the impeachment proceedings, Biden and Buttigieg have free reign on the Iowa campaign trail. So why is Sanders surging in the polls? There are a few factors that could illustrate why this is happening.
For starters, Biden is his own worst enemy. While Warren lost traction because of the debate, Biden didn’t exactly distinguish himself either. He fumbled over his words and didn’t appear to make a strong case for why he should win the nomination. The fact that he continues to make unforced errors and gaffes certainly isn’t doing much to dispel the perception of some that he is too old and tired for the job.
Another element of this story is Warren’s decreasing numbers. She made a likely-fatal tactical error when she decided to go all #MeToo on Sanders and accuse him of saying a woman can’t be president. It seems that she didn’t see how this particular stunt could backfire. But to those on the outside looking in, the reason why it didn’t work is obvious: Warren isn’t exactly known for her honesty. Moreover, there is simply no way any rational person would blindly believe that someone like Sanders would make a sexist remark given his frequent nods to the “woke” crowd.
It seems that Democrats who have soured on Warren are placing themselves in the Sanders camp. This is a logical step as Warren has been ripping off his far-left policy proposals since the race began. After all, these voters wouldn’t exactly be looking to Biden to give them “free everything” as they would with Sanders, right?
Despite Sanders’ recent ascent, Biden still retains a strong chance of winning the nomination. David Paleologos, director of Suffolk’s Political Research Center told Fox News that, “Joe Biden continues to lead because the number one issue of caucus-goers is to defeat Donald Trump.”
The Democrats are intent on removing Trump from office, through impeachment or the ballot box. They can’t afford to put forth a candidate who will get bulldozed by the president on the campaign trail and during debates. Lately, Sanders came under fire for a series of missteps made by his campaign. Project Veritas exposed the fact that some members of his team favored putting dissidents in gulags and launching a Marxist revolution. The left recently attacked the senator after his campaign posted a video of comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan saying he might vote for Sanders in 2020.
It is probable that Democratic voters will still consider Biden to be their best chance to beat Trump in November. Despite his many gaffes, he does not come off as weak as Sanders, who fails to push back on those on his side who criticize him. Put simply, the old socialist is not a fighter, and a fighter is what is needed if the Democrats stand any chance of challenging the president.
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