Joe Biden vs The Field

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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  1. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    A majority of Democrats do not want Biden to be the nominee. The problem is that they are splitting the vote between Sanders, Warren, and Harris, with rest getting enough to hang on but no snowball’s chance to cinch the nomination. Beto’s fundraising was not very good this time around.

    Sanders big showing last time was because he got all the no-HRC votes. So is brand is less popular than thought.

    If this continues, Biden can potentially win on a plurality.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      The lane Biden is in, moderates, is also a LOT bigger and more populous than the lanes the other contenders are fighting it out for to his left.
      And Bernie is just slaying the arch liberal wing by sitting there pretty much tying that 20% up for himself and he’s got enough money to tie up that support all the way to the convention. Thank God(ess?) for uncle Bernie!

      I still wish it wasn’t Joe who was #1.. but I’d rather him than Bernie or anyone more wildly liberal than that.

      On the other hand everyone and their dog will be gunning for Biden next debate. The moderates need him out of the big lane so they can have a shot and the liberals need him to go down so that can try and fracture the moderate lane across multiple candidates. Biden had better fishing prepare; he needs to do a hell of a lot better in debate #2 than he did in #1.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
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        says:

        I will vote for Biden or Bernie if they get the nomination but they are way too old. I’m a big Warren fan and I think she is pushing it age wise too.

        So I don’t quite get how age is not a factor in the calculus people are making considering that I think it is fairly obvious that Trump suffers from some kind of cognitive decline.

        Plus I do think the liberal lane is pretty big but divided. I know you like the “Democrats are a moderate party” mantra though. I’d go for a 50/50 split.

        The problem with 2018 is that there are examples that confirm everyone’s priors.Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Saul Degraw
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          says:

          Depends on how you define Liberal. Hidden tribes says the high-liberal-extremely-woke section of the party is about 20% of it. But it’s not like one can just easily cut off the various subsections of the left and say “this is where you’re liberal/moderate/progressive/woke/socialist etc…” very easily. It’s a gradient. But if you look at the front runners; only Bernie really is an obvious leftist liberal lane candidate. All the rest of them are more moderate than leftist though I’ll grant Warren has a foot in each pool. Still, I think our extremely woke contingent is like the GOP’s libertarians. Big noisy online presence but pretty skimpy in actual voter numbers.

          I share your concern about age. I’d vote for a clockwork toy over any Republican and I’d vote for a clockwork toy on top of a bomb over Trump. I really wish Biden were out of the picture and his support was going to another moderate.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to North
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            says:

            I am not defining liberal by the extremely online/very woke contingent. I am defining it though as people who probably want bolder policy on numerous issues than Uncle Joe is offering.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      A majority prefer someone other than Biden. That’s not the same thing.Report

      • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Will Truman
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        says:

        Or, not a majority prefer him as their first choice… how do you think he fares in your ranked voting scheme? I have not idea… is he a consensus 2nd choice? Or is it the case that once you introduce ranked voting then all the votes reshuffle?Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Marchmaine
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          says:

          Last I recall Biden was the second choice of a large number of Bernie supporters and a large number of Harris supporters. Bernie was 2nd choice for a majority of the Biden supporters. I don’t recall where Warren fit in.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to North
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            says:

            According to this poll, Biden’s favorable/unfavorable is 71/20. Only Sanders does better 71/19. Warren is 61/15 and Harris something like 55/15.

            Given Biden’s and Sanders’s numbers, not sure there is a good argument about votes coalescing. Also, we may be overestimating the concept of lanes…

            Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to North
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            says:

            That is accurate per Fivethirtyeight. It’s weird that Biden and Sanders are in the same lane. Everyone expected it to be Biden/Harris and Sanders/Warren. They also have some polling that shows Warren and Harris are bumping into some anti-female sentiment.Report

            • Avatar InMD in reply to Mike Dwyer
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              says:

              I don’t think it’s weird at all. I’m a Bernie sympathizer and will probably vote for him or Warren in our primary (not that it matters) but Biden is easily my backup. For me the calculus is simple. I think the priority of the federal government needs to be an overhaul of the 3 H’s- housing, healthcare and higher ed to keep our middle class and consumer driven economy strong.

              These are the strong points of those 3 among the plausible candidates, with Warren and Bernie ready to go harder and Biden being an incrementalist. Conversely I see the woke class as a dangerous cancer arguably worse than the alt right because they actually have powerful support in higher ed, the media, and corporate America. I hope for their wholesale defeat, won’t touch any D who goes too far in that direction with a 39.5 foot poll, and I don’t think I’m alone.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to InMD
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                says:

                This is a really interesting take. I guess I’m unclear how the Woke feel about Bernie. If he isn’t their preferred candidate…is it Warren?Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                I think Warren has her followers in that camp, and her standing has been hurt with me when she flirts with it. However I find her basic two income trap thesis too compelling to drop her over it.

                My perception is that to the intersectionality voters Bernie is just another old white guy who hates immigrants and with too many other heresies, the primary one being his prioritization of economic/class issues over identitarianism.

                My totally unscientific perception is that group is scattered but with Harris being the favorite. Remember, at the end of the day they believe identity trumps policy and a black woman will check the most boxes on the hierarchy. She’s also an upper middle class professional by trade so she knows their language.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Yeah, this is probably the right analysis. It’s about checking boxes (although obviously that hurts Warren). I do get a super-strong HRC vibe from Harris so one wonders the same things about her that I wondered about in 2016 i.e. is she actually a tough-nosed moderate on certain issues or once she is in office would she go full Progressive?Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                Harris has no record in her past career of being a hard core progressive or even a more lefty kind of liberal. Just because the woke left deems her the most supportable because her identity checks the most boxes for them doesn’t make her woke left. I don’t see how one could think that she’d suddenly transform out of the blue into a raging lefty when she’s never been one before. It’s not like her centrism is some kind of guise assumed for the campaign.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to North
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                says:

                The couple of issues that Harris has me nervous on is reparations and guns, but the latter is basically Democratic dogma now (ass an AWB, eliminate 0.02% of all gun deaths and pat yourself on the back). On the former it could just be pandering to undercut Cory Booker.

                I will say that if you could guarantee me that Trump would actually debate her next year i would temporarily register as a Democrat to vote for Harris in the Kentucky primaries. I think she would crucify him on a debate stage. All it takes is one big stroke or heart attack and maybe a lot of this all goes away.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to Mike Dwyer
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                says:

                I dunno about reparations; the only thing any Dems are on record in favor of is investigating the matter it which is well and good since, as soon as you study it, the obvious lack of feasibility of any kind of individual compensation scheme as a practical or political matter spills out everywhere.

                I share your suspicion that Harris would crucify Trump in a debate; but I have an unhappy feeling that it’d redound poorly for her with voters because of the double standard women face in those scenarios.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to North
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                says:

                I actually did some more digging on Harris’ position on reparations and I need to retract my previous statement. She wants to explore investing in policies and programs that would benefit blacks, but this isn’t the old idea of sending everyone a check. Similar to Williamson’s plan, which she explained on Dave Rubin’s show, and which I thought was very sensible. I really like the idea of intensely focusing on helping black communities and investing billions in the project, but it has to be smarter than just giving away money,Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to North
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                says:

                To be clear I think she’d be a corporatist hardcore anti-civil liberties kind of president, but not a particularly woke one. Probably a lot like Hilary without the baggage.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to InMD
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                says:

                I’m struggling to see how that would be a bad thing.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to North
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                says:

                It ain’t my bag. I’m un-reconstructed on civil liberties (meaning unlike most modern Dems I actually believe in them as a matter of principle) and reflexively anti-war. I also think the last thing we need is another leader in the pocket of high finance.

                Like I said to Still below if its her v. Trump she’s my narrow preference but I wouldn’t be happy about it and I won’t support her in the primary.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to InMD
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                says:

                I think she’d be a corporatist hardcore anti-civil liberties kind of president

                Ie., a centrist.

                And I agree on your last point. She’d be, politically, exactly like Hillary.

                I’ll happily vote for her if it comes to that.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Stillwater
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                says:

                I mean if its her v. Trump I’d consider Harris a lesser of two evils. Probably wouldn’t vote for her though since it isn’t strictly necessary where I live.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to InMD
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                says:

                (Not that I’d vote Trump under any circumstances obviously)Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Marchmaine
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          says:

          I don’t know how many people prefer Biden has a second choice. From what I’ve heard (very third hand), a lot of Biden voters have a second choice for Bernie and a lot of Harris voters state Warren is their second choice. I think it would be odd for someone to pick Biden as a second choice honestly.

          FWIW, I thought that Harris would emerge as a compromise candidate, she is fairly progressive but can still get tough (I honestly think the number of people for whom Kamala’s a cop is a deal breaker can fit into a small conference room in the Sioux Falls Courtyard Marriot). But she is also a bit more polished/corporate in demeanor as compared to Warren.

          I think Warren’s big issue is that she has a passionate but very narrow base for highly-educated, professional liberals and needs to expand to other groups. Harris strikes me as having a bit broader base.Report

  2. Avatar Mike Dwyer
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    says:

    I actually added another Dem onto the list of candidates I can vote for. Listen to a 70 minutes interview with Marianne Williamson and she impressed the hell out of me. She’s very well-spoken, obviously very smart and has a great knowledge of US history. I kept waiting for her to go into looney land and it never happened. I was shocked and kind of bemused. I would seriously vote for her today.Report

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