Wednesday’s debate was, aside from discussions on free college for undocumented immigrants, and whether to throw Donald Trump in jail or beat him first, a debate on a single subject: Joe Biden’s fitness as the Democratic nominee. There had been tremendous doubts following his first round face-plant in June. This time, Joe came ready. While he didn’t throw a perfect game, he did more than enough to get the win. The combative, belligerent Uncle Joe, who shredded both Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan before, returned on Wednesday night, after seven years of hibernation. And he had jokes.
Round 2 of the regular season for the Democratic presidential nomination kicked off Tuesday. Ten candidates, who were randomly chosen (and better selected than NBC), took the stage this night in Detroit. The other half, including presumptive former Vice President Joe Biden, will do so on Wednesday. Candidates did their best to put some distance between themselves and their rivals, with questions from CNN moderators more designed to generate clicks, views, likes, and retweets than actual substance. A host of issues were addressed, but the theme of this night was fear.
Following the first debates last month, polling for the Democratic presidential contenders coalesced around five main candidates. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kamala Harris (D-CA), and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg put some distance between themselves and the rest of the two-dozen strong field. Monday was Disclosure Day for the field, and sure enough, Biden, Bernie, Buttigieg, Warren, and Harris came out on top of the money race. Money talks, of course. Not always on its own, but often in echoes. With debate requirements tightening in the fall, the second quarter numbers offer the best picture yet as to who will go the furthest and who might be going home the soonest.
The big prize for Democrats is California and many people thought Sen. Kamala Harris would be favored, especially after her strong debate performance. If not Harris, than possibly former Vice President Joe Biden or even Sen. Bernie Sanders who had good showing in the 2016 primary election, in the State of California. However, the latest poll had Sen. Elizabeth Warren in first place, Harris in second by only a very thin margin, with Biden now down to third. If Harris can’t secure her home state in the Primary, her chances of success are thin.
Former Vice President Joe Biden former (D) is down but not out. He needs to find a working message. He is always being attacked and focusing solely on Trump is not working. He has failed to draw big rally crowds or a mass following. He holds the best pathway to the nomination but he is loosing steam even faster than most people believed he would. At the presidential scale, he is a poor candidate but a very likable guy. It appears he hardly ever controls or leads the conversation and often seems to be rambling.
Democratic presidential candidate, and four-term Congressman, Eric Swalwell (D-CA), announced the end of his brief campaign on Monday. The 38 year-old, who called on former Vice President Joe Biden to “pass the torch” during his lone debate performance, never came close to grabbing it, or any traction in the race. Swalwell becomes the first Democratic candidate— “major” or otherwise— to drop out. There are several others, polling at 1% or less, who should probably stop wasting their time and follow suit.
For a while it seemed like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were going to be the two Democrats to duke it out for the party’s presidential nomination, but that may no longer be the case. Senator Kamala Harris has become a major contender for the nomination almost overnight. She was able to go toe to toe with the older and more experienced politicians during the last debate, and most pundits concluded that she won the debate.
Just when you thought the field couldn’t get any bigger, the Democratic presidential race was joined, again. On Sunday, former Pennsylvania Congressman, and three-star admiral, Joe Sestak, threw his cover into an ever-expanding ring. He is the twenty-fifth major candidate to do so. While Sestak’s relatively late entry into the race may not pose much of a threat to the presumptive frontrunner, Joe Biden, it may signify that certain Democrats think he’s already in trouble.
For someone who speaks so often, and so fondly, of “democratic socialism,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) seems to have no idea what it is. On Wednesday, the two-time independent candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination delivered a “major speech,” entitled “How Democratic Socialism Is the Only Way to Defeat Oligarchy and Authoritarianism.” It was the second time he has attempted to describe this utopian society entirely free from want. And, just as in 2015, he left all but his most dedicated Berners wanting.
On polls, former Vice President Joe Biden (D) has about a 20 point lead over Sen Elizabeth Warren (D). Remember polls are not very accurate if the people being polled don’t trust the poll takers. With that said Biden has the clear advantage. Studies say that if the poll recipient believes there is evidence of a biases or polarity to their own personal belief or to what they are personally representing, they will not be completed forthright.
With Biden’s poll numbers coming down, you may be wondering what is hurting him and what is helping.
The Good News
Former Vice President Joe Biden has the best political lane to maintain his lead as the frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s nomination. In marketing we call this a niche. He has the conservative and more moderate Democrats. That might not produce as much Twitter activity or create as much internet buzz, but it does mean he holds the greatest number of votes.