The general consensus regarding the top two Democrat challengers for the 2020 Democrat nomination is that Joe Biden would be a safer bet to beat Donald Trump while Bernie Sanders would have a more difficult time selling Americans on electing a socialist.
A new poll bears that out — but it comes as both Biden’s past and his party are busy destroying him.
The survey, released by Rasmussen on Friday, shows Trump with a 3-point lead on Vermont’s Sen. Sanders. Biden, meanwhile, maintains a lead on the president.
“The new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds Trump edging Sanders 47% to 44% among Likely U.S. Voters. But nine percent (9%) are undecided,” a statement from Rasmussen read.
“Sanders, the longtime Vermont senator who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, earns just 74% support among voters in his own party. One-in-five Democrats (19%) opt for Trump who has the backing of 83% of Republicans in a matchup with Sanders.”
Biden, meanwhile, holds a 49 percent to 44 percent edge over Trump in the poll.
“Democrats hold Biden in only slightly higher regard than Sanders,” Rasmussen announced. “But while 52% of unaffiliated voters have a positive opinion of the former vice president, 51% of these voters view Sanders unfavorably.”
The polling organization didn’t include any other candidates in the survey, saying that, due to the large size of the field, it is going “to run a series of matchups” for the next few weeks.
While it’s still early, the numbers are in line with other polls. A March Fox News poll showed both Biden and Sanders beating Trump, Biden by 7 percent and Sanders by 3 percent. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and California Sen. Kamala Harris, meanwhile, both lost to Trump by two points.
Also, much of this depends on whether former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz enters the race and can pull significant support. In a February survey by Optimus Consulting, only Biden was able to beat Trump with Schultz in the race. Harris, Warren and former Texas Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke lost to Trump. Sanders wasn’t included in that poll.
So, at this moment in time, Biden is the best matchup the Democrats have against Trump, if and when he declares. He’s ahead in recent RealClearPolitics polling data.
But most importantly for the 2020 campaign — he’s the candidate the left and the media seem most eager to destroy.
The biggest scandal that Biden has faced so far is accusations of inappropriate and/or weird touching, which led to a parade of videos showing the former vice president engaged in inappropriate and/or weird touching.
“I get it,” Biden said in an April 3 video trying to explain the behavior away. That didn’t seem so convincing when he was joking about it shortly afterward.
However, that’s probably not going to be the most troublesome issue for Biden in a race where identity politics is going to play a major role. Biden, it must be noted, has only recently pretended to be woke. He has a long and storied history of being very un-woke-like.
The latest controversy might be the most problematic for Biden: His fight against busing for forced school desegregation in the 1970s. No matter what your opinion on the matter, the current Democratic front-runner — then a young senator from Delaware — took a rather hardline stand on the issue.
Biden is now facing questions over letters he wrote in the 1970s to Sen. James Eastland, a notorious Mississippi segregationist — and a Democrat, of course — who was known to refer to blacks as “an inferior race.” Biden was thanking Eastland for his support on the busing issue.
“I want you to know that I very much appreciate your help during this week’s committee meeting in attempting to bring my anti-busing legislation to a vote,” stated a 1977 letter from Biden to Eastland, then the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The letters were dug up by CNN out of Eastland’s archives at the University of Mississippi.
Of course, it probably didn’t help that some of Biden’s other rhetoric on busing was revived by the media recently.
Take this tidbit: “I do not buy the concept, popular in the ’60s, which said, ‘We have suppressed the black man for 300 years and the white man is now far ahead in the race for everything our society offers. In order to even the score, we must now give the black man a head start, or even hold the white man back, to even the race,’” Biden said in 1975. “I don’t buy that.”
“I don’t feel responsible for the sins of my father and grandfather. I feel responsible for what the situation is today, for the sins of my own generation. And I’ll be damned if I feel responsible to pay for what happened 300 years ago,” he added.
And then there was the fact that he didn’t uncritically buy the allegations leveled by Anita Hill against now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during Thomas’ 1991 nomination process.
Biden now says “I regret I couldn’t give her the kind of hearing she deserved,” but it’s still a major sticking point with the activist base.
It probably didn’t help, too, that he was prepared to throw those activists a sop by selecting Stacey Abrams — the losing Georgia gubernatorial candidate who became a cause célèbre among Democrats — as his vice presidential candidate before he even got the nomination.
This was mostly, one gathered, because Abrams is an African-American woman who liberals continue to maintain lost her election because of racist legerdemain in Georgia’s voting system. To her credit, Abrams made it clear that her potential role as Biden’s No. 2 wasn’t going to happen.
How much of this is self-inflicted and how much has been inflicted upon Biden by the party base is certainly up for debate.
Surely some of it is self-inflicted, but that’s what you get when you pick a buffoon as your potential savior.
This is a man who once said “you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent” in the run-up to the 2008 campaign and told a mostly African-American audience on the 2012 campaign trail that Mitt Romney and Wall Street were “going to put y’all back in chains.”
That he has an entire career’s worth of this stuff to mine from shouldn’t surprise a living soul.
But that’s kind of the point — and it all adds up to a potential disaster for Democrats.
Nobody particularly cared about Biden’s checkered career until he became the front-runner and the Democratic base seems to have decided he’s not liberal enough for them.
Biden may be in the lead now, but lined up behind him are a bevy of candidates who are all far more liberal than he is. All it would take is a few withdrawals and Biden’s lead would evaporate in a hurry.
And that’s great news for Trump. After all, a matchup against a Sanders or a Harris — who are about as aligned with mainstream American values as George McGovern was in 1972 — seems to show Trump either in the lead or in a statistical tie.
If that’s what the Democrats want, well, you’re not going to see anyone in the administration complaining.
And even if the Trump camp has to see Biden in the general election, you can bet they’re going to be getting plenty of ammunition from the Democrats’ primary process and they’re going to ber more than ready to use it all against him. Either way, the president’s going to love this.