Former VP Joe Biden is now comfortably ahead in early Democratic 2020 presidential polling, and he's beating Trump handily in head-to-head matchups. The reason he's doing this is because he's playing to the middle, and that there's gettable white Trump voters who would vote for Biden over Trump...but tellingly, not for several other non-white, non-male Dems.
As Joseph R. Biden Jr. made his way across Iowa on his first trip as a 2020 presidential candidate, the former vice president repeatedly returned to one term — aberration — when he referred to the Trump presidency.
“Limit it to four years,” Mr. Biden pleaded with a ballroom crowd of 600 in the eastern Iowa city of Dubuque. “History will treat this administration’s time as an aberration.”
“This is not the Republican Party,” he added, citing his relationships with “my Republican friends in the House and Senate.”
There is no disagreement among Democrats about the urgency of defeating Mr. Trump. But Mr. Biden’s singular focus on the president as the source of the nation’s ills, while extending an olive branch to Republicans, has exposed a significant fault line in the Democratic primary.
Democrats, like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, see the president as a symptom of something deeper, both in a Republican Party overtaken by Trumpism and a nation cleaved by partisanship. Simply ousting Mr. Trump, they tell voters, is not enough.
It’s a debate that goes beyond the policy differences separating a moderate like Mr. Biden from an insurgent like Mr. Sanders, elevating questions about whether the old rules of inside-the-Beltway governance still apply. And it has thrown into stark relief one of the fundamental questions facing the Democratic electorate: Do Democrats want a bipartisan deal-maker promising a return to normalcy, or a partisan warrior offering more transformative change?
It's a legitimate question. The cynical calculus is that Biden can win and do what Obama or Hillary couldn't, because only swingable Obama-Trump voters matter, and they guide all of America.
I don't personally agree with that, but you know what? I'm not arrogant enough to think my views on the Democratic primary are typical of America, either. Biden is popular. He's not my first choice for the Dems, but he's not my last choice either.
We'll see where he goes. It enrages me that people OK with Trump are now cool with Biden, but I'm but one voter.
Most of all I want the GOP nightmare to end, but getting rid of Trump alone won't fix the problem. I know that. You know that.
Does Joe Biden?