I saw a question online that asked “Why is Joe Biden a better candidate to run against Donald Trump than Hillary was in 2016?”
My answer was so detailed, I thought “why am I wasting all these words on random people when Alabama Liberal needs fresh content?” So here was my answer…[NOT ranked in order of importance
- I’m relatively young, and Hillary Clinton was demonized since I was in kindergarten. Two entire generations of voters grew up hearing “Hillary is the devil” or some equivalent (Pizzagate, she had people killed, her charity is a scam, etc.) and that is a tough thing for any candidate to overcome. People are only now hearing bad things about Joe Biden, and they’re really not so bad at all, and people can put that in the proper context of an election where mudslinging will take place.
2. People didn’t think Trump could win in 2016. Even Trump and his associates looked shocked on election night 2016. There are widespread reports that even his own team was like “what the…?” A lot of people that would’ve voted for Hillary, took it for granted that she would win and stayed home. That won’t be the case this November. 4 out of 5 of the last Presidents have been elected to a second term, so we obviously know the dangers of staying at home.
3. Hillary’s election models put too big an emphasis on young voters. This is the Democratic Party’s LEAST reliable voting group, and as I pointed out in the 1st point—they had grown up hearing how awful she was. Joe Biden does much, much better with older voters, and that’s really who you need. [The highest youth vote turnout in the last 40 years was for Dukakis who got beat in a landslide…18–29 have NEVER controlled a Presidential election.] Old people are election gold, and he is getting a much larger percentage of them than Hillary ever did.
4. Trump has no real line of attack against Biden. The two biggest things he’s using against him now are senility and patronage of his kids (the Burisma Ukraine thing), and these are hilariously hypocritical. In the case of senility, we can find countless clips of Trump saying things at his rallies that make no sense and his mental decline is obvious.
In the case of Biden’s son profiting off the Oval Office, Don Jr. and Eric have done everything but rent out the White House lawn to foreign dictators. And Trump going after Biden’s kids—when Biden lost his daughter in a car wreck and his other son Beau admirably served in the military (something Trump’s cowardly brats would never do) before dying of cancer possibly related to his service—will be extremely “boo” worthy and only make him look worse. Plus, he hopelessly tainted the thing against Hunter Biden by going to China and Ukraine to dig up dirt on him…something he’s been impeached over. It’d be stupid and desperate to keep bringing that up.
5. Historically, it would’ve taken a miracle to elect Hillary in 2016. The last two times you had back-to-back Democratic Presidents, it was because the first one died in office (JFK, FDR). Other than FDR/Truman, the last time you had 12 years of Democratic Presidents you have to go all the way back to Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren nearly two hundred years ago. The situation is different in 2020.
6. In 2016, Trump was able to be the “outsider” draining the swamp and fighting back the establishment. This cycle, he IS the establishment, and we’ve seen how ineffective it is when a President doesn’t believe in politics as usual. Trump has burned through his cabinet (he’s had four Chief of Staffs in less than 4 years) and hasn’t properly staffed the State Department (and other executive branch departments) since he’s been in office, because he’s paranoid the “deep state” is going to poison his McDonald’s or something. Half of the reason this Coronavirus thing is so bad isn’t the virus itself but his incompetent, understaffed response to it. I’m thinking the vast majority of people would very much like the “establishment” to make a comeback and the adults to reenter the room, and the people who don’t feel that way aren’t as motivated to vote for an incumbent President anyway. Essentially, he’s stuck between two different groups that don’t want him.
7. Biden enjoys better blue collar (and white working class) support than Hillary ever did. Just last night, we saw him beat Bernie Sanders in Michigan and Idaho—two states that Bernie won handily in 2016—and that’s not the first time he’s gotten states Bernie won easily 4 years ago. People talk a lot about Biden’s great support among African Americans, single women, and suburban voters, but all those groups were with Hillary too. The big reason he’s flipping states is he has significantly better support with white working class voters than Hillary did. Wrongly, a lot of voters saw Hillary as this Republican rich girl who didn’t really care about them, but “working class Joe” rides a damn Amtrak for God’s sake. He’d do this entire campaign by rail if he could. This cycle, Trump looks like exactly what he is: the rich snob villain in your favorite movies.
8. Speaking of Bernie Sanders, people aren’t going to fall for his BS this time. In 2016, he lost that race flat-out in mid-March when Ohio, Virginia, and Florida all broke for Hillary in a huge way, but he kept running until the very last state voted. And in those last three months, every attack he used on Hillary was the same that Trump eventually did in the general election: she voted for NAFTA, she’s vaguely corrupt, she voted for the Iraq War, she’s a Wall Street sell-out, etc. He practically gave Trump a MAP on how to peel away the upper Midwest from Hillary. But now Bernie is out there saying the exact same things against Joe Biden and it looks like “Okay Bernie…so you’re gonna do the exact same thing AGAIN? Hell no, we’re not having it.” Bernie Sanders has lost this nomination, and the longer he stays in there, the more it just makes him look like the bitter, vain-glorious old man he has ALWAYS been.
9. Yes, gender does play some role. I don’t think it’s fair that a lot of people won’t vote for a woman for President. I don’t agree with it. I supported Hillary big time (and Kamala this cycle), but I do think there are just some out there that won’t go for Hillary that will go for Biden. Some of that is personality, but probably some of it is just gender. And that sucks, but I do think it’s a factor.
10. Not only does Biden do substantially better with older voters and blue collar voters than Hillary did, but he does much better with rural voters. That really matters since rural areas have disproportionately more power than urban areas do. [18% of the country controls half the senate, just for one example.] The electoral college was set up to give a higher percentage of power to rural areas than they would have under a straight popular vote. It’s a system that favors them, and so it does matter that Biden can do better in rural areas than Hillary did.
In summary: he does dramatically better with the groups you actually need to be President, and Trump as an incumbent is a known-quantity to be fighting against vs. a candidate nobody thought could win.