Biden booms in the polls at Bernie’s expense – Washington Examiner

I‘ve been accused of overstating former Vice President Joe Biden’s potential in the 2020 presidential primary. After all, he’s a gaffe-prone septuagenarian who touts occupational licensing reform and maintaining our private health insurance industry. And he’s in a Democratic Party led by a socialist who honeymooned in the Soviet Union and a 29-year-old former bartender who believes that ” like, the world will end in 12 years” because of climate change.

Well, I’m pleased to inform you that your takes are garbage. The polls have proven me correct.

A new Morning Consult Poll gave Biden more than a third of the Democratic vote, an increase of six percentage points from last week. A new CNN poll gave Biden an astounding 39%. And a new Quinnipiac poll gave Biden a 26 point lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who came in third, following Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who saw a small bump to 12%.

These are Obama 2008 polling numbers in a Republican 2016 sized-field. Biden’s strategy to let the buzz around him grow as the rest of the field tripped all over each other in their race to beat Bernie to the Left clearly worked. The only candidate other than Biden, Bernie, and Warren to make the double digits in any of these polls was South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who earned 10% in the Quinnipiac poll. Hell, Andrew Yang is polling better than sitting U.S. senators, and his Real Clear Politics average doesn’t even hit 2%.

Even better for Biden are the policy implications of the polls. The majority of Americans opposed free college paid for with new taxes on the wealthy, and just four in ten polled by Quinnipiac support it. The numbers are nearly the same for support (or lack thereof) for funding student loan forgiveness with new taxes on the wealthy. And a whopping 65% of those polled oppose allowing inmates to vote from prison, with just three in ten supporting it.

Biden also hasn’t backed himself into the corners we already know exist. Fewer than 4 out of 10 Americans support abolishing private health insurance and replacing it with a Medicare For All program that requires higher taxes, a policy Sanders and most of the field has endorsed. Instead, Biden seems to back a public option, which 75% of the public supports. He also hasn’t fallen into the third-trimester abortion trap. Just 13% of Americans favor legal third-trimester abortions, but most of the Democratic field has effectively endorsed them anyway.

Biden’s opening pitch as a happy warrior has clearly worked. Both it and his candidacy itself have been well-received. Maybe voters admire specific aspects of Biden’s candidacy, but maybe a lot of Americans are just tired of candidates calling for federal job guarantees and the prosecution of a sitting president.

Maybe Uncle Joe is just a beloved known entity to plenty of the country, and a silent majority of the Democratic base is happy to return to liberal normalcy after two and a half years of ugly partisan warfare spilling into civil society.

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