Pity Joe Biden. He’s just not crazy enough for this generation of Democrats.
Biden’s claim of “electability” compared to more radical Democrats resonated with the average party member — at first. The former vice president built a sizable lead in the polls.
But as time went on and Biden’s “liberal lite” agenda became apparent, he began to bleed support. Numerous gaffes that called into question his fitness to serve didn’t help either.
Recent news about Biden trailing in Iowa and California was bad enough. But now, several polls out this week in New Hampshire and South Carolina show his numbers crumbling, despite the fact he still holds a lead in national polls.
The former vice president continues to lead most national polls. He’s run ahead of Trump in general election matchups in every major poll conducted this year. But the downward trend in Biden’s primary election top-line numbers and favorability ratings— which began long before reports surfaced recently detailing how President Donald Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate old business ties involving the former vice president’s son — suggests several bruising months have taken a toll.
“Biden’s support was always soft. That’s the key,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “Unlike some of the other candidates, Biden’s support isn’t as locked in. He doesn’t have that ‘it’ factor.”
That “it” factor is how much appeal he has to the radical activists who are in charge of the Democratic Party. Biden has refused to embrace the Green New Deal, has heavily criticized Medicare for all, and has generally refused to support other items on the radicals’ agenda that are near and dear to their hearts.
The result has been that his more radical challengers have drawn even or ahead in several state polls:
With more than four months until Iowa’s Feb. 3 caucus, there is plenty of time for the dynamics of the race to change. But there’s also cause for some alarm for Biden. In New Hampshire, Tyson’s just-completed 600-likely voter poll shows Warren with 18 percent of the vote and Biden 15 percent in an open-ended ballot question. It’s a dramatic change from his last poll, with Biden dropping 18 points while Warren gained 7 — a 25-point shift.
While the methodologies differ slightly, those New Hampshire numbers resemble a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday, which had Warren leading Biden by 2 points in a survey of 401 voters.
“We are seeing in our poll that people are saying Warren is electable. She’s pragmatic,” said Murray. “I heard that when I talked to voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, and we’re seeing that in polls now.”
Pragmatic? Maybe someone should add up the cost of all the new programs she intends to enact and figure how much it will add to our already trillion-dollar deficit.
Perhaps most significantly, Biden has dropped off a cliff in South Carolina — a state that was once secure for him:
Similarly, since May, Biden has dropped by 18 points in South Carolina, though he still remains in first place there with 19 percent of the vote, according to Tyson’s 600-voter poll.
Biden’s main hope is that Warren’s support has a ceiling and as more candidates drop out of the race, more voters will gravitate to the less extreme alternative.
But history has shown that as the primaries go along, the front-runner garners more and more support — even from supporters of candidates who might differ ideologically from the front-runner. Everyone loves a winner, which is why any late comeback by Biden simply isn’t in the cards.
He’s not dead yet. But the fat lady is definitely warming up.