On Wednesday, centrist candidate and Democratic Primary frontrunner Joe Biden on Wednesday offered up a smug response. He was discussing the potential of debating progressive candidate Bernie Sanders.
Biden told reporters that he felt as though the primary has “had enough debates.” He says the Democratic party “should get on with this.”
This statement comes after Sanders signaled earlier in the week that he was open to another debate, should one be scheduled, and that he had no intention of dropping out of the race. At present, Biden holds 1,215 of the delegates, while Sanders has 910. The next major contest is in New York.
New York would offer up a sizable chunk of delegates, offering 224 delegates based on performance within various congressional districts. Should Bernie sweep the entire state, he’d be brought up to 1,134 delegates. While unlikely, this means that Sanders does, technically, still have a shot at the nomination.
Why Does This Matter?
Biden, seen by many as the “establishment” candidate, has flummoxed many younger voters. Young people wonder how his campaign has accrued so many votes. Sanders, who is overwhelmingly popular with voters under 40, has succeeded on very progressive messaging, such as Medicare for All, eliminating student debt and putting an end to “dark money” in politics.
Biden, on the other hand, has campaigned largely on his reputation as Obama’s VP, and has promised a “return to normal.” His message has done quite well with older Democratic voters, many of whom fondly remember the Obama era. However, several political commentators worry that Biden could be a weak candidate to run against Trump.
The ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ Argument
Many have noted that Biden is beating Bernie by appealing to older voters and promising a “return,” while Trump also campaigned in 2016 on the idea of “Making America Great Again,” and of returning to a prior era. Sanders, on the other hand, has been campaigning on progressive, forward-thinking policies.
This has led many to note that the Biden campaign would likely struggle against Trump. Donald Trump would remind voters that the economy has soared under the Trump administration, but was somewhat flat under Obama.
Meanwhile, a Biden victory in the primary could demoralize young voters who were energized for Sanders. This could bring about a repeat of 2016, when Clinton lost to Trump due to her unpopularity with younger voters.
The New York primary is on April 28. However, officials delayed many other primaries due to the coronavirus. Everything from the MLB to 5g phone networks being rolled out has been impacted by the virus. The Democratic primary is no different.