This past weekend was a big one for the Democratic presidential candidates. In the aftermath of Super Tuesday, multiple candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg and former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg, suspended their campaigns. It was a slightly disappointing time for Bernie Sanders, as his campaign was surprised by the lack of youth voter turnout that resulted in the loss of multiple critical states. But one Democratic candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, rose above his competition and is once again considered the frontrunner in this primary race.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who once harshly criticized Biden, announced her support of him on March 8. “[Joe Biden] has served our country with dignity and we need him now more than ever,” Harris tweeted. “I will do everything in my power to help elect him the next President of the United States.”
Campaign dropouts Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) have endorsed Biden as well.
Celebrities, such as Cher, are using their platforms to co-sign Biden, too.
Some observers of the presidential race are a bit befuddled by what feels to them like a sudden turn to Joe Biden, who “just barely seemed to be hanging on to his campaign” heading into Super Tuesday, ESSENCE reports.
After underperforming during the Iowa Caucuses in February, it was believed that Biden would not be able to make it much further than Q1. He has also blundered a number of times since announcing his candidacy, like saying that we should keep “punching” at the issue of domestic violence and revealing that he would consider a Republican running mate.
But at the core of it, most voters are concerned with choosing a candidate who can beat Donald Trump. Though Biden appears to be out of touch in a number of ways, there are those who believe that he can win the presidency, as evidenced by Super Tuesday. Also, centrist politicians support him for his more moderate ideas.
“I think, in general, Joe Biden provides a safe bet and that makes career politicians feel more comfortable,” ESSENCE editor of News & Politics, Tayna Christian said.
“It’s not that Bernie Sanders can’t win. He’s shown twice now that he is a real contender and his policies and ideas appeal to a younger generation. But when it comes to execution, and when it comes to getting right-leaning or moderate voters to vote Democratic in the general election, Bernie Sanders feels too far left for them.”
Girls United co-founder Sophia Dennis shared a similar sentiment.
“There [would be] too much space to question the state of the Democratic Party if it elected a Democratic socialist, Dennis shared. “Traditional Democrats [would be] scared for the future of the party if [it were to be] led by Sanders. Sanders’ potential election is far from moderate, but most of America is moderate. Thus, we could expect a higher voter turnout if it came down to Trump vs. Biden. In terms of Biden, more people know him, more people are comfortable with his ideas, and he will most likely be able to win the independent, more moderate groups.”
So at the root, Biden’s rising support stems from his perceived electability and resistance to democratic socialism, not necessarily his policy proposals. It will be interesting to see how this election plays out, and who will be chosen to go against President Trump.
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