It’s no secret that President Donald Trump is facing a difficult re-election campaign. He faces numerous challenges, including a low approval rating, seemingly unified opposition from the mainstream media, and his own tendency to tweet from the hip.
The 19 Democrats running for the chance to oppose Trump in the 2020 election will ultimately winnow down to a single challenger. But which one would prove the most difficult for Trump to defeat?
The polls all point to former Vice President Joe Biden as Trump’s toughest competitor. The RealClearPolitics head to head polling average has Biden beating Trump nationally by 11.5 points, with one poll placing the lead as high as 15 points.
97 percent of Democratic primary voters say that electability is an extremely important characteristic for their presidential candidate to have, and Joe Biden, thus far, appears to be the most electable of the Democratic field. This poll conducted by the Washington Post bears this out, with a large plurality of voters answering “Biden” in response to the question, “Which candidate has the best chance to defeat Trump.
Why is Biden beating Trump so handily and why is he considered so electable? The answer could be one of several different factors.
Lloyd Green at The Guardian attributes Biden’s electability to Biden’s ability to be a calming presence in these “tumultuous times,” as well as his ability to relate to people, “Simply, Biden ‘does’ reassuring naturally, and flashes emotional intelligence. It’s more about people than a cause, and in that sense, Biden is a candidate for our tumultuous times.” Green also calls Biden the “anti-Trump.”
The former vice president and his campaign have emphasized his ties to former President Barack Obama, who remains relatively untarnished in the public eye, with a 63 percent approval rating as of August 2018. Being able to tie himself to a still popular, and still vocal, former president is an advantage that none of the other candidates possess.
Biden’s rivals acknowledge this advantage as well according to an article published by Vanity Fair. “His campaign has done an excellent job staying on-message, hammering home that Trump is the issue and Biden is the most electable,” a top strategist for a rival Democrat says.
A key demographic that is vitally necessary to win over, in order to secure the Democratic presidential nomination are the black primary voter, for example, in South Carolina 60 percent of the Democratic voting demographic are black and overall 24 percent of the Democratic voting demographic are black.
Michael Nutter, a former Philadelphia mayor told Politico that, “You go with what you know. A lot of black voters know Joe Biden … There’s power in that and there’s loyalty in that.” Polling results with Biden holding a commanding two-thirds support of black voters aged 65 and older, in a poll conducted by Morning Consult, show he has a point.
On policy grounds, Biden is also seen as a more centrist, and safer candidate. He hasn’t advocated for stripping Americans of their healthcare, like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s plans would require, in order to implement a Medicare-for-all healthcare plan, a stance that probably is reassuring to older voters who are overwhelmingly satisfied with their healthcare plans.
In the September 12 Democratic debate, Biden pushed back on Warren and Sanders, insisting that Americans would not want to pay more in taxes, and that the cost of Medicare-for-all would be prohibitive to the country in general.
“Look everybody says we want an option, the option I’m proposing is Medicare-for-all, Medicare for choice, if you want Medicare, if you lose the job from your employer, you automatically can buy into this,” he said. “You don’t have no … no preexisting condition can stop you from buying into this. You get covered, period. And if you notice nobodies yet said how much its going to cost the taxpayer.” (RELATED: Biden Says He Can Add 720 Million Women To The Workforce)
Despite these advantages, any candidate that Trump ends up facing will likely be stiff competition. Whoever the Democratic candidate ends up being, they will inevitably be propped up by the majority of the mainstream media, who will spare no opportunity to give that candidate favorable press coverage, while doing precisely the opposite for Trump. This can be clearly seen considering that in 2018 Media Research Center found that 92 percentage of the coverage Trump received was negative, according to Investors.com.
The president also has a tendency to create his own problems, whether in the Oval Office or on the campaign trail, such as when he suggested that he could shoot someone in fifth avenue and not lose any voters.