The Corner


Poll: Biden Pays No Price for Uproar over His Handsiness

Joe Biden in Montclair, N.J., September 5, 2018 (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

The first national poll of the Democratic primary since Joe Biden’s handsiness became a top national news story finds that the scandal hasn’t put a dent in Biden’s Democratic coalition.

In the week before the story blew up on the weekend of March 31, a Politico/Morning Consult poll showed Biden in first place at 33 percent. In the new Morning Consult poll, conducted from April 1 to April 7, Biden is in first place at 32 percent. His favorability rating dipped from 78 percent to 75 percent.

The fact that the online furor over Biden’s too-close-for-comfort contact hasn’t hurt his polling is a good reminder that the coalition of Democrats who back Biden is wildly underrepresented on Twitter, where the former vice president’s likely campaign was pronounced D.O.A. last week.

A national Quinnipiac poll last month showed Biden with a 10-point lead among all Democratic primary voters, but he was in third place among Democrats who describe themselves as “very liberal.” Biden’s coalition is primarily made up of Democrats who describe themselves as moderate, conservative, or somewhat liberal. His coalition also skews older: Among voters age 18 to 49, he trailed Bernie Sanders by 4 points. Among Democrats age 50 and over, Biden led Sanders by 25 points.

We’re still about ten long months away from the Iowa caucuses, and Biden certainly has a lot of weaknesses that could sink him in the Democratic primary, but the widespread belief among many pundits that Biden has “almost no chance to win the nomination” strikes me as more than a bit bonkers.

Maybe at this moment Biden has a 20- to 30-percent chance of winning the nomination (which is to say that there is a 70- to 80-percent chance that Biden will not be the nominee), but that’s still about as good of a shot or better than any other candidate in this wide open race.

Most Popular


The 2020 Battle Begins

The 2020 campaign begins in earnest next week in Florida, when Donald Trump officially launches his reelection bid. On June 26, 20 Democratic candidates and five moderators hold the first of two nights of debates. Where do things stand? According to the polls, President Trump starts at a disadvantage. He has ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More