Biden, Not Sanders, Is the Key to a Democratic Victory in November

Why Democrats Must Nominate Biden, the More Electable Candidate

Graham Quigley, Sports Editor

The fate of both the Democratic Party and the United States of America rests on the outcome of this November’s election. Yet, if Democrats fail to understand the monumental gravity and immense danger present in this election, the nation will not only face another four years of Donald Trump as president but also see countless pieces of harmful legislation enacted that will outlast those four years. A Democrat must get elected to the Oval Office, and if one doesn’t, these grave dangers will soon become reality.

Although Bernie Sanders and his campaign are taking an honorable role in pushing the Democratic Party to be more progressive, the fact still remains that the election holds immense importance to the country’s future, and Sanders is neither favorable enough in his own party nor electable in a general election. Sanders has promoted ideas like Medicare for All and free college, which to the naked eye sound like brilliant ideas. However, on closer inspection, these ideas would cost the American tax-payer tens of trillions of dollars, which, like it or not, in a general election, is political suicide. At the same time, Sanders has campaigned as a democratic socialist, and while in a Democratic Primary, although somewhat rare, this position can attract voters, in a general election, the word will awaken thought of Fidel Castro for many independents and Republicans.

Who Democrats choose as their nominee is also critical because it will impact whether Democrats are elected in down-ballot races in the Senate and the House of Representatives —the nominee must inspire voters to vote for other Democrats. This is something that Sanders will likely be unable to do because, for much of the country, his politics are too far left. In battleground states like North Carolina and Arizona, where incumbent Republican senate seats are up for grabs in 2020, these ultra-progressive ideas like Medicare for All will, in all likelihood, fail to attract borderline voters. In contrast, Joe Biden single-handedly won both of these states in landslides, as well as Michigan, Virginia, and Florida, all of which are crucial toss-up states in the general election. Moreover, in toss-up districts that were won by Democrats in the 2018 midterms, the overwhelming majority of these representatives have declared their support for Biden. Specifically, Biden has received the endorsements of Jim Clyburn, a House of Representatives member from South Carolina and the highest-ranking African American congressman, as well as Paul Lowe, a state senator in North Carolina and a leader of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus.

The immense support that Biden has received among African Americans (one of the most reliable demographic of voters in the Democratic Party)  is also a reason for his candidacy, as he has virtually swept the South. Sanders, on the other hand, has done significantly worse among this demographic and has even called it quits in some of these states by pulling out of rallies last minute.

Biden has consistently campaigned as a candidate who can reunite and fix the broken bonds that Trump has created, whereas Sanders has exemplified Trump-like polarizing behavior.”

The gravity of the election only becomes more serious with the Supreme Court on the line. Republicans already have a majority after Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmations under Trump, and could gain an even larger majority if Republicans retain control of the White House and the Senate. Currently, liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg (who recently underwent treatment for a cancerous tumor) and Stephen Breyer are respectively 87 and 81 years old, and, presumably, at least one of them will be replaced in the next four years. If Trump wins in 2020, the court would then have a conservative supermajority and have the ability to overturn monumental cases such as Roe v. Wade (which guarantees a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion). With Supreme Court nominations as well as congressional elections on the line, nominating an electable Democratic candidate like Biden becomes much more significant.

Biden has consistently campaigned as a candidate who can reunite and fix the broken bonds that Trump has created, whereas Sanders has exemplified Trump-like polarizing behavior. Sanders has accused his fellow Democratic candidates, Biden among them, as somehow irredeemable for their past actions such as Biden’s vote for the Iraq war or for their wealthy campaign donors. These statements by Sanders are incredibly short-sighted, as they both fail to recognize the growth that other candidates have made and ignore the mistakes Sanders has made (for example, his vote in the mid-2000s against a bill that would allow people to levy wrongful death lawsuits against the NRA). I would be fine with forgiving Sanders for a mistake in his past, but when he portrays his record as better and perfect, it is difficult to support him.

The behavior of some Bernie supporters, often labeled “Bernie Bros,” has also been less than commendable, as there have been instances of abuse and online attacks aimed at those who are wary of Sanders. Although these instances of obstreperous behavior are not necessarily representative of the Sanders campaign or Sanders’s character, the question of what attracts these people to his campaign is worth considering.

The recent rush to align with Biden by former candidates Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, as well as Beto O’Rourke is further proof of the fit that Biden has for the Democratic party and the nation at this time. His wins in states like Michigan and Virginia, places where Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, and the immense turnout he drew in those places are significant indicators of the electability and favorability Biden has among disgruntled suburban women Republicans and rust-belt Democrats. 

With near perfection on Super Tuesday and polling dates thereafter, the Biden-led ticket is becoming more and more likely and will require those who were “Bernie ’till the end” to shift their mindsets with the end goal of a blue wave in November.