In Support of Biden in 2020

Nominating a Moderate Is Best Path to Victory


Lara Garay

Joe Biden has yet to announce a run for president.

Oscar Berry, Opinion Editor

Since former Maryland Representative John Delaney announced his campaign for President on the Democratic ticket in 2017, he has been officially joined by eleven other candidates (with many others still undecided). However, one political heavyweight, former Vice President Joe Biden, still hasn’t committed to running, though it is looking likely that he will. This is good news, because while the Democratic Party may be looking for a younger, more progressive candidate, Biden is the best chance they’ve got if they want to beat Donald Trump.

Recently, there has been a growing narrative in left-wing politics: President Trump is so unpopular that any Democrat would be able to beat him, and therefore Democrats should nominate the most progressive candidate possible to push through progressive policies. This narrative is both false and dangerous. Trump is currently polling around 43% approval according to FiveThirtyEight, the same as both Presidents Obama and Reagan had at this point in their terms before winning re-election. The incumbency offers numerous political advantages; his bad behavior and scandals have been normalized, and the Republican Party is currently far more unified than their opposition, which has already faced bruising inter-party conflicts since taking control of the House in January. Finally, Democrats run the real risk of nominating a candidate that is, yes, too progressive for the national audience; Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris, just to name a few, face large net disapproval ratings, almost equal to the President’s, as a result of their progressive stances on key issues.

Biden appeals strongly to two key voter blocs: independents and suburban females.

Biden appeals strongly to two key voter blocs: independents and suburban females, who were fed up with career politicians and willing to shake things up by voting for Trump in 2016, but have been left disillusioned by how the President has conducted himself in the Oval Office. These same voters who wanted to do away with business as usual are now seeking stability, not another anti-establishment candidate who promises more volatility and conflict. Biden would also help remove the threat of a third party candidacy from the center.

Already, many are fearful that an independent campaign by former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz could “spoil the election” by splitting off moderate voters, therefore handing it to President Trump. Yet, Mr. Schultz has personally promised not to run if Democrats nominate a “reasonable, centrist” candidate, and has specifically alluded to Mr. Biden in those terms. Democrats should be focused on building a big tent and uniting as much as the country against the divisive and destructive presidency of Donald Trump. They should follow Mr. Shultz’s suggestion to nominate a moderate in order to give them the best odds possible.

Finally, Joe Biden offers America the chance to hit the reset button. Ever since the 2016 election, America has been spiraling downwards in a whirlwind of partisanship, anger, and political toxicity. More and more voters are prioritizing “defeating the other” over responsible governance or even traditional liberal values like free speech and individual liberty. These trends pose a real threat to our democratic system, and both parties are increasingly pushing for rule changes to disincentivize bipartisan collaboration and prevent the minority party from influencing policy.

No matter what, it is essential in 2020 that we nominate and elect politicians to begin pushing back against this dangerous trend; Biden, whose strong credibility is derived from his service under the Obama presidency, harkens back to a time when public service was more responsible and honorable, and can help set a more positive and constructive narrative for American politics.


This piece also appears in our March 2019 print edition.