Former Vice President Joe Biden has been the consistent leader in official polls since the race for the Democratic nomination began.
As a candidate, however, Biden has not been among the more inspiring to a number of voters. His ideas are perceived to be mostly centrist, conventional, and largely unoriginal, at least by the standards of many of today’s Democrats.
Joe Biden is generally an unexciting candidate. His platform is based on the presumption that, as a seasoned statesman, he’s been there before and he knows how to get things done in Washington.
However, his misstatements and gaffes during recent speeches and important debate appearances have become alarmingly frequent, enough to make even his most ardent supporters wonder whether he’s up to the task of running the country.
So nerve-wracking are the former vice president’s moments in front of cameras, that his campaign manager Greg Schultz has cut back Biden’s campaign schedule to limit public appearances.
Schultz began to notice a trend in polling data: the more Joe Biden speaks in public, the more his lead over rivals for the nomination shrinks. Just last week, an Economis/Yougov poll, released Friday morning, showed Warren running neck and neck with the former vice president, with just a single point separating the two.
Less exposure would mean fewer opportunities for Biden to put his foot in his mouth, Schultz surmises, and it can only help Biden hold his lead.
If CNN’s latest poll, released Tuesday, Aug. 20, is to be believed, the strategy of limiting Biden’s public exposure may already be starting to work. CNN concludes that Biden is back to a double-digit lead over nearest rivals Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.).
Keeping with the new trend, Biden plans to skip a DNC conference in San Francisco, this weekend, where hundreds of party delegates will be meeting with at least 13 of the other candidates. Biden also stayed away from the last DNC convention in San Francisco that drew thousands of potential primary voters in June.
Joe’s wife, Jill Biden, summed up the former vice president’s campaign strategy candidly, on Monday, Aug.19, when she spoke at a Biden campaign event in New Hampshire. The other candidates, Jill Biden believes, simply lack the ability to win a general election, even if some of them are more exciting than Joe.
“I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that,” Jill Biden said. “But I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who’s going to win this race.”
“Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is, but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election. And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘Okay, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump … We have to have someone who can beat him.”
For the moment, at least, Democrats are hoping that former Vice President Biden, dull as he may be to some, will still be appealing enough to mainstream voters to oust President Trump in 2020.