Back in April, former Vice President Joe Biden announced that he was entering the race to the White House for the 2020 election. This announcement came after months of hesitation, where his peers had already declared themselves as candidates. And in this race, time is of the essence. In this election cycle, will we see a successful Biden riding a wave of popularity and getting the party nomination, or will we see the Democratic Party fracture just as it did in the run-up of the 2016 election? While Biden’s announcement for his bid at presidency has garnered support, there have also been people who’ve been turning against him and other moderate democrats. Will he be successful, or will Biden become the Hillary Clinton of this election?
In terms of popularity, Biden is doing the best compared to his fellow candidates. According to RealClearPolitics, Biden’s polling experienced a sudden pop of popularity and ticked up to 41.4 percent from the 29 percent he was at nearly a month ago. This is significant, since Biden (after a modest decline to 34.7) now holds a 17 percent lead over his nearest competitors. Biden also leads Trump in the polls by 8.1 percentage points. Joe Biden has always been a popular figure, so this is not much of a surprise. With his past as Obama’s VP, Biden has become a household name and is recognized by many Americans. However, the race to the White House is a marathon, not a sprint. In a year from now, Joe Biden could either be a likely future president, or his popularity could have fizzled out, and he could be struggling to garner votes.
Biden has spent the last month pitching a message of unity. He has pushed his message for the American people instead of just one side of a political party. Actively trying to win Republican voters from Trump’s camp, he’s decided to present a return to past politics, albeit a very different idea from the past that Trump has promoted. Biden has advocated for a “return to normalcy.” He wants a less polarized America, one that is willing to negotiate instead of grid-lock within itself. But will this approach get him to the White House?
Joe Biden has essentially rejected the Democratic party’s anger in his call for unity. In the effort of gaining support from voters on the other aisle, Biden risks isolating members of his own party. Biden himself stated in his announcement speech in Philadelphia that people have told him that Democrats aren’t looking for unity, but he believes that, at the end of the day, Democrats want to heal this rift and unify the nation. The Democratic Party, which brought many new people of all walks of life into office during the 2018 election, may not be so willing to compromise with Republicans, regardless of how hard Biden pushes for unity. Biden is, after all, an older moderate politician with his own #MeToo scandals in a party that is increasingly defining itself as being young, female and diverse. Will this cause another fracturing of the Democratic Party, or will Biden’s message of unity pull through? The country doesn’t need a re-run of the 2016 elections. If Biden does fracture the party, he will essentially be giving Trump another four years in the White House. But only time will tell us if he prevails and brings unity to this country, or if he fails and divides it even more.