Joe Biden did not even announce he would run for the 2020 Democrat nomination, but that did not stop Iowans from putting him in the lead in a new poll.
A poll conducted by CNN, Des Moines Register and Mediacom Iowa, found that 27% of likely Iowan Democratic caucus participants surveyed chose the former vice president as their first choice, giving them the highest net-worth among candidates. possible, with 81%. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders came in second with 25% of respondents saying they would vote for him as their first choice.
In a distant third: uncertainty. One-tenth of voters said they were not sure what their first choice was 20 months after the 2020 presidential election, a higher proportion than those who supported another well-known senator. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren ranked fourth with 9% of Democratic caucus supporters, saying she was their choice for the candidate.
A comparison with the poll conducted in December 2018 by the trio shows the narrowing gap between President Barack Vice President of Obama and 77-year-old senator. Biden, 32%, and Sanders, 19%. First choice votes only three months earlier, while neither of the two candidates – with most potential candidates – had declared their candidacy.
Democrats, especially moderates – from Iowa and elsewhere – are wondering if they want to advance their bid for 2020.
Although Sanders got the support of a quarter of the caucus Democrat supporters who responded, about twice as many thought it was too liberal – even as many survey participants supported progressive issues such as Medicare-for- all, a minimum of $ 15. salary, and college without tuition.
This embodies what Sam Rosenfeld described for Vox as a growing divide within the Democratic Party. The party moves to the left (according to its long tradition of left-wing internal activism), while progressive legislators reject the idea that they were modeled by traditional democratic liberalism:
"We have witnessed the victories of the insurgents in the primaries by the progressives and also the successful campaigns of the moderates supported by the institutions. Meanwhile, the substance of the party's program continues to go left, with both left-wing and centrist candidates supporting Medicare-for-all, a $ 15 minimum wage, and a tuition-free university. "
… This is good news for the left and the story helps to account for what we see. The followers of Sanders and other like-minded progressives, many of whom are comfortable with the language of socialism and a sharp criticism of American liberalism, generally present themselves as a new and fundamentally external force in democratic politics. .
And Biden, despite its initial popularity, could pose some of the party's concerns like Hillary Clinton in 2016, as Matthew Yglesias of Vox noted. Aged 77, he is a traditional democrat, just like other traditional democrats. But what it means to be a traditional democrat has changed considerably since Biden entered the Senate 46 years ago. "
More importantly, Yglesias added that a decades-long political career could open Biden to right-wing attacks as well, just as the Clinton years in the public eye had provided him with a treasure of fodder.
What caused Clinton, is that the public was not exposed to her personality – which was sparkling enough to make her the most admired woman in America for 17 years before she lost the right to Michelle Obama in 2018 – but a careful review of all the details of a decade – long career in public life. This, in turn, is exactly the same problem that Biden will inevitably encounter as a presidential candidate. Americans love strangers and new faces, not veteran insiders who bear the scars of all the political controversies of the past two generations.
Whether the electors (extremely important) of Iowa and those in the country want a seasoned legislator, a self-identifying progressive or a new face, they will have many options. As more and more Democrats get into the race, another recent poll by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal showed that while President Donald Trump is very loyal to his party, 48% of respondents said that 39, they would vote for a Democrat, against 41% they would vote for Trump. The battle will be long and arduous on both sides of the aisle around November 2020.