Biden Struggles to Gain Support

Biden Struggles to Gain Support

( – Democrats are not excited about Joe Biden. New polling data shows the former Vice President is struggling to build energy and excitement for his campaign. Democrats were hoping that endorsements from party leaders would make a difference, but it appears not to be helping at all.

Historically, polls that predict winners and losers have rarely, if ever, been reflective of the actual outcome. The latest example was President Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016 where Clinton was expected to win. That’s not to say that all forms of polling are inaccurate.

Polling does get it right when looking at enthusiasm. Political scientists and campaign managers look at the enthusiasm gap to show strength or weakness for a candidate. In 2016, electoral polls were not picking up that Trump could win Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Wisconsin. However, internal polls showed high enthusiasm. The Trump campaign tapped into that enthusiasm and won those states, shocking America and the world.

Could history be repeating itself in 2020?

Enthusiasm Is a Problem for Biden

Democrats have been lining up to support Biden. Former presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Hillary Clinton have all jumped on the Biden wagon.

Will it help?

A new poll by Emerson College shows that Trump has built a 19 point enthusiasm gap advantage over Biden with 64% of Trump voters are excited about the president’s re-election. However, only 45% of Democrats are excited about Biden. For a year, Democratic voters were told that, of all the presidential candidates, Biden was the only one who could defeat Trump. However, some Democrats may already be throwing in the towel. That’s a bad sign for Biden so early in the process.

After the Russian hoax, impeachment allegations, and lower poll numbers for Trump during the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be safe to assume Democrats are energized to vote Trump out of office. Unfortunately for Biden, the Emerson voting enthusiasm numbers don’t support that viewpoint. When asked who voters think will win in November, Trump blows out Biden 57% – 43%.

Emerson is not the only poll finding an enthusiasm problem for Biden. Rasmussen Reports finds a similar conclusion. The poll concludes that 75% of Republicans are excited about a Trump-Biden matchup compared to 57% of Democrats.

It also appears Democrats may have a problem with Bernie supporters. The Emerson poll said that 65% of those who voted for Sanders during the primary were not excited for Biden. That makes some sense considering Sanders is a registered independent on the far left of American politics. Biden is a moderate establishment Democratic who’s trying to attract the far left by adopting some of their positions and prevent them from either crossing over and voting for Trump or not voting at all as some did in 2016.

A Trend Is Developing

It’s not the first time polls have indicated Biden has a problem with enthusiasm. On March 29, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that Biden has a slight majority of support within the Democratic Party, but a massive enthusiasm gap against Trump. Biden recorded the lowest ever enthusiasm gap in 20 years according to the ABC/Post poll with only 24% saying they had a strong enthusiasm for Biden. In contrast, Trump supporters were highly enthusiastic about him, with 53% support.

November is a long way from now, and COVID-19 will have a lot to say about the outcome of the general election. In politics, six months is an eternity. If Biden hopes to win, his hopes are resting on Trump supporters bailing on him while gaining more traction from the left. It appears that it could be a longshot at this point.

By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor

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