The Case for Biden

Every Democrat’s top goal in the 2020 election cycle is to beat President Trump, or at least it should be. To do so, the party needs a candidate who can win back the swing states that went to Trump in 2016: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
That candidate is former Vice President Joe Biden. The case for Biden is two-fold: he is electable and his policies are politically feasible. He entered the Democratic race polling at 40% in the Democratic primary. Although the race has gotten tighter in the months following, he remains the highest-polling candidate in several national polls, particularly in those swing states lost in 2016, consistently beating President Trump by the largest margins.
His biggest competition, Senator Elizabeth Warren, has steadily risen in the polls due to her grassroots campaign and impressive ability to raise money from small donors. Within the Democratic party and in certain demographics, she has done great; however, the majority still side with Biden. The numbers don’t lie: according to a poll by FiveThirtyEight taken after the last debate, two-thirds of Democratic voters consider beating Trump to be their number-one priority, and 65% of those voters chose Biden as their number-one choice to do just that.
This October, Joe Biden has been the top candidate in eight out of twelve national polls. In states such as South Carolina, which has the largest percentage of African American voters – a prime demographic for the Democrats – Biden leads the way in every poll, winning an average of 40% of the vote. In Ohio, the state that has accurately predicted 30 out of the 32 most recent elections, he once again leads the way by a large margin. Being able to cater to moderate and undecided voters is how Democrats will take back the White House. The key to doing that? Not moving too far to the left.
Here lies the second aspect of the case for Biden. He represents the moderate sect of the party, and, although they aren’t the loudest, they are still a significant portion of the party. On the debate stage, moderates and liberals seem to be in stark contrast to each other on every issue. In reality, they agree with each other on most topics, including healthcare, immigration, climate change, and criminal justice reform: insuring every citizen, putting an end to the disastrous immigration policies the Trump administration has put in place, taking large steps to combat climate change, eliminating private prisons and reducing sentences for non-violent crimes, and restoring the image of the United States on the international stage are priorities of nearly all Democratic candidates.
Where Biden differs most from the liberal side of the party is on gun legislation and healthcare. He calls for a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, registering and regulating assault weapons, instituting a buy-back program, and holding gun manufacturers liable for their products. Some might say these policies do not go far enough, but with a Republican majority likely in the Senate, they are exponentially more feasible than the proposals of other, more liberal, candidates.
His experience in the Senate and as Vice President shows that Biden has an impressive record of taking on the gun industry. On healthcare, Biden is advocating for building on the success of Obamacare. For example, he is pushing to add a public option for citizens who are dissatisfied with their private insurance. Biden also wants to lower premiums and extend coverage to more working-class Americans. This way, any citizen who wants to be on a public healthcare system, like Obamacare, can be. Unlike proposals for Medicare-for-all, which would force citizens off their private plans, Biden’s initiatives would allow everyone to choose their own plan.
Similar to his stance on gun-control, Biden has staked out a moderate position on healthcare that has a high probability of being passed. Some liberals may feel that Biden’s plans don’t go far enough in representing their values, but Biden at least gives the party a plan that has a chance of being enacted.
Democrats do not stand a chance against Trump if they move further to the left; they need to cater to the voters in the middle of the country to win back the states lost in 2016 and reverse the damage that has been done since. Before Democrats can enact the policies they want, they need to get a foot in the door, and to do that, they need to take back the White House. Biden can do it.