Joe Biden’s running for President this time around – until we’ve heard him deny it three times oh yes he is – and he’s got a significant problem. He’s the three things that the Democratic Party isn’t looking for this time around. He’s white, male and old. Now, it’s possible that someone with one or two of those attributes, someone with a bit of presence and persona, could get away with those problems but all three? And Joe Biden with all three?
So, it doesn’t really matter what Trump’s advisers are telling him:
President Donald Trump has publicly expressed confidence that he could easily best Joe Biden in a 2020 battle. But behind closed doors, the president has fixated on Biden, while top aides have tried to assure their boss that the former vice president is doomed. In recent weeks, Trump has peppered aides on more than one occasion for updates on how Biden is faring in early Democratic primary polls — a sign of just how seriously Trump takes the potential candidacy. Indeed, Biden has topped several recent battleground state polls, as well as a national survey released Monday, marking him as an early Democratic presidential front-runner.
It’s entirely true that Biden would be a decent challenger to Trump in the actual election. We’ve the Hotelling problem here. Or, even, the Hotelling solution. If there are only two candidates, a reasonable enough thought in most Presidential elections in effect, then if you’re the guy on the right then you want to be so far over to the left as to be standing on the lefty guys toenails. Equally so the other way around. Because the righty will then gain the votes of everyone to the right of that very lefty, for a Republican, position and vice versa.
So, to win the actual election you want to be over in the centre somewhere, maybe the wrong side of it. Biden would be good at that.
But of course that’s not going to win you the primaries. As always happens, people have to fake toward the base then drag themselves back to centrist for that real election. And here’s the thing. Biden’s too – in my estimation at least – centrist to have a chance of gaining the nomination. Especially as the more extreme progressives have their dander up right now. They really, really, want someone young, or not white, or female. They’d really like someone all three but there’s no one competent at that out there. Tulsi Gabbard might work but she’s not a progressive either.
It’s also true that one could see Beto getting there. Note the could there. But then he’s, by our standards here, young. Biden ain’t. And Beto has the benefit of having a personality too.
So, basically, I don’t think Biden can win the nomination, even if he’d do pretty well against Trump in the actual election. And I really don’t think that any of the progressive darlings are going to do well in the actual election. Essentially because of that Hotelling point. It might be getting the snowflakes going but it’s too far from the median voter to win.