Both old white male failures from previous White House campaigns
There’s been a big shake up in the betting for the 2020 democratic nomination. Last week Bernie Sanders came into the race and established himself as second favourite. Now, the latest development is that Joe Biden, who first ran for the White House in 1984, is said to be on the point of putting his hat into the ring.
Both, because they’ve been around for so long – the former running last time and the latter being Obama’s VP – have strong name recognition and my guess is that’s what driven their apparent support in early polling. Bernie at least can point to his large fundraising base and the amounts raised so far.
If Biden does decide to go for it, and the signs are that he will, it will be his third attempt. His previous runs for the White House were abject failures. In 1984 he secured just one delegate in the primaries and four years later he secured two. He is notoriously gaffe prone.
Sanders did a whole lot better in his only previous bid, 2016, when he was effectively the only candidate running against Hillary Clinton and was helped enormously because of the concerns over the electoral appeal of the front runner.
What the party needs now is someone with the ability to appeal to a broad base particularly many of the centre ground voters who have concerns about Trump. Last November in the midterms it was former Republican voting college educated white women who switched to the Democrats. I cannot see either of the older white men having that appeal.
The first campaign challenge for Sanders will be the Iowa caucuses in about 11 months time and no doubt people will compare his 49%+ that he achieved there in 2016 with what he does. It is hard, given there are so many contenders, seeing Sanders doing better there.