When a prognostication turns out to be wrong—as did the Spirited Reasoner’s Super Tuesday prediction—it’s nice to have company. Very few people and none of the polls predicted such a major revival to the hopes of candidate Joe Biden.
Given the fact that Biden spent so little money, it’s easy to interpret the results along the following lines: “Bernie Sanders is too far to the left to win in November. We need a moderate. But all the other moderates seem weak. Joe Biden was part of our last winning ticket with Barack Obama. That makes him our only chance to beat Donald Trump.” Or something along those lines.
Joe Biden was once viewed as the frontrunner for precisely those reasons. Then a harsh reality set in. He began to show his age, especially during some key debates. He seemed confused at times by even the simplest of questions. Which raises another simple question: Why were Super Tuesday voters so ready to forget all that and check his box anyway?
Following are a few possible reasons:
- Maybe millions of Democratic voters have not watched any of the debates. So, the Joe Biden they voted for is the one they remember from the 2008 and 2012 campaigns. If that was the case, then those voters may be in for a rude awakening when they watch the 2020 version of Joe Biden debate Donald Trump three times this fall.
- Maybe voters were well aware of Joe Biden’s limitations, but his South Carolina victory—and especially the size of his victory—was sufficient to convince voters that he was capable of winning in November. And that’s all they cared about, finding an alternative to Bernie Sanders, whom they believe is too far left to defeat Donald Trump.
- Maybe they’re looking for a healer, the one Democrat capable of bringing all Americans back to the Thanksgiving dinner table together. Or, to use the words of one television pundit, maybe they were looking for someone “normal.” If that was the case, they might have known full well that he’s likely to forget key facts and make major gaffes during this year’s debates, but they (and their fellow Americans) are ready to vote for him anyway.
One thing is now clear. There are now only two viable candidates remaining in the Democratic race: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. Campaign tides have a way of ebbing and surging, so right now the two-way race is too close to call. Biden supporters must have been heartened to hear Bernie Sanders’ assurance that he will not continue to fight into the convention if he cannot point to at least a plurality of pledged delegates supporting him. So we can expect Democrats to emerge from their Milwaukee convention united with one central focus: Use as much of Mike Bloomberg’s money as possible to defeat Donald Trump.