Former Vice-President Joe Biden currently has a massive lead over Donald Trump, according to polls, in the lead up to November’s Presidential elections. But now, his campaign is making a bold move not to win votes from Democrats, but disillusioned Republicans.
As reported by Al Jazeera, Barrack Obama’s Vice-President will be endorsed by former Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican and frequent Trump critic, at the Democratic National Convention, having all but sealed his nomination to run as the Democratic Party’s candidate four months ago. The move appears to be following a trend from the Biden campaign, which is to court Republican voters, with all Democratic voters all-but-certain to vote for him, not out of enthusiasm, but out of their overwhelming displeasure over Trump.
Biden is reported to be looking for support from more high-profile Republicans, with many of them questioning Trump’s re-election message. Further scores of voters, who only hesitantly voted for Trump in 2016 or for third-party candidates, are growing disillusioned with Trump’s presidency and the results of his first four years – an uncontrollable pandemic, a collapsed economy and soaring racial tensions. Meanwhile, Trump’s messaging seems to be focused only on retaining the votes of his fiercely loyal supporters.
It’s a strategy that could go two ways, or hit grey areas in between. Either Biden’s strategy will pay off and he’ll bring on-the-fence Republicans on board and win the election by the biggest landslide imaginable or his strategy will fail, Republicans will stay put and he’ll chase Democrat voters away to either third-party candidates or even Trump himself. With the stakes of November’s election extraordinarily high for not only America, but the rest of the world as well, let’s take a look at the two potential outcomes of Biden’s apparent strategy.
Stroke of genius
Biden has already got pretty much every Democrat’s vote in his pocket. Even the most radical leftist voters are aware that a potential eight years of Biden’s status quo, centrist, “back to normal” leadership is better than another four years of Trump. There are literally hundreds of thousands of dead bodies and millions of lost jobs (albeit largely as the result of a complete outlier – COVID-19) to show what the consequences of voting for anyone but Biden could be.
Biden may have a shocking history in Washington, including his vote in favour of the Crime Bill that led to the mass incarceration of millions of black Americans, his vote in favour of going to war with Iraq, as well as his and President Obama’s decision to bail out massive corporations following the Global Financial crisis, among many other black stains on his record. He may be showing signs of ageing and almost certainly is in cognitive decline, but he’s far better than Trump could ever be, from the standpoint of anybody that’s not fallen into the trap of Trump’s cult of personality. So, realistically, Biden doesn’t need to make any concessions to the left.
He’s already been endorsed by the favoured progressive candidate, Bernie Sanders and made a number of concessions in his policy proposals. He’s been endorsed by other centrist Democratic candidates like Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke and Amy Klobuchar. But, even despite Trump’s destructive four years in office, some nominally Republican voters still may struggle to vote for a Democrat and it was the swing states that voted twice for Obama, such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, that cost Hillary Clinton the 2016 election, despite winning the popular vote. If Biden can’t win over those voters, who could go one way or the other, it could cost him the election, especially considering that he’s still losing to Trump in terms of enthusiasm. So offering policy concessions and/or cabinet positions to high-profile Republicans could remove any lingering doubts over the probability of Biden’s victory.
I see lots of Dems complaining about Kasich possibly speaking at the Dem Convention to endorse Biden. THIS is why Dems lose so often – too many voters who care more about purity than victory. Kasich has a huge # of supporters. If 2% of them vote Biden because of this, Biden wins.
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) July 20, 2020
🚨🚨 It’s starting.
Democrats are caving to the radical left-wing mob.
See for yourself:
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) July 19, 2020
A fatal error
The centrist vote is overrated. If only there was an experiment to show how far pandering towards the centre gets you in an election against Donald Trump. Oh yes… that’s right. Hillary Clinton took on the exact same strategy in 2016. And she lost.
Democrats play this same card again and again, election after election. They concede to Republicans and aim for the centre. Even Obama did it when he chose Biden as his running mate to appease the Clinton-oriented voters in 2008. For once, can the Democrats not get the Republicans to concede to them?
Bernie Sanders’s unbelievable campaign in 2015/2016 is evidence of how you can garner an enthusiastic support base with purely left-wing ideas. It’s that enthusiasm that could truly take Biden over the line. Add the Sanders support to your coalition, ensure that they all show up at the voting stations in their numbers. Biden is ALREADY winning in the polls. But whether he gets voters to leave home is a different story, which Hillary Clinton found out the hard way. He doesn’t need support from the right or the middle, he needs it from the left. It has nothing to do with purity. It’s got to do with bringing the Democratic Party back to its roots and allowing its values to speak for themselves.
In this time of unprecedented crisis, a health pandemic and another Great Depression, America needs a leader, not a politician that follows the moving tides and isn’t assured in his decision making. Trump, for all his flaws, is at least brave enough to stand up to his opposition and stick to his own values, as short-sighted and reprehensible as they may be.
And when it comes to the far-left policies, such as Medicare For All, a Green New Deal, eliminating student debt, defunding the police and countless others that will not please Republican politicians, Biden will probably find a lot more support for them in America’s current state of crisis than ever before.