Former Vice President Joe Biden began his campaign today the way a front runner with his projected lead in the primary polls should, by pretending his primary competition doesn’t exist and framing a general election showdown with President Donald Trump (story HERE).
Dissing Trump is nothing new to the primary field of about 20 candidates, heck, there was four hours of the stuff on television last week (story HERE), the difference here is that with Biden’s name ID superiority and fundraising potential, he has the ability to blow the conversation straight past his challengers.
It’s up to those challengers to stop him.
Most of this field can’t stop him. They don’t have the money, and not enough people care about them, but a lot of this primary field, the ones with success earning news coverage (Buttigieg), and those serving in the Senate and pushing policy (Warren, Harris, Booker, Klobuchard) have the platform to try and stop his momentum.
Then there is Bernie Sanders, who in addition to his work in the Senate, had some success tripping up Hillary Clinton in 2016. He’ll need to repeat those efforts and remind those voters that he’s once again an alternative and with his current standing in the polls in a firm second place, he could have success early on.
Unfortunately for them, many believe Biden can beat Trump. That measure of confidence is missing with a lot of these primary campaigns.
They’re not alone in their goal for a long primary where they can wrestle away an upset. Republicans are also rooting for a bloody primary that will force everyone so far to the left that they scare away the moderates, and capitalize in next November.
Then there is Trump himself, who isn’t helping the field’s cause by jabbing at “Sleepy Joe” on Twitter.
There was this same kind of energy in 2016, but Bernie was the only other horse in the race and even then he ran pretty clean.
We’ll see if anyone in the primary can get on the stump and takes the fight to Biden. It’s going to happen. It has to happen.
It’s just a matter of how effective it will be and whether they can convince the Biden and Trump campaigns that their general election rendezvous isn’t a foregone conclusion, and more importantly, if they can convince primary voters.