Former Vice President Joe Biden, is expected to release a video announcing his run for President on Thursday. While the move has been anticipated for some time, it’s still expected to change the direction of the Democratic primary.
Here is what I think it means for that primary and for Orlando.
It creates a fork in the road where candidates will be forced to challenge either Biden or Bernie Sanders: Biden and Sanders have been leading in the polls illustrating a favorite among each establishment Democrats and further left progressives. With such a big field, all of the other major candidates will have to choose which front runner they’ll need to overtake. They can try to run in the center with Biden, or to the left with Sanders. Trying to do both will just muddle their message and potentially cut their existing numbers.
Biden opponents will have to attack Obama-era policies: Joe Biden has been in office for decades and there is a big record to go after on his actions along, but he’s going to use his warchest to focus on an Obama administration many Democrats are still fond of today. His name ID will tie him to his time as Vice President, and that’s a problem for his opponents.
It eliminates age as a disqualifier: Biden is 76, Sanders is 78, and Donald Trump is 72. The question of being too old becomes irrelevant when the three major figures of the election are in their 70s. The opening will remain for a younger challenger to bring some energy to the contest, but we’re going to hear the question asked as a potential negative towards a candidate less frequently.
Joe is going to get all of the money and starve the bottom of the field: The former Vice President should be the money leader in the coming months (yikes, if he’s not), and this huge field is going to start to fade, maybe even some candidates with decent name ID that we thought would go further.
Biden will be the front runner here in Orlando too: I’ve been able to talk to a lot of influential Democrats in Central Florida and they’ve been candidate shopping. Still, I think the opportunity to unite early behind someone with familiarity and money to build an operation here will appeal to many of them. Biden has also played well while campaigning in Orlando in recent years campaigning for various fellow Democrats. The Bernie crowd will stay with Berie, but I look back at 2016, comparing Bernie’s operation to Hillary, it wasn’t even close.
Do expect the other candidates to prevent that from happening: Orlando has been neglected up to this point by Democratic candidates in favor of the early primary states, expect the field to begin to include Florida in their plans.