Elizabeth Warren is surging. This one big question looms over her. ...
But for as long as she’s been talked about as a presidential hopeful, one potential problem has loomed over her like Joe Btfsplk’s perpetual rain cloud: electability. Warren is not only among the most liberal candidates in the 2020 field; she’s also an older, white, intellectual woman running in the aftermath of the Hillary Clinton debacle, and she follows in a long line of failed presidential nominees from Massachusetts. Dukakis ’88. Kerry ’04. Romney ’12. It’s entirely too easy to caricature her as a liberal-elite former Harvard professor whom President Trump could drub with those oh-so-important working-class white voters.
But is that fair? And what do the numbers say? These are questions that need to be broken into two parts:
Let’s take that second one first. A Quinnipiac University poll Tuesday showed Warren rising to 21 percent in the Democratic primary field — six points higher than last week, and her best showing to date in any national poll. The same poll, though, showed just 9 percent of Democratic primary voters viewed her as the most electable. So more than half of her supporters say they’ll vote for her but don’t say she’s the most likely to beat Trump.Whether she is electable, and
Whether Democrats perceive her as electable (and the impact it might have on her primary support)
As has been the case throughout 2019 — including in recent Washington Post-ABC News polling — that distinction belongs to former vice president Joe Biden, with 49 percent saying he had the best chance. ...
Other polls suggest Democratic voters don’t necessarily view this as a huge liability, but they may need some convincing. A new HuffPost/YouGov survey asked people to select each candidate they felt could beat Trump, and Warren ranked second behind Biden, with 46 percent of Democratic-leaning voters picking her as among the electables:
What’s interesting here, though, is that the last person to get a debate bounce — Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) — did so while cutting into Biden’s electability edge. After the first debate, the number viewing Harris as the most electable jumped from 2 percent early in the race to 14 percent — close to her 20 percent share of the vote — while Biden’s most-electable number dropped down to 42 percent. So while Harris got a polling bounce and an electability bounce, Warren only got the former.Biden: 61 percent
Pete Buttigieg: 25
Cory Booker: 21
Julián Castro: 18
Beto O’Rourke: 14
WaPo - Aaron Blake
Looking forward to the discussion on what electability is, how and when it is used, and what people perceive it to be. I remain unconvinced that it is anything other than a scare word. Like a premonition: emotional but nonexistent. So good fun ahead!
No matter where you go, there you are!
This is the year of the African American woman in the Democratic Party. Kamala Harris needs to be on the ticket, whether it be Warren-Harris (which will lose bigly) or Biden-Harris or Harris-GenericMale.
WaPo - Aaron Blake
Joe Biden’s mounting slip-ups and why they matter
Coverage of political gaffes is often overwrought. Politicians say lots of things with cameras and recorders shoved in their faces, and occasionally they’re going to misspeak. Generally, it’s on inconsequential matters that most regular people don’t actually care about, and it’s just an exercise in, “Look at the dumb thing this otherwise-smart politician just said!”
But former vice president Joe Biden’s performance Thursday in Iowa has got to raise some eyebrows in his party — for a couple of reasons.
For those unaware, Biden at one point said, “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids” — then tried to correct himself by saying “wealthy kids, black kids, Asian kids.” Earlier in the day, he also referred to former British prime minister Theresa May as her predecessor from four decades ago, Margaret Thatcher — and not for the first time. He also said at one point that Democrats should “choose truth over facts.” ...
Layer on top of that Biden’s recent comments about his good working relationship with segregationist senators and his recently unearthed past comments about busing, and it’s not difficult for his opponents to craft a narrative. De Blasio more than hinted in that direction Friday; Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) have done so previously, and it will be interesting to see how they handle these latest comments, especially given that Biden continues to succeed in large part thanks to black voters.
Whatever you think of these particular slip-ups, though — and the Thatcher and “choose truth over facts” gaffes would seem relatively innocuous — the fact that they keep happening is a bad sign for Biden. His calling card in the 2020 race, after all, is being the most electable Democrat, the guy with the stature and sure hands to take on President Trump.
And even if you think Biden is a fantastic public servant and that none of these gaffes were particularly bad, what about the next one? What about the ones that take place after he’s the nominee? Biden has shown an almost unmatched ability to connect with audiences, but he’s also shown himself to be rather ill-disciplined when it comes to speaking off-the-cuff. He’s also shown, at a time when Democrats really want to drive home the idea that the resident of the White House is a racist, that he might not be the best messenger to make that case.
And the related discussion of electable by whom. Will/Should the Democrats aim for the middle, and go with someone like Biden? Or aim to rally the base, to show up in greater numbers?
x6 x2 x4 x2
Warren-Harris would win bigly, sir. I only hope we have the chance to prove it. This assumes an even playing field, of course. For all intents and purposes, Clinton-Kaine won bigly too, and to this day I am irked by people who claim that Hills was unelectable.
No matter where you go, there you are!
No matter where you go, there you are!
She can beat Trump, for crissake
New York Times - Jonathan Martin
New York Times - Jonathan Martin
Many Democrats Love Elizabeth Warren. They Also Worry About Her.
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Senator Elizabeth Warren has built the most formidable campaign organization of any Democratic presidential candidate in the first nominating states, raised an impressive $25 million without holding high-dollar fund-raisers, and has risen steadily in Iowa and New Hampshire polls.
Few candidates inspire as much enthusiasm as she does among party voters, too, from the thousands who turned out for her speech at the Iowa State Fair last weekend to the supporters in this western Iowa city who repeat her catchphrases, wear her buttons and describe themselves as dazzled by her intellect and liberal ideas.
Yet few candidates also inspire as much worry among these voters as Ms. Warren does.
Even as she demonstrates why she is a leading candidate for the party’s nomination, Ms. Warren is facing persistent questions and doubts about whether she would be able to defeat President Trump in the general election. The concerns, including from her admirers, reflect the head-versus-heart debate shaping a Democratic contest increasingly being fought over the meaning of electability and how to take on Mr. Trump. ...
Many voters interviewed are now wrestling with whether to elevate a candidate who captures their imaginations, and progressive ambitions, or to rally more cautiously behind a Democrat who they perceive as having a better chance of building a broad coalition of Democrats, independents and disaffected Republicans to fulfill their most urgent goal: ejecting Mr. Trump from the White House.
The Massachusetts senator’s top campaign aides are acutely aware of their challenge on questions about Ms. Warren’s viability. They are taking a series of steps to allay the concerns, perhaps most notably arming her in the last debate with the talking point that conventional wisdom also suggested that both Mr. Trump and former President Barack Obama were risky nominees because they broke from the traditional commander-in-chief mold. After the debate, Warren aides blasted clips of that remark from her social media accounts.
But even after Ms. Warren turned in two well-received debate performances, a Quinnipiac survey showed she had not made gains on the question of who has the best chance to beat Mr. Trump: Just nine percent said she did, while 49 percent pointed to Mr. Biden.
WaPo - Paul Waldman
Why Democratic voters need to stop thinking about ‘electability’
If you talk to the reporters who are following Democratic presidential candidates on the campaign trail, they’ll tell you that, while the race is extremely fluid and voters express interest in lots of the candidates, the one generating the most passionate excitement is unquestionably Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Yet in most polls she comes in second or third, close to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) but still well behind Joe Biden.
Why? Here’s a New York Times report that summarizes it well ...
What follows are a bunch of quotes from voters attesting to how much they love Warren but worry that other people might not like her. And so we witness the vicious cycle of ”electability,” one almost immune to facts and experience, in which both savvy journalists and ordinary voters convince themselves that general elections are won by candidates who don’t turn off the mythical average voter, achieving that majority appeal that can be heard when the electorate cries as one, “He’s okay, I guess. I mean, could be worse.”
Like President Mitt Romney. Or President John F. Kerry. Or President Al Gore.
Before we go on, I’m not trying to persuade anyone to vote for Warren. Maybe you like her, or maybe you’re more drawn to Biden or Sanders or Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) or somebody else. What I am saying is that the entire enterprise of determining “electability” and then voting not for the person you prefer but the person you think other people will prefer is a terrible mistake.
Warren Chips Away at Biden's Strength as The One Who Beats Trump
Joe Biden’s strongest selling point -- that he’s the most likely to beat Donald Trump -- is losing some of its edge, as Elizabeth Warren vaults into second place because a growing number of Democrats think she can win the general election.
In a new Economist/YouGov poll, 65% of Democratic voters said Biden would "probably beat Donald Trump" — unchanged from June. But the number saying the same thing about Warren jumped 14 points since then, to 57%, the highest of any other candidate.
In the overall race, Biden led Warren by just 1 point among Democrats in a match-up with Trump. That’s after being 16 points ahead of her in June, according to the poll.
Warren’s boost in the primary dovetails her improving head-to-head poll numbers against Trump. A Fox News survey this week found her leading Trump by 7 points nationally, after the same poll found them statistically tied in June. It also coincides with rival campaigns and party strategists beginning to explicitly challenge the notion that Biden is electable.
Rolling Stone - Jamil Smith
The Very Real Possibility of President Elizabeth Warren
Can she beat Trump? There’s a plan for that
Not too many campaign websites first ask visitors if they are unsure about the candidate in question. But if you click the “I’m not sure yet” button on the ElizabethWarren.com launch page, you can enter your email before answering the question “What’s holding you back?” one of three ways. Two replies are typical for 160-some days before the Iowa caucuses: “I’m not ready to make a decision” and “I have questions about Elizabeth’s policy positions.”
It’s the one between those, though, that most captures the zeitgeist of the still-young primary contest for the Democratic presidential nomination: “I’m not sure Elizabeth can win.”
A few thousand people who disagreed with that sentiment piled into the Shrine Expo Hall on the University of Southern California’s campus early Wednesday evening. A good hour before Warren’s town hall began with a raffle to determine who would get to ask her questions later that night, the faint odor of spilt, fermented beer wafted through the lower level, stage left — likely some resilient residue from an earlier event. The smell itself didn’t fit the early-evening, family vibe of the Massachusetts Senator’s supporters, and frankly, they hadn’t been there long enough for it to smell like a post-victory celebration locker room. But the spirit it conveyed was a perfect match: Most everyone there to see Elizabeth Warren was as giddy as if the title were in sight.
There was, however, that damned specter of “electability” also was wafting through the room. It was much less odorous but no less repugnant. This phantom is conjured in virtually all discussions about the Democratic primary contest, derived largely from archetypes of older white men whom Americans are more accustomed to seeing run for office and therefore electing. It smothers critical thinking about the presidential race so much that it appears that many are convinced that “electability” is indeed a living, breathing thing when it is in fact an apparition, a hasty creation of the party elites and pundit classes that serves as a convenient substitute for the vetting that desperately needs to occur before a nominee goes up against President Trump next fall. Even though more than 160 days remain between now and the first Iowa caucus, this unanswerable question lingers more prominently than do major quandaries about candidate qualifications.
To the extent polls matter at this point, Warren remains within mere percentage points of frontrunner Joe Biden, despite her constant stream of detailed policy plans seeming to go against the conventional wisdom that Democrats need to focus only on beating Trump to win the nomination. Yes, this can happen for her.
New Republic - Alex shephard
Is the Biden Bubble About to Burst?
The Democrat still shines in most polls, but as a Trump loss grows more likely, the former V.P.'s "electability" pitch is losing its luster.
Joe Biden never thought he’d have to do this. Positioned, as he was, as the affable veep to an immensely popular president, the veteran of three previous bids for the Democratic nomination assumed a presidential primary was just a way to garner free media until the main event, the general election. But, since declaring his candidacy at what was, in American political terms, the eleventh hour, Biden’s campaign has been marked more by the sheer number of gaffes delivered than by any soaring rhetoric or roaring crowd of supporters. So far, his defining moment was not the unveiling of a visionary policy or a particularly poignant exchange with a supporter, but rather, by a debate face-off with Kamala Harris, in which the California senator attacked Biden’s documented record of opposing court-ordered busing as a means to integrate public schools.
And yet, through it all, Biden has held on to a commanding lead in most opinion polls.
But that lead may be illusory. There’s a growing sense that Biden is something of a starter nominee, a candidate that voters can glom onto while they search for someone who better suits their values. “I did not meet one Biden voter who was in any way, shape or form excited about voting for Biden,” Patrick Murray, who heads the Monmouth University Polling Institute (which recently released a poll giving Biden a significant lead in Iowa) told The New York Times. “They feel that they have to vote for Joe Biden as the centrist candidate, to keep somebody from the left who they feel is unelectable from getting the nomination.” JoAnn Hardy, who heads the Cerro Gordo County Democrats, concurred, telling the Times, “He’s doing OK, but I think a lot of his initial strength was name recognition. As the voters get to meet the other candidates, he may be surpassed soon. I would not be surprised.”
It’s an important, if still-emerging shift. At the start of primary season, “electability” was seen as the key attribute voters wanted in a presidential candidate. But as the election has heated up—and as voters begin to know more about the candidates—its importance appears to be dimming. And candidates who voters are actually excited about are rising. That’s good news for Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, but it may be a bad omen for Biden.
Biden has made the “electability” case explicitly, arguing that defeating Donald Trump should come first and everything else—like, you know, the stuff he would do as president—second. While other candidates have issued white paper after white paper, the former vice president has harped on the necessity of voting for the candidate who has the best chance at defeating the incumbent next November—a candidate who, at least as the early polls tell it, just happens to have the name Joe Biden.
The promise and peril of Joe Biden’s front-runner campaign ...
Four months since he launched his bid, Biden is intensifying his campaign’s focus on the electability argument. His first television ad emphasizes polls that show him beating Trump. The candidate stresses the point at campaign events. Even his wife, Jill Biden, pointedly argued to Democrats here that they should vote for Biden even if they liked another candidate better because he had the best chance of winning next year.
The strategy takes a big risk because it hinges not on voters’ passion for Biden but on their perception of his ability to win — a strength that could erode as voters get to know some of his less prominent rivals.
Biden’s aides defend their emphasis. “We are advertising on what people want to hear,” said one Biden ally who asked not to be named to discuss campaign strategy. “We want voters to know we understand that what they care about is beating Trump, not ‘vote for me and hold your nose.’”
But “when you have to tell people you’re electable, you’re probably not as electable as you think you are,” said Andrew Smith, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire.
Warren Gains on Biden in Perceived Electability in CBS Poll ...
Among those considering supporting the Massachusetts senator, the percentage who think she would probably beat President Donald Trump in 2020 has jumped 16 percentage points since June, to 55% from 39%. That cuts into Biden’s key argument that he’s the Democrat most likely to beat Trump.
In aggregate vote preference across early-state contests, Warren and Biden are in a statistical tie, at 26% and 25% support, respectively, the survey found. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders trailed with 19%, and all other Democrats were in single digits.
State preferences show Warren slightly edging Biden in New Hampshire, at 27% support to 26%, with Sanders at 25%, suggesting the wide Democratic field is being narrowed down there to a three-person race. In Iowa, Biden at 29% leads Sanders at 26% and Warren at 17%.
Of the convention delegates estimated to be available through Super Tuesday on March 3, Biden leads Warren with an estimated 600 to 545. CBS said Warren has gained delegate share from lower-tier candidates -- notably, from California Senator Kamala Harris -- not from Biden. Sanders had an implied 286 delegates. ...
Separately, a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Sunday showed Biden, Sanders and Warren as the top tier of candidates nationwide and the only Democrats whose support in the survey was in the double digits. Biden was favored by 29% of registered voters who are Democrats or lean Democrat, compared with Sanders at 19% and Warren at 18%.
Support for Biden and Sanders in that survey series held steady since July, while Warren gained ground. Harris fell back after a strong performance in the first Democratic presidential debate in June.
Warren Surges to Top of Democratic Favorability Ratings, Challenging Complaints About Electability
Senator Elizabeth Warren is fast becoming a favorite to win the Democratic nomination for president, and a new poll from NPR and the Marist Institute is providing new evidence for that surge: Warren is now the Democratic Party's most highly regarded candidate, and she earns the number two slot among all registered voters.
Seventy-five percent of Democrats have a favorable opinion of Warren, the highest favorability rating of any candidate in the field, according to the NPR/Marist poll. Former Vice President Joe Biden, who regularly leads candidate preference polls within the Democratic Party, trails Warren with a 71 percent favorability rating.
In January, Warren's favorability rating among Democrats stood at just 53 percent.
Only a handful of candidates were measured in NPR's general electorate favorability question, though a more complete roster was surveyed among self-identified Democrats.
Warren's primacy in the NPR poll, despite her second or third tier status in more common candidate preference polls, suggests that enthusiasm for her may be fractured among several other Democrats currently running for the nomination. Should others continue to drop out of the race, Warren may be able to further capitalize on her status as the most-liked Democratic candidate, elevating her position within the primary election polls.
Warren turns her ire to Trump, stumps on her electability
Fresh off a debate performance that may have bolstered her standing in the 2020 Democratic race, Senator Elizabeth Warren returned to Massachusetts focused on strengthening her electability against President Donald Trump.
Speaking at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention on Saturday, Warren said the Trump administration is “one of the darkest chapters in our nation’s modern history” and called on Democrats to unite toward a common goal: beat Trump in 2020.
Warren, a native of Oklahoma who’s represents her adopted home state of Massachusetts, where she taught at Harvard Law School, in the U.S. Senate, has largely avoided directly attacking Trump or her Democratic competitors on the campaign trail.
The focus on electability went to answer a persistent question in the minds of Democratic officials and voters about the progressive senator’s candidacy: can she win a general election against Trump in a race that will no doubt be nasty.
Warren, 70, highlighted her electability argument by laying out policy proposals that she said will fix the problems that got Trump elected in the first place.
No millennial bump for Buttigieg, but hints of broad appeal ...
“You can put groups of candidates into corners. What corner do you put Pete Buttigieg in?” said J. Ann Selzer, longtime director of the Iowa Poll, produced by The Des Moines Register and its partners. “I think that the combination of characteristics that most define Buttigieg fit him rather uniquely. He appears to be a cluster of one.” ...
So far, there is no indication that Buttigieg’s next-generation appeal has liftoff. His early summer national buzz, largely the product of his raising a stunning $25 million in the second quarter, gave him plausibility. He enters the autumn stretch to the February caucuses with as robust an Iowa campaign as almost any of his top tier rivals, with more than 100 staff, plans for 20 offices and an aggressive outreach system.
He does so with his sights squarely fixed on capturing that enduring ideal for Democratic primary voters, a next-generation prophet looking deep into the future, like virtually every winning Democratic nominee going back 60 years.
“If you look at the history of successful Democratic nominees, they tend to be younger, they tend to be from outside,” David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama said, referring to Obama and Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. “The question is whether the overhang of Donald Trump creates a different environment where people are risk-averse and reaching for comfort and stability.”
At the same time, Buttigieg doesn’t register the variances in support from different age groups that the older candidates do. A July poll by the Pew Research Center found that just 7% of Democratic primary voters nationally under the age of 30 supported Biden, compared with 41% of voters 65 and older. Sanders, on the other hand, drew 24% of his support from the younger group and just 4% from the older segment.
Advisers say that Buttigieg’s balanced draw from all age groups in the Pew poll echoes their internal findings in early-voting states, and it manifests in Selzer’s most recent poll. It reflects his attractiveness to that enduring bloc of the Democratic presidential electorate that has sought a break from the past.
Still, that polling collectively has yet to show support that would propel him into the upper tier of the 2020 pack. ...
Given his support across age groups, the personal outreach could yield the advantage of adding first-time caucus participants to the mix, which has proved pivotal in past competitive caucuses.
Obama won the 2008 caucuses, having trailed better known candidates Hillary Clinton and John Edwards throughout the months leading up, by attracting a heavy influx of first time participants.
“A candidate who attracts niches needs to attract a number of them_like the Obama coalition,” Selzer said. “It was not sufficient to draw large portions of younger voters, or minority voters, or women for that matter. He had to have them all for it to turn into a win.”
I can live with Warren/Booker. Cory will bring in some of the African American women who would otherwise not vote for Warren. But she will not carry the vote of as many POC that Biden/Harris would.
Biden allies attack Warren’s electability
Lawmakers in the Massachusetts senator’s home state point to her past election performance as a sign of weakness.
As Elizabeth Warren climbs in the polls, Joe Biden’s Massachusetts allies are warning that her home-state election history suggests she runs weakest among the types of voters Democrats need to win over to capture the White House.
While Warren won re-election easily in 2018, Biden’s backers point to her performance among independent and blue-collar voters as evidence she’ll fail to appeal to similar voters in the Rust Belt — just as Hilary Clinton did in 2016.
“The grave concern of many of us Democrats in Massachusetts is that in many of the counties where Sen. Warren underperforms, they are demographically and culturally similar to voters in key swing states,” said state Rep. John Rogers, who backs Biden.
“The tangible fear here,” Rogers said, “is that these Massachusetts counties are bellwethers for states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio — key states that Democrats can't afford to lose in the battle to beat President Trump.”
Warren’s critics have long assailed the former Harvard professor for being too far liberal and too out-of-touch with blue-collar voters to beat Donald Trump, despite an economic message that speaks directly to many of their concerns. Electability, meanwhile, is the core of Biden’s argument for the nomination: his campaign frames him as the Democrat best positioned to defeat Trump.
I think the notion of "electability" is bullshit anyway. Its never come up before this and frankly I think its been invented just to make Democrats second guess themselves, as NOONE is talking about someone elses electability.
As I said in facebook a few days ago (subject is about Warren)
As I said in facebook a few days ago (subject is about Warren)
Reina Mangio She needs a wardrobe stylist. ASAP She is NOT presidential material!
JJ O'Shaughnessy Ya, she needs a badly fitting suit with shoulderpads, lifts in her shoes, a bad combover and a red tie.
The difference between the Middle Ages, and the Age of the Internet, is that in the Middle Ages no-one thought the Earth was flat.
WaPo - Greg Sargent
Biden allies suggest Warren is unelectable. What’s their argument for Biden?
Joe Biden’s recent debate performance stirred a fresh round of worries about his fitness for a grueling general election. As I’ve argued, it isn’t fair to treat Biden’s strange ramble about record players as representative of his whole performance; for some of the time, at least, Biden was forceful and energetic.
However, that ramble (among other things) does raise legitimate concerns — and clearly Biden’s camp knows this is a problem given that his candidacy rests so heavily on the notion that he’s the Democrat best positioned to defeat President Trump.
That’s probably why Biden allies are now going out of their way to raise concerns about Elizabeth Warren’s fitness for a general election. ...
What drives your humble blogger crazy about this argument is that there is no serious affirmative case here for why Biden will automatically fare so well among those non-college and suburban white voters. Biden allies feel no visible obligation to make that case; they seem to think it’s just widely understood to be self-evidently true.
But why should anyone accept this as self-evident? What’s the basis for this underlying assumption?
To be clear, I’m not saying concerns about Warren’s electability aren’t legitimate. They may be. Rather, my point is that it’s just not clear why we’re supposed to accept it on faith that Biden will fare as well among those voters as his allies suggest.
The Hill - Amie Parnes
Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument
Allies to Joe Biden worry that the electability argument the former vice president has made central to his campaign is losing its luster.
One longtime Democratic donor who has contributed to the former vice president’s campaign and once believed he was the only candidate formidable enough to defeat President Trump said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is making a large dent in Biden’s argument. ...
“She’s rocking and rolling,” the donor said. “She’s taking from [Sen.] Kamala [Harris (D-Calif.)], she’s taking from Bernie [Sanders] and she could eventually take from Biden.”
A Biden supporter who worked as an aide to former President Obama said Biden can’t just argue he’s the most electable Democrat if he hopes to fend off the challenge from Warren. ...
An NBC News–Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday found that Biden remains the Democratic front-runner with 31 percent, a 5-point rise from the last poll in July. But even that poll showed a small gain for Warren, who jumped 6 points to 25 percent. ...
She has also been highlighting her own electability, hammering home the idea that she can also beat Trump. ...
“This dark moment requires more than being ‘not Trump,’ because a country that elects someone like Donald Trump is a country that’s already in serious trouble,” Warren said. “We need to talk honestly about what’s broken in America, but even more than that, we must show America that we have plans to make big structural changes to fix what’s broken.”
Even Democrats who aren’t tied to any particular candidate say Biden has to offer a central rationale for his candidacy beyond electability to win.
“Both Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden are polling well,” said Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic National Committee member and Democratic donor. “Warren’s bold and courageous ideas have created a mission and momentum for her candidacy. Biden, who would be an excellent president, has to create a mission for his campaign, not just rely on polling numbers for momentum.” ...
Biden’s camp insists he isn’t underestimating Warren and acknowledges the Massachusetts senator is setting herself up to be a strong competitor. But they suggest Biden doesn’t need to react to her progress so much as his team must focus on running their own operation, while advancing the former vice president’s rationale for running.
Still, even staunch Biden supporters worry that Warren has enthusiasm on her side. The NBC–Wall Street Journal poll showed that 70 percent of Democratic primary voters said they were “enthusiastic about or comfortable with” Warren. Sixty-four percent felt the same about Biden.