Traditional European media have picked up the recent CNN poll that put Joe Biden some 15 points ahead of President Trump. However, they remember very well what happened in 2016 and thus are not wanting to get their readers too excited. Furthermore, the fight against Corona (which has Biden focused on healthcare) and the Black Lives Matter movement seem to be putting pressure on the centrist candidate to move to the far left side in order to stay relevant. Only problem is that Biden is, and has always been, a centrist above all.
Antifa and BernieBros
In 2020, a new wind started blowing through American politics, a wind that was blowing from the left. With both terms like Antifa, BernieBros and Defund The Police being called out on social media, the momentum for the Democrats seems to be on the far left side.
Bernie Sanders in particular ignited a fire that many political commentators have been missing from the Biden supporters. Biden can thus far only run on three different themes. Firstly, he presents himself as an anti-Trump candidate, and although that is a factor for Democratic voters in the major coastal cities, so were all the others in the primaries of course.
Secondly, analysts predict the turnout will be higher than ever, especially as both candidates seem to have turned the political landscape in a battle for the soul of the United States.
Biden claims the American soul has been stolen by Trump whilst the latter claims to be fighting against the “extreme left”, which he says is aimed at the destruction of the US.
The Democrats chose Biden because they think he can beat Trump but of course the progressive voters remember very well what happened just before Super Tuesday when Bernie Sanders was strategically moved out of the way.
Left wing Democrats
The protests after George Floyd’s death were not entirely unfavorable to Biden. He was able to show in the first week that he is doing what Trump failed to do. Sincerely sympathize with the black communities and speak healing, non-divisive words. He also visited Floyd’s family for the funeral.
But the protests have also received a tailwind from progressive America. The left wing of the party now has the slogan ‘Defund the Police’, a call to radically reform and cut back on the police. Biden is in favor of reform, but nothing too radical.
Now Biden has to navigate between the left wing of his party and the voters in the middle, who are in great majority against such radical ideas. No more than 16 percent of Democrats support the idea of Defund the Police.
Thus, a rather glorious month for Biden ends under a dark cloud. A few weeks ago he seemed ready to become the undisputed leader of left America. Now he is back to being the centrist party candidate as far as the Bernie voters are concerned. Shaking off that image to conquer young voters, without losing the somewhat older middle, that is set to become Joe Biden’s challenge.