Johnson: Joe Biden has a smooth path to the nomination


Joe Biden has run for president a total of three times, his first time being in 1988 and second in 2008.

Zachary Johnson

Since the Democratic Primaries on Super Tuesday, it has been an almost-clear path for Joe Biden to be the Democratic nominee.

All of the past eight of the national polls for the democratic nomination race have favored the former vice president, but what is more damning for his opponent Bernie Sanders is that the polling for states that are coming up from Super Tuesday are all in Biden’s favor. The past two polls from the pivotal state of Michigan that are worth anything, according to FiveThirtyEight, JHK Forecasts and myself, are in favor of Biden as he looks to get a big victory in the most important state on that lineup of primaries.

This has, however, been the case for a while and has been Sen. Sanders’ biggest barrier to victory that has been looming on the horizon: working class Democrats from the blue-collar-heavy states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In the eyes of voters, Biden already has a sort of home-field advantage in a state like Pennsylvania as it is a quasi second-home state for him, giving him a baseline with the voters who find winning these states ultimately important.

It has been a narrative for a while that Democrats have fear regarding the upper Midwest, and they feel as though this is overwhelmingly the path to victory and to fulfill their ultimate goal. Pennsylvania was one of the more surprising states that Hillary Clinton lost in the 2016 presidential election with FiveThirtyEight (a group that was one of the more generous to President Donald Trump), giving her a 77 percent chance of winning the state. There was an overall sense of extreme confidence that Democrats had heading into that race that has very much affected how they have ran this one. 

This fixation of the Democrats on the ever-omnipotent “electability” trait has absolutely been the most important thing to voters of all states, and Super Tuesday was a prime example of it. It is an overwhelming sense that we simply need someone who will beat Trump. No more, no less.

My dad is an example I use of someone who is a working-class independent and someone who has a decent propensity to not vote. In the 14 years my family has lived in Iowa, I, as a 20 year old, have caucused more times than my father, and it is people like my dad that the Democratic party is seemingly catering to for this next cycle. My dad voted for John McCain in 2008, Barack Obama in 2012 and Clinton in 2016. He didn’t like Clinton but, like many, has such a disdain for Trump that he voted strategically. He has told me that he would vote for Bernie Sanders if he was the nominee but that that wasn’t saying much, as he also said he would vote for Mitt Romney over Trump (someone he had previously voted against).

The party is reading the writing on the wall that people don’t want things shaken up; they want things to go back to normal. Thankfully for Joe Biden, he’s a pretty normal guy.