[Ed. – That’s one in the ‘Nays’ column from a Times op-ed writer.]
… Biden is polling ahead of the other Democrats in the field by a large margin, including with women and voters of color. This early in the race, though, polling is more reflective of name recognition than anything else; the two leading candidates for 2020, Mr. Biden and Bernie Sanders, are recognized by 98 percent of Democratic primary voters. This also makes early polls a poor barometer for electoral success. At this point in the lead-up to 2016, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker were the top contenders for the Republican nomination.
The case that people make for Mr. Biden’s electability is not that any one group of people is particularly excited by him, but that he stands the best chance of getting independents and perhaps even some moderate Republicans to cross over and vote Democratic; unenthusiastic lefties will nevertheless vote for him because this is an emergency and Donald Trump is so much worse. It’s Politics 101: The candidate closest to the median voter will scoop up the biggest share.
But getting elected is not about appealing to the bland median. It’s about appealing to the people who actually feel motivated to turn out and vote.