Today’s RealClear Politics betting odds have Joe Biden at 88.4% to Bernie Sanders’s 13.1%. Barring any unforeseen bombshells, Biden is on his way to became the Democratic nominee for president.
If he does become the candidate the Dems will be putting up against Donald Trump, he will face some tough questions from the opposing camp. Among these will be his role in brokering his son Hunter’s sinecure at Burisma and his threats to withhold aid unless the Ukraine fired the prosecutor in his son’s case. Others will focus on his clearly declining mental readiness.
But these won’t be the toughest questions Biden will need to answer. The toughest will be his explanation for his meteoric rise in the polls literally days after his campaign was written off as dead. How, one might ask, did he go from 19% on March 1 to 34.3% four days later.
Clearly, Biden did nothing personally that would account for the dramatic increase we are witnessing, especially one coming on the heels of an equally dramatic plunge. He didn’t deliver a game-changing speech at the end of February, for example. Nor were his numbers preceding that plunge stratospheric. Throughout the campaign season, Biden’s numbers have tracked largely in the high 20s — nothing to write home about.
It is instructive to compare Biden’s numbers over the period shown in the graph with those of Sanders, whose support has increased steadily as voters became acquainted with his policy proposals. Biden’s support, in contrast, remained static up until Feb. 7, when it began to crumble.
We know that an endorsement by House Majority Whip James Clyburn rallied the troops in South Carolina. But what accounts for his primary victories in far-left strongholds such as Minnesota and Massachusetts?
It would be interesting to hear Biden explain all this.