Only Biden and Sanders beat Trump in head to head polls.

Electability. You can have the best platform and positions in the country. However, if you haven't a prayer of getting elected, the quality of your platform and positions may be at least a somewhat moot point. IMO, they would not be totally wasted: They can influence the national conversation, aspirations of voters, etc. I believe that Sanders' 2016 positions did that. But, a great platform and great positions plus "electability" should be a dynamite trifecta, no?

The good news is that a recent poll shows that both Biden and Sanders--and only Biden and Sanders--beat Trump in head to head polls. That is, count 'em, folks, only two candidates out of an original field of almost thirty Democratic delusionals Presidential hopefuls. So, for once, I almost agree with the polls. (I differ with this poll in that I do not believe that Biden will defeat Trump. Then again, as I've been fond of saying since firedoglake.com was firedogpup.com, the purpose of polls this far out is to shape public opinion, not to measure it.)

Booker took a shot at the notion of electability at a separate campaign stop in Iowa on Wednesday.

“Can’t we have bigger aspirations than that?” he asked. “Beating Donald Trump is the floor, not the ceiling.”

Said one of the many Democratic hopefuls who could not even make it to the level of what he himself was characterizing as "the floor."

The article from which I learned about this poll begins with a huge, triumphant pic of Joe Biden and Jill Biden and contains quotes from Joe Biden, Jill Biden and Cory Booker, but not from Sanders. Gee, if only two Democrats out of almost thirty poll as electable, by all means, let's not quote all both of them! Better to quote a spouse and a below floor level hopeful.

The Onion recently parodied--but not by much--Jill Biden's statements about her husband's candidacy. Onion headline: Jill Biden Urges Democratic Voters To Ignore Which Candidates Are Mentally Sharp Enough To Finish Complete Sentences For Good Of Party. For some of Jill Biden's recent real life remarks, check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_vluVauvs4&t=0s ; https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/19/politics/jill-biden-joe-biden-beat-donald... and the article that is the basis for this essay, https://www.courthousenews.com/poll-only-biden-sanders-can-beat-trump-in...

For his part, Joe Biden continues to say things that give people pause about things like racism and dementia. The most recent example of the latter is Biden's "recalling" the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy--in the late 1970s. For a Democrat to forget 1968, the actual year of those assassinations and of the--I would have thought--unforgettable 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.... I have no words. (If you listen to the video, remember that Biden's first wife died in 1972 and he married Jill in 1977.)

BTW, a search, admittedly a quick one, yielded only right wing sources for Biden's exchanging the "late 1970s" for 1968. Can you just imagine if it had been Sanders making comments that reflected racial stereotyping or that indicated a slipping memory? Or, heaven forfend, making inappropriate comments about kids and groping kids and women? How they are even in the same universe when it comes to electability is beyond me.

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janis b's picture

My impression, admittedly very limited having spoken with only a handful of people, is that Biden represents ’stability’, an antidote to the nausea induced rollercoaster ride under Trump. Biden is familiar and reminiscent of ‘better’ times, which many desperately (even if foolishly) are looking for. If the older population votes in greater numbers, as they usually do, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets the nomination. But a lot can change in 10 months considering the volatile trajectory this country is on.

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@janis b

his vote for the invasion of Iraq, his pro-credit card and pro-bank votes, his racial stereotypes, his treatment of Anita Hill--all his baggage--is going to be drummed into voters 24/7.

I don't think seniors elected Trump. I think many of them voted for Hillary, who also represented the status quo. I think people hurt by NAFTA and all the trade agreements loved by Clinton and Obama elected Trump. I think people bitterly disappointed by New Democrats Clinton and Obama elected Trump. Those people are still out there. While Trump has not helped them as much as he promised he would, he does, thanks to Hillary, have the incumbent advantage and he does know how to play on their fears and dissatisfactions.

As far as Obama, the elections from 2010 through 2014 saw more Republicans elected to federal, state and local offices than any time since Hoover and the Great Depression. It's too bad, IMO, that so few seemed to correlate that with Obama.

In all, despite current polls, I think Trump would cream Biden if Biden is the nominee. This is a relatively recent change in my mindset. Until recently, I was of the view that people would vote "Anybody but Trump," in part because of Trump and in part because the establishment has been attacking him for things large and small consistently since he clinched the 2016 primary. So, any Democratic nominee would make it in a cake walk. I now think I was mistaken about that.

As far as the left, my disappointment with Obama made 2008 my last Democratic vote. I don't remember what I did for the 2010 midterms. I probably wrote in if no Green was on the ballot. After that, I probably left blanks if no Green was on the ballot. And that is my plan for 2020. That is a "no brainer" for me because the electoral votes of my state will go to the Democratic Presidential nominee even if the nominee is a serial killer. (I confess that I don't understand Bernie supporters who automatically vow to vote Republican or not at all unless Bernie is the Democratic nominee, but that is their decision.)

Sorry for rambling on.

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@HenryAWallace this far out about who could beat Trump or whether his re-elect will be difficult to stop are very premature.

One sudden nasty downturn in the economy in the next 14 months might make it possible even for a drooling 77 yo Joe Biden to win. Not that I would recommend him for that task.

But I'm guessing -- soft, semi-predictions -- that it's more likely than not that we will see such an economic tailspin before the election. And it's nearly as likely that DT will try to overcome this with a rally-round-the president big foreign war (Iran comes to mind). Going again into Panama or Grenada won't be sufficient.

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@wokkamile
whenever I felt sufficiently confident enough to make them. As stated, I predicted Hillary's 2016 loss early in 2014. I predicted Sanders loss as soon as he announced formation of an exploratory committee, adding that I was nonetheless supporting him because I thought getting his message out would be worth it. I was correct on both counts. As he began filling arenas with thousands in overflow, I did get caught up in optimism for a short time, but went back down to earth again before Super Tuesday.

I don't expect to be right all the time. We'll know soon enough .

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janis b's picture

@wokkamile

on the effect of an economic meltdown with regard to Trump's electability -

We tell ourselves that Trump will lose because we want to believe it, but Trump was elected because of economic anxiety, how much more enraged will his electorate become when they truly feel that anxiety become economic reality?
https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/08/19/will-the-economic-meltdown-hurt-tr...

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@janis b with that blog or the author, apparently a guy from NZ. I found this comment of his rather interesting

After the tax cuts that put money in their pockets and jobs everywhere, People who vote Trump won’t blame the President for an economic failure, they’ll see a media and political class who have attempted to undermine him every step of the way and how attractive is the blame migrants dog whistle when people are actually economically hurting, not just fretting about their perceived loss of privilege?

Yeah, all those jobs and all that money in the pockets of average people thanks to Trump's wonderful tax cuts. And do you really think those several tens of thousands of voters he peeled off in MI, WI and PN will be happy with Trump when the economy goes south? and will buy his feeble attempts at scapegoating? I rather doubt it. Which is why, per a recent WH leak, he was/is considering a payroll tax cut to keep the wonderful economy, and his re-elect chances, propped up thru Nov 2020.

And an economic collapse certainly, even with the finger-pointing scapegoating, won't be helpful to Donald with the several millions of other voters beyond his hardcore of 43% he will need to get another 4 yrs. Sorry, I don't find this blogger's argument at all persuasive.

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janis b's picture

@wokkamile

And do you really think those several tens of thousands of voters he peeled off in MI, WI and PN will be happy with Trump when the economy goes south? and will buy his feeble attempts at scapegoating?

At the same time, it seems to me from more recent events, that Trump’s more punitive measures have only emboldened his base. And as we know, scapegoating (which is his forte) is a powerful tool.

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janis b's picture

@HenryAWallace

Trump will win. Hell, I don’t believe anyone but a Bernie/Tulsi ticket would have a chance in the election against Trump, but that’s more wishful thinking than an informed prediction.

Here’s chart of validated voters for Trump in 2016.

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@janis b

Even many Democrats share it.

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snoopydawg's picture

but then she decided to insult people and instead of campaigning in the states she lost even after her campaign was telling her she was in trouble there she went to California for private fundraisers with rich people.

ByeDone has never won in Iowa nor has he made it out of the primary, but we're supposed to believe that he can beat Trump? Not with his history of gaffes and his history in general. Trump only needs to remind people of the bills that ByeDone got passed and go from there.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg

I checked my posts from that era (not this board or Daily Kos). My view that was very unpopular on that board as a whole, including with the board admins. Nonetheless, i posted repeatedly, from 2014 until the end of the Democratic primary, that Hillary would lose the general, no matter who the Republican nominee was. (After the end of the Democratic primary, I would have been banned if I continued posting my honest assessment, so I toned down.)

Hillary's baggage plus her personality seemed to me to be a deadly combination. And then there was the sustained Republican wave that had begun with the 2010 midterms. Quite a few of my friends on that board were of the same opinion as I was.

I did not alter that view after Trump clinched the Republican nomination (pledged delegates) and media pivoted from aiding and abetting Hillary's failed pied piper strategy to attacking Trump 24/7. However, I was not as fully confident in my view as I had been when I assumed the Republican nominee would be a normal person.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

I say Biden doesn't even make it to Iowa.

She thinks I'm crazy.

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Peace Sells

@Not Henry Kissinger

Kerry and Hillary did. But, he will lose the general if he is the nominee. IMO, that will be true of everyone in the Democratic field, except Bernie and Tulsi--and the Democratic PTB will eliminate Tulsi as soon as possible, even if it kills them.

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Wally's picture

Maybe the only good thing Biden has going for him is he's not Hillary or Trump.

That actually may be good enough in terms of electability.

The only way he won't get to Iowa is if he has a stroke or is struck with some other major illness.

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@Wally

is a creepy-gropey, racist dodderer who can't distinguish between iconic events in US history that happened when he while he was engaged to his first wife and those that happened after he had buried her and married his second wife.

From some blacks, he seems to get a pass on the race issue because he accepted 8 years of living like a king in Blair House under a "clean," "articulate" black man, even though Kamala Harris and Cory Booker have spoken up. Whether that is enough to carry him, I don't know. But it will not be enough to defeat Trump.

Of course, there are always our vote caged elections and dicey vote counts. I have no idea how to factor them in. But, there are a lot of state and local Republican officeholders, so....

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@Wally

more crappy votes than her relatively brief time in the Senate allowed. However, he lacks the

First U.S. Woman President appeal to women, especially older women, that Hillary enjoyed. A number of blacks, but not all of them, will overlook his incredibly tone deaf, trite racial stereotyping and other dubious racial remarks because of Obama, much as they overlooked Hillary's "racially-tinged" 2008 primary campaign against Obama because--and someone actually posted to this to me--Obama had forgiven her.

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Wally's picture

@HenryAWallace

There are lots, lots more people who hate Hillary than hate Biden. And not just hate but totally and utterly despise her.

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Yeah the Bidens are ready for Iowa.

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detroitmechworks's picture

But the Democratic Party Debates are feeling a bit... Special these days.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

@detroitmechworks

mocked people with challenges, the latter referring infamously to Obama's Democratic critics on the left as "retards." After a while, Rahm did apologize to the challegeed, albeit not to the Democrats who had elected his boss.

Obama, of course, was able to get the head of the Special Olympics, a member of the Kennedy clan, to defend Obama for his poor taste "joke" on national TV. Yet another way in which it is good to be the king.

But no one offended by your post is likely to go to bat for you. You ain't the King.

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Lookout's picture

...nor will Bernie. I continue to speculate the dims will cheat Bernie yet again, and Biden will continue opening mouth insert foot as is his pattern. His record is so horrible if anyone looks or reports on it. The $hill 2.0

So sad to think of 4 more years of Trump, but that's where I would put my money....unless the economy tanks which is a very real possibility.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout

a number of them are into the "macho" deal. They think his actions after his 2016 loss show he is weak and they will not vote for a POTUS/CIC they perceive as weak.

On the flip side, some leftists, including some who post here, think those same actions proved he was sheep dogging and went from enthusiastic supporters to foes or from enthusiastic donors to those who will vote for him in the primary and maybe the general, but that's all. No more volunteering or donations for them. On the other hand, Sander has picked up new enthusiastic supporters.

I don't usually like to make alternate universe posts. However, I do think Bernie would have defeated Trump in 2016. This time, it may be more difficult. I don't know what to predict, if Sanders is the nominee. But that is still a big if. Plan A seems to be Biden, with Warren as Plan B. IMO, both will lose to Trump.

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for weeks that Biden is unlikely to make it to IA, or at the very least not in his current strong frontrunner position.

Gaffes? I see them more as cognitive decline, especially the confusing comments about the assassinations occurring in the late 70s. We are likely to see more of this in the coming months -- still 5-6 months from IA -- and there's a fair chance even the friendly MSM and the moron couple at Morning Joe, his biggest boosters, will be forced to consider whether these are merely harmless typical Joe gaffes or whether it's something more serious. Recall that in 2016, MoJo went from being Trump enablers to T opponents, so they are capable of being embarrassed enough to switch allegiances.

In the unlikely event Biden ends up with the nom, Trump will attack mainly on the mental decline issue -- Joe Has Lost the Plot or similar -- and it will be effective because the signs are clear for anyone to see and hear. One of the few things Trump will say in the campaign that will be true.

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@wokkamile

alliances. I think they were for Her from the off. I think they aided and abetted more than anyone in establishment media with Hillary's daumbass pied piper strategy.

They fawned over Trump, touted him as the possible, if not likely, next President, laughed at every stupid thing he said, allowed him as much free air time as he cared to consume whenever he called them or they called him, had very little praise for other Republican Presiential hopefuls and marveled at Trump's successes with Americans before he actually had any. They also accepted ever invite he extended to them, both in NY and Florida. But, then...

Just a very soon as Trump clinched the Republican nom (pledged delegates), however, they pivoted on a dime to mocking and attacking him while saying things like--I kid you not--how very likeable Hillary is, but she "somehow" gets a bad rap. IMO, all the above could not have been more obvious to anyone paying attention. Then again, I watched Morning Joe every day then, to see what the 24 hour news cycle was going to do on MSBNC to Sanders that day.

Although it was not always so--MSNBC was with Bush for his first six years--MSNBC has become to the Democratic Party as Fox News is to the Republican Party. Surely, you don't believe that that MSNBC's talking heads get to choose for themselves which candidates they will back? As soon as any of them got "too" critical of Obama or "too" favorable to Sanders, consequences ensued. And the anchor or commentator either "corrected" course or left MSNBC. Olberman (for being both too critical of Obama and too hard on Republicans), Uygur (too critical of Obama_, the late Ed Shultz (too favorable to Sanders).

If Biden gets the nom, Trump will attack him on everything, with the creepy groping and cognitive difficulties both being prominent in Trump's attacks. The biggest Republican constituency seems to be older white males. They all may not take kindly to the doddering Biden approach, which may hit some of them too close to home. However, they will run with the creepy Unca Joe videos.

Speaking of which, I haven't been keeping up this go round as much as I did in 2016: Have the clueless Democrats stopped referring to Biden avuncularly as Uncle Joe and Tio Joe yet, or are they still oblivious to the creepy Uncle Joe meme?

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have been a regular MoJo viewer (once/3 months for me), but I would occasionally catch them on YT clips. According to this HuffPo piece, while there was a pullback around mid-2016 from Joe and Mika's fawning over Trump, with critical remarks now being heard, they continued to defend him often enough in the period between the convention and the election. Rather odd to continue the pro-Trump comments post-nomination if they were secretly backing Hillary -- I would have expected much more of a clear pivot to the pro-HRC side once the Trump nom was sealed. Then they continued their bromance in the 6 months following the election, not breaking it off until Apr 2017.

If it's fair to judge people by their words and actions, the above seems more consistent with them being genuinely pro-Trump than secretly pro-HRC.

My guess: by mid-2016 or thereabouts, after months of fawning free promotion of Donald on their 3-hour daily show, there was murmuring in the halls of Msnbc (as the above piece suggests) about the blatant pro-T campaigning, and the corporate suits then shot a memo to Joe to ease off, thus the "pivot" by MoJo to a safer, more mixed bag of comments.

Btw, I think Joe and Mika were in the tank for Trump b/c of their pre-established long=term relationship, and much less for ideological reasons. I think MoJo saw their chance at being insiders in the WH, having Trump's ear, feeling their oats (Joe particularly) as important players by giving Trump political advice.

As to campaign strategy if Biden somehow emerges, Trump would not open himself up to an easy counter (p-grabber in chief) if he went after Joe on handsiness. That's an overblown, albeit amusing, non-issue which, as we've seen, hasn't harmed him with even Ds, the people who are most sensitive about these types of things.

Similarly, Rs won't care -- elderly Rs that is -- when Trump goes after Joe's deteriorating mental state. Rs have shown they don't care about any of that offending certain special groups (except for poorly educated whites). He has already called out one anti-Trump audience member for being fat. I suspect many of Donald's followers are overweight, many considerably so. His 43% of fervent supporters don't care -- they are backing him to the hilt, and are juiced by his verbal attacks on opponents, his tough, plain-talking authoritarian ways. Never underestimate how the 43% of Trump cult members will back him no matter what.

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@wokkamile

Did they never again mention the crowds that Trump was drawing or something alike that? Of course not. But the overall bent could not possibly have been more evident. And, as I said I watched every day for well over a year, maybe two years.

Unlike those who write for Huffpo, I have less than zero reason to lie or to pretend. Apparently, you wanted a different version than the one I posted earlier, searched for one and found one. You've done that before; and absolutely nothing is wrong with that. However, Huffpo, another establishment Democrat haven. If you think I'm either unobservant or dishonest, so be it. You could not be more wrong, but so be it.

Further, if you believe that you can safely judge any MSNBC's talking heads by their words, you are naive beyond belief. I do not intend that in a mean way. It's simply true. If you work for MSNBC, you stay within MSNBC's guidelines or you no longer work for MSNBC, also as I indicated previously. That worked out okay for Olberman, who got a job with Gore (for a while), incredibly well for Cenk, who made a ton of money with his own podcasts and probably least well for Schultz, whose podcasts didn't seem to do as well financially. But, as far as MSNBC was concerned, they transgressed and therefore they were archives.

As to campaign strategy if Biden somehow emerges, Trump would not open himself up to an easy counter (p-grabber in chief) if he went after Joe on handsiness.

First, Trump will not have to do it himself. Others-his supporters and surrogates--will do it for him, as they already have been. How do you think all those nauseating videos have been making it to youtube?

Second, AFAIK, Trump's "handsiness" has been confined to adult women. When Jeff Sessions yanks his granddaughter out of Unca Joe's reach in anticipation of inappropriate touching from Joe, you see for yourself that Joe's problem had been no secret on Capitol Hill.

Third, Trump had no compunction whatever about calling out Bill Clinton's inappropriate behavior with adult women while Trump was on national TV--and after the pussy grabbing tape had surfaced and been widely aired, along with the accusations of beauty contest contestants. Why would Trump have more of a problem calling out Unca Joe's improprieties with minors than Trump had calling out Bill's with adult females?

That's an overblown, albeit amusing, non-issue which, as we've seen, hasn't harmed him with even Ds, the people who are most sensitive about these types of things.

OMG. Seriously?

That is a hard no on both counts. Maybe groping has not harmed Unca Joe with perennial D apologists, but many on the left and right of said perennial apologists have been repulsed and disgusted, as well we should all be, IMO. "Amusing?" Sorry, but that is so far from how most people would describe Joe's groping, especially of minors, that I have no words.

As far as Democrats being the more sensitive to these things than those of other political persuasions, again, you must be joking. Where on earth are you getting that? From the incredibly high tolerance Democrats had for years for Bubba's serial sexual harassment? From Hillary and his other fans castigating his female victims, but not him? From your own characterizatioin of Joe's repulsive rubbing down of little kids as "amusing?" Democrats are sensitive to such things only when they use them against a political enemy, be he or she Republican or Democrat. They recognize zero faults in their anointeds.

Similarly, Rs won't care -- elderly Rs that is -- when Trump goes after Joe's deteriorating mental state.

People who are concerned about and frightened by their own memory loss won't be at all uncomfortable if Trump goes after Joe Biden's? How can possibly pretend to know something like that?

He has already called out one anti-Trump audience member for being fat.

First, being fat is not the same thing. Hard as it is, fat people can diet and/or claim that they are healthy, though heavy. No one can avoid dementia or Alzheimer's, if that is the hand life deals them, nor claim it's no one's business but their own. Second, you don't think any overweight supporters of Trump felt the least bit of discomfort about Trump's calling out one of their own? That would be contrary to reactions from overweight people to those kinds of insults we've all seen over the years. And again, how could you possibly know that they were not made uncomfortable?

With all due respect, I have noticed you make claim after expansive claim as though it were indisputable fact when it isn't. Especially in favor of Democrats in general and in favor of specific Democratic politicians. It is not persuasive.

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@HenryAWallace on some of the points above. Re MoJo: I wasn't aware you were above having your recollections checked. I did a quick google and that piece popped up -- much more specific in detailing the pro and con side of the Trump coverage, unlike your post where you merely asserted being a daily watcher. Congratulations on giving MoJo your daily viewership support. Joe and Mika thank you. Sorry, but I found the HuffPo piece more persuasive with its far more detailed analysis of a dreadful 3-hour centrist fest of a too-early show.

Second re Msnbc talking heads and taking their words at face value, I don't think I said or implied that, and I have no illusions about who calls the shots in the. In fact I suggested, per a hint in the cited piece, that maybe Joe got the word from corporate suits to dial back the Trump rah-rahing. But the fact that Joe and spouse were still courting Trump with enough nice words and deeds post-convention and then post-election suggests they were a lot less stealthily for Hillary in some pied piper triple bank shot way, but were hoping for career reasons that the politically inexperienced DT would want them around for their sage political counsel in the WH.

Finally, skipping some comments to wrap this up: I merely state my views here, some stated more strongly than others. The point isn't to specifically persuade you, "HAW", or win a popularity contest here by constantly stating what is clearly the majority view. You and everyone else may challenge my assertions -- that's all fair game and I don't take it personally. I tend to assume, perhaps naively, that others here won't take it personally when I challenge them. Apparently however, some are rather sensitive to being challenged.

As to favoring D pols or candidates in general, I plead guilty. I've never voted R. And proud of it. I still see a major difference in the parties. That said, I've also noted that I voted Jill Stein in 2016, Hillary's hawkish FP scaring the bejeezus out of me. I also favor certain D pols -- currently Bernie and Tulsi, with Liz probably a 3d choice. What's the problem?

Last post in this thread for me.

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Wally's picture

@wokkamile

My sense is that they kept riffing off the Pied Piper Strategy.

There was no need for an absolute break at any point in time. Best to mix it up.

I hate to bring it up but . . . . HyperNormalisation.

Arrrrrrgggh!

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