Joe Biden’s Early Lead Can’t Guarantee Him The Democratic Nomination
Former Vice President Joe Biden is a clear leader in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. He’s leading in every poll and he’s far ahead of the usual second-place finisher, Senator Bernie Sanders. Biden was leading even before his announcement and his official entry gave him a boost.
However, Biden’s early success won’t necessarily guarantee him the nomination. There are some 20 candidates in the race and we’re months out from the Iowa Caucuses, the first real vote on who should face President Donald Trump in 2020.
While candidates with early leads have often maintained their momentum and won their party’s nomination, it’s hardly unknown for early favorites to peter out. In 2007, former First Lady Hillary Clinton was consistently ahead in the polls, but by the early months of 2008, then Senator Barack Obama had taken the lead.
Similarly, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani seemed like a clear favorite for the Republican nomination in 2007/8, but ended up losing to Senator John McCain. Giuliani’s decline was rapid. In that case, the polls were not reflected in the actual votes cast.
Biden has failed to win the nomination before and at 76, this may be his last shot at the White House. However, Biden has never before been the front runner, nor has he really been seen as a viable candidate in past election cycles. At this stage, polls may be useful to gauge what voters are thinking, but they can’t be trusted to predict how they’ll vote.