Joe Biden is not Donald Trump.
Like, literally. The former vice president and the current President are two entirely different human beings! Which, it turns out, appears to be Biden’s greatest advantage in the 2020 presidential race.
In a new Pew poll, which shows Biden leading Trump 53% to 45% among registered voters, more than half of those who support Biden say the main reason is that he’s not Trump.
Here’s the breakdown of the “main” reason voters for (or leaning toward) Biden offered up:
56%: “He is not Trump”
7%: “Vote for Democrats/Against Republicans”
6: “He’s for American people and values”
So, yeah. Mostly people like Biden – or at least they say they are going to vote for him – because he, well, just isn’t Trump.
(Is the opposite true, you ask? Not really. Just 19% of Trump voters say they are voting for the incumbent because he’s not Biden. That’s behind the 23% who named Trump’s “Leadership/Performance” and the 21% who said his “Issues/Policy.”)
Numbers like those may seem like a bit of a slight against Biden – people aren’t even really for him, they’re just against the other guy – but what they suggest is that as long as the presumptive Democratic nominee continues to make the race a straight referendum on the incumbent and his first four years in office, he is doing OK.
If this race is about Trump, Biden wins. Period. It’s why he picked the vice presidential nominee with the least obvious issues that could be exploited by the Trump campaign. It’s why he and that running mate – Sen. Kamala Harris of California – haven’t taken any questions from reporters in the first two official public events they’ve done so far. It’s why Biden’s team has zero interest in adding on to the three scheduled general election debates.
Biden’s campaign knows that voters will be faced with a choice between two men on November 3. (Sorry, Kanye, but you aren’t on enough ballots.) And they know that while plenty of people – including plenty of Democrats – might wish for a more inspirational or charismatic choice than Biden, when faced with a straight-up choice between Biden and Trump, those voters are going with the former veep.
And if that happens, Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States.
The Point: There’s no asterisk in the history books as to how and why someone wins the White House. There’s just presidents and those that lost.