Joe Biden is much more popular among voters than the left’s intelligentsia anticipated, with staggering leads in every poll of Democratic presidential candidates. Why did so many journalists and Twitter pundits fail to foresee his success?
One reason, Jonathan Chait argues, is that the social democrats who support Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and the conservatives who find them useful villains, shared an incentive to overstate the influence of leftists among Democrats and to understate the relative strength of moderates.
Writing on the same question, Michelle Goldberg declared, “Left-wing Twitter isn’t a microcosm of the Democratic Party. It’s just a small, noisy fraction of it.”
During a discussion I joined on Left, Right & Center, the Daily Beast columnist Keli Goff suggested another possibility. She shared that her African American family members are more enthusiastic about Biden’s candidacy than she would have guessed.
She theorized that their support wasn’t issue-based.
“To succeed in primarily nonblack spaces––you only do it when you have really good allies,” she declared. “And I think that one of the things Biden gets credit for, rightly or wrongly, is this idea of being the blue-collar white guy who helped give Obama legitimacy with some of the blue-collar, white, male voters who voted for Obama-Biden and then crossed over for Donald Trump. I think African Americans give credit for that. Especially when the Obama campaign was really struggling, not always fairly, with some of these race-baiting attacks, sending Biden out on the campaign trail to fight some of those fights made a difference.”