Joe Biden Announces 2020 Run for President
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced Thursday that he would seek the Democratic nomination to challenge President Trump in 2020, marshaling his experience and global stature in a bid to lead a party increasingly defined by a younger generation that might be skeptical of his age and ideological moderation.
Mr. Biden, 76, is set to offer himself as a levelheaded leader for a country wracked by political conflict, a rationale he believes could attract a broad cross-section of voters who want to move on from Mr. Trump.
Biden has averaged about 28% in the national polls over the last month and about 30% since the beginning of the year. It’s easy to now scream “name recognition” and point to Jeb Bush, who fell apart four years ago in the race for the Republican nomination. But comparisons like that are unfair from a numbers context.
Looking back at polling since 1972, well-known candidates who average 30% in the first half of the year before the primary win their primaries about 40% of the time. Bush, for reference, was polling at half the level Biden has been nationally.
One way you can know Biden’s advantage is not just about name recognition is to look at the early states where voters should be paying the most attention. Over the first 4.5+ months of 2019, Biden’s averaged 26% in Iowa, 24% in New Hampshire (where he is fighting against Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, who represent next-door states), 26% in Nevada and 36% in South Carolina. Across all four, he’s averaged 28% since the beginning of the year.
Biden’s fairly strong horse-race numbers are backed up by having the best favorability ratings in the Democratic field. And keep in mind, he’s also polling better than Sanders or Warren, who have similarly high name recognition.