If Joe Biden had run in 2016, President Bernie?

It seems to me like this is how it would have played out. Biden divides the mainstream centrist D vote and Bernie ends up winning the nomination. Then Bernie beats Trump in the General? That one is harder to predict given how bad some of the Clinton-Trump polling turned out to be, but it’s certainly a possibility.

So is this all Joe Biden’s fault? :wink:

I dunno. I was a Bernie supporter, but if Biden had run, I probably would have supported him instead. I think a lot of people just didn’t like Hillary, and not everyone supporting Bernie was a Bernie Bro.

It’d be President Biden, assuming there were no Benghazi/email-level “scandals”. Sanders never stood a chance, either in the primary or in the general, after the Republican war propaganda machine got done with him.

President Biden. The only thing that stopped him from being President is that he chose not to be.

I’m with the majority here. I was a Bernie supporter over Clinton, but would’ve flipped to Biden in a heartbeat. I don’t blame him for not running, but he would have prevented what we have now.

Yeah, I’m completely on board with not blaming Joe. What a horrible decision to have to make.

His campaign would have come across as an insurgency against Clinton, just as Sanders’s was, but with less vigor. Biden got one percent of the vote in Iowa in 2008, so he has no natural constituency or message to start from. In fact, he’d arguably be starting from a weaker position than in that year, because the party and the major supporters were declared to Clinton well in advance. Not only does he have to win over a party that didn’t warm up to his earlier campaigns, he has to do so by peeling voters away from someone who looked like the nominee-designate from the moment she announced.

If Biden announces before Bernie catches fire, then Biden catches all the heat for wrecking the appearance of unity in the Democratic party. If he announces after Bernie becomes a phenomenon, then it looks like the party is making a desperation move because it thinks Clinton is crumbling.

There’s also the question of who finances the Biden campaign. Big donors were declared to Clinton, while the small money was going to Sanders.

I just don’t think there’s a reasonable scenario where anyone but Clinton wins the D nomination in 2016.

Nothing would have changed at all, I have no idea why anyone thinks Biden would have gotten any more traction than he did before.


Sanders had no chance in a general


Clinton wins the primary handily as she did against Sanders. It really wasn’t close at any point after super Tuesday. Sanders and Biden split the not-Clinton as they did in polling that included Biden before he dropped out. Biden drops out after third place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The conventional wisdom was that Biden and Clinton occupied the same political space, and Clinton had more money and establishment support, so she’d win. Even Nate Silver made that argument.

But in hindsight, Silver and the CW missed a very important factor: while Biden and Clinton are similar politically, Biden is miles ahead of her on honesty and likeability, not to mention charisma. He wouldn’t have split the establishment vote and handed the race to Bernie, because the dynamic would have been totally different. Rather than Bernie energizing a young base that had no use for Clinton, the base would be fairly satisfied with Obama’s likeable VP.

I’m not sure about this, but…maybe Biden could have actually given Clinton the ability to carve out her own space on some of the issues. She basically let Sanders define all of the ideological stakes, and had to follow him in whatever direction he went. I’m not sure she would have been in that position if she’d had the opportunity to make a foil out of Joe Biden (D-Visa), chair of the Anita Hill hearings.

When did Biden become a force to be reckoned with?

Lest we forget, he ran for President on his own, and even before he got busted stealing Neil Kinnock’s speeches, he was going nowhere.

Behind closed doors, he’s a very effective Senator. But in public, he is NOT a likable guy. He’s smug, smarmy and phony. He talks now as if he’d have been an amazing candidate last year. I don’t see it. He certainly could have won (anyone would be a better candidate than Hillary), but it’s no sure thing.

Don’t we have a Doper who was taught by him?

It’s impossible to know for sure but my money would have been on Biden to push Hillary out of the race early, which would have pit Biden up against Bernie mano-a-mano. Biden would have been attacked for being too corporate by a lot of Bernie die-hards, but I think he would have inspired a bigger turnout in the general election. He absolutely would not have lost Pennsylvania the way that Clinton did, and he might have been able to pull off victories in other states that Trump won.

I think Biden would have beaten Trump easily but I am not so sure he could have gotten the nomination in the first place. Hillary had done a good job of locking down establishment support and she had built a strong ground operation and Bernie was drawing a lot of the enthusiasm on the left. There wasn’t a lot of space for Biden to operate particularly if he entered late.

A sitting VP doesn’t just ‘jump into’ a race. If Biden was serious about running, he would have started making noise about it after the 2014 midterms. Clinton vs Biden would have been similar to Gore vs Bradley in 2000 and Bernie would have been an afterthought.

For all the noise that Bernie and his cult made in 2016, it is important to remember how Clinton crushed him when it came to the delegate count. Bernie should have dropped out after Super Tuesday and certainly after getting embarrassed in New York. He just became addicted to the celebrity and couldn’t face the music.

It’s not a completely unknown how Biden would have done against Clinton and Sanders. He was included in the polling until a couple months before Iowa. He was solidly in third place. You can also see how much effect he had on Clinton’s share of the vote at his peak. He knocked her down to about 44% which is higher than where Bernie was at the end.

Look at this graph.

The most reasonable data based conclusion is that Biden finishes 3rd in Iowa and New Hampshire and then drops out. The rest of the primary goes pretty much the same way as if Biden had never been in.

I’m willing to entertain the idea that Biden might have stuck around to also finish third in South Carolina before he dropped out, but any speculation that he would have gone farther than that is not supported by the facts.

I know it doesn’t fit the DNC coronation/DNC decided it was her turn narrative, but enough democratic primary voters had made up their minds early enough that Clinton winning the nomination was secure no matter what choice Biden made.

I honestly don’t know if Biden would have beaten trump or not. I do know that when the incumbent VP wants the party’s nomination, it’s awfully difficult to deny it to him.

It’s crazy easy to deny it to him when half your party’s voters have already made up their minds to vote for someone else.