In the long march to the Democratic presidential nomination exactly 300 days from now, Slow Joe Biden is decelerating the pulses of voters while high-energy Elizabeth Warren is speeding them up.
Among a field of 20 recognizable names in a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, Mr. Biden, 76, and Mrs. Warren, 70, were the only candidates to see their support grow meaningfully since the paper’s July survey.
That’s not exactly music to the ears of Old Joe, not even when heard on his record player.
But then, who knows, by the Democratic nominating convention in Minneapolis next July, he may be listening to music on his hi-fi.
The former — and sometimes he thinks current — vice president actually rose in the latest WSJ telephone poll of 506 Democratic voters, with a plus or minus 4.6 percentage point error margin.
This time, 31 percent of respondents said he was their first choice, up from 26 percent in the previous WSJ poll.
But the one who continues to come on strong is the former law professor and one-time native American.
In the latest WSJ poll, the stage-dominating, vigorously gesticulating Ms. Warren moved ahead in voter enthusiasm while Mr. Biden dropped.
“Some 70 percent of Democratic primary voters rated themselves as enthusiastic about or comfortable with Ms. Warren, compared with 64 percent who said so of Mr. Biden,” the WSJ reported. “In a sign of her support, Ms. Warren attracted 20,000 supporters at a rally in New York City’s Washington Square Park Monday night.”
Not good for Mr. Biden. Enthusiasm is a significant predictor.
Ms. Warren was the first choice of 25 percent — up from 19 percent last time. Shouting Sen. Bernie Sanders was the only other candidate to break into double digits with 14 percent naming him their first choice, up a stunningly weak single percentage point from his July rating.
Despite “news analyses” and opinion columns claiming she’s still in the running, Sen. Kamala D. Harris, 54, isn’t clicking with Democratic voters after high visibility in three successive debates.
The senator and former California attorney general is the only other candidate besides the Biden-Warren-Sanders chart-topping trio who began the long march as a serious nomination possibility.
So again, Pocahontas remains the one to watch, though neither she, Joe, Bernie nor anyone else on stage in the latest debate may wind up as the nominee.
Keep an eye peeled for some as-yet-unknown savior to enter stage left between now and November — when the earliest state filing deadlines kick in.
It’s hard to believe that the Democratic Party’s moderate old bulls and practical politics moguls — its youngster billionaires tend to be Leninists — will not somehow find a savior who doesn’t frighten the horses.
Which is to say someone moderate enough to win a general election and left-wing enough to keep the party’s Warren-Sanders wing aboard.
The old bull and practical moguls are, however, wrong about who can win the presidency in an America that has already changed its nature — and not for the better. They are in mortal fear that a Warren or a Sanders or virtually any of the no-border, free-stuff-for-all candidates will do to the party next year what George McGovern did to it in 1972. He lost the whole shebang except for Massachusetts and D.C. to Richard M. Nixon.
That worry is not necessarily well-founded. A progressive with enough charisma and a convincingly honest-as-the-day-is-long persona probably can win a national election.
Such a progressive probably might find it hard to beat President Trump. But beat any other Republican? Yes, conceivably.
The left has so thoroughly taken over public K-through-12 and higher education as to produce an army of young voters who think socialism works and capitalism is as bad as, well, as white privilege.
That may in some part explain why some 70 percent of Democratic primary voters said they are “enthusiastic about or comfortable with” Mrs. Warren.
She has said she’s not a socialist and is a market-loving capitalist (though on policy and viewpoint, she sounds as far left as Bernie and the other far-outers.)
“I love what markets can do. … They are what make us rich, they are what create opportunity,” she has said. “But only fair markets, markets with rules. Markets without rules are about the rich take it all, it’s about the powerful get all of it. And that’s what’s gone wrong in America.”
That line has a mighty appeal among young and white voters in this country.
What about Old Joe? Compared to her 74 percent, only 64 percent said they were “enthusiastic about or comfortable with” the man who was President Barrack Obama’s No. 2.
So, yes, keep this in mind if you can, Mr. Biden: She’s the one who in the end will have your scalp.
As for you, Ms. Warren, keep this in mind: Scalp does not equal nomination.
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