Bernie Sanders dropped out of the presidential race on April 8, 2020. His defeat did not come as a surprise at this hour, as his campaign has been on its last legs for months (https://lhspennant.org/2020/03/19/biden-takes-the-lead/). Given his defeats in several primaries, Sanders was forced to concede that he no longer had any realistic chance at winning the nomination and endorsed Joe Biden.
“The enemy of one’s enemy is one’s friend” is an adage that Biden and Sanders put stock in. The two have a somewhat amicable relationship and, upon admitting defeat, Sanders joined forces with his former rival and encouraged his loyal voters to do the same. Although Biden represents a much older and more conservative branch of Democrats than Sanders and are ideological rivals in a sense, they share the opinion the Trump must go in November.
This is far from an average election year, however. The election fervor that the entire year of 2016 is remembered for is completely absent due to the coronavirus situation. The government’s handling of this crisis will likely be the deciding factor in the election, since it will be fresh in everyone’s mind and everyone will be forced to have an opinion on it. The crisis is also far from over, and people who are not straight-ticket voters have yet to decide their opinions.
There is no small amount of concern over Joe Biden’s ability to take on such a formidable opponent as Trump. Biden is becoming known in many circles on the internet (including Democrats circles) not as the man to beat Trump but as the man who might not be able to. Concerns have been raised about Biden’s health recently, as he has had hospital visits in the past months and he frequently slips up during speeches and interviews. More concerning is Biden’s profile as a soft, empathetic candidate – normally considered a good thing by many people, but possibly unable to cope with the ridicule, disinformation, and full-on personal attacks that Trump and his supporters will soon hurl his way.
But the most notable potential shortcoming on Biden’s part as noted by political scientists and common voters alike is the lack of enthusiastic support for Biden.
Logan Hines, who previously believed that Sanders could win the nomination, said, “I feel like everyone was more enthusiastic about Bernie. Most people were proud of loving him or hating him, the same way people are with Trump. I do not think people feel the same way about Biden.”
Grant Braner, who thought that Sanders would lose to Biden in the primaries, expressed similar sentiments.
“It seems like it will be hard for Biden to win the election because Trump supporters are so much more excited about Trump than Biden supporters are about Biden,” Braner said.