Thursday, May 23, 2019

Biden Mystery Solved

I've been trying to figure out who the Democrats are and who they are becoming. For the most part, I've got it solved. The one odd piece of data I could not connect involved Biden's lead in the primaries. I understand it now. There's an age break in the Democratic party.

Here's the deal. More than 60% of Democratic Primary voters will be women. As I've mentioned, there is a ton of activity from these women centered around wanting to toss out the men who form the party facade and instead run women. That said, there is a strange disconnect between this and polls which show Biden at 38%. Not only is Biden a white dude (and therefore flies in the face of the women's only movement), but he's not even an "interesting" white dude like Buttguy or Bernie. So what is happening?

It turns out, he's a nostalgia vote...

Apparently, Biden's support comes almost entirely from Democrats older than 55. They want someone "electable" and they view Biden as (1) having a long, respectable history in the Senate and (2) being Obama's right hand man... or is it left hand in the Democratic Party? Anyways, that's what they think.

Not coincidentally, only 20% of these Democrats describe themselves as "very liberal," with most describing themselves as "moderate" or even "conservative." 41% of these people support Biden.

Go younger than that, however, and everything changes. Just over 40% of younger Democrats call themselves "very liberal." None call themselves conservatives. The rest split between "liberals" and "moderates," with liberals winning. Biden draws 17% here, behind both Bernie and Elisabeth Warren.

So what we are seeing is likely a last hurrah of the older "conservative" Democratic vote. They've focused on Biden as compared to a split field on the left. What that means now is a good question. What it means for the future is bad for the Democrats. As these older Democrats die off, they are being replaced by a group that has a center much farther to the left (a true shift in ideology) and are basically devoid of anyone on the right. That puts them much further outside the ideological mainstream of America. Combining this with the rise of women in the party suggests a coming party that looks and sounds like something quite foreign to most Americans... a sort of Progressive Party of Single White Women. Indeed, white women under 45 voted 70% for Sanders in 2016, making them hardcore leftists and nothing like the dying Democrats.

So can Biden win? Good question. His support is about 40% among half the party. That's not a bad base if he can make it grow. But his support is an awful 17% among the other half of his base, the energetic portion. That's not good. The one grace he has is that no one else has grabbed the ring. But that sounds more like he's just waiting to get the boot by some new candidate rather than a march toward victory. If no one else comes along, then he might win a plurality election. But I think the problem with that is that Bernie Sanders will dominate the caucus states, which tend to be the middle of the country where the older voters are. That will quarantine his support and make him vulnerable to whoever wins the left. Who that is remains to be seen!


Critch said...

Those younger voters will not turnout if Biden is nominated...even if he has a gay black female with an Hispanic surname running as VP...they don't want Biden...and it kills me that there are people out there who think Biden is moderate or even conservative..

AndrewPrice said...

Critch, I agree on both points. I don't see the younger ones turning out for Biden. I think they vote third party. And I have no idea why people think Biden is a moderate.

LL said...

Biden is a moderate compared to the rest of the field. He’s not advocating an end to cars, cows and airplanes.

Anthony said...

Biden is as much a moderate as Trump is a conservative. In a two party system in which each party continually refines itself in reaction to both the whims of its head and what the other party is doing, definitions are very flexible.

Trump is to the left of Obama and Clinton on trade and matches their enthusiasm for growing the power of government (especially that of the executive branch) and spending money like there is no tomorrow.

Biden is a moderate by the low standards of Democratic party in which trillion dollar environment taxes and slavery reparations are considered feasible by the fringe. Assuming Biden wins the nomination (I would have lost money on that bet) I'm not sure how he'll do against Trump, but I think that performance will be driven by a lot of things other than Biden (think Congress and Trump).

I share your belief that the Dems are going to go further to left, but I'm not so sure that will be electorally problematic for them. Nowadays both parties love big government, they just disagree about what it should do.

I don't see how your point that young white women preferred old man Bernie to old woman Clinton supports your theory that young white women are eager to driven men out of office.

tryanmax said...

Pardon me for being daft, but what are the "left" and "right" positions on trade? If renegotiating existing trade deals is "protectionism," as I'm assured by both sides of the media, we can't be considering a very wide spectrum, to say the least.

Anthony said...


To be succinct, the conservative position on trade prioritizes free markets and efficiency, the leftist position prioritizes domestic workers and companies.

The leftist position is a very expensive one for governments, taxpayers and consumers.

Anthony said...

I wish I could see what Trump's fans do. The tweet below is an actual thing he sent.

Time will tell whether my belief that North Korea won't go to war with us nor give up its nukes or Trump's belief that Kim Il Jong is his friend and is just waiting for the right moment to give up his nukes is correct.

North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?

AndrewPrice said...

LL, Biden has never struck me as believing in anything. He's certainly not ideological. But he's not moderate either. He's just following the Democrats about 10 years behind the wagon. He's walking next to Hillary...

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Young white women supporting Bernie over Hillary had to do with her being the wrong generation and, in their eyes, moderate. Besides, this issue didn't become an open issue until Hillary lost to Trump. Since then, young white women have been on an angry tear that they are sick of accepting the idea that men are more electable.

If there's a legacy to the #metoo stuff, it's the radicalization of these women.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The Democratic position on trade has been disingenuously consistent with the union position -- shut down trade -- until they ran into a Republican who actually embraces their rhetoric. Now their position is shut down trade, but not the way Trump is doing.

The conservative position on trade died when it wasn't defended over the past 20 years. It's not a selling point to union guys in the Rustbelt.

tryanmax said...

Thanks guys. If I may elucidate my confusion by pushing back on those trade position summaries. I agree that the conservative position on trade hasn't been defended, or even articulated, well in my adult life. At best, the message is "level playing fields are for ninnies." On the other side, you have eight years of "your jobs aren't coming back," which is all you need to explain why Democrats lost the rustbelt.

If I think a little harder, it seems that both parties have chosen opposite sides of the free trade coin to the exclusion of the other. Republicans want free movement of goods, but not labor. Democrats want free movement of labor, but not goods.

Rustbelt said...

Why do you guys keep dragging me into this?

I'm not an economist. I'm trying to figure out the parties' positions, too!

(Though I do like tryanmax's summary.)

Anthony said...


Democrat style promises of eternal employment and high wages are easy to make but hard to keep.

Have you followed the GM saga?

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