Former Vice President Joe Biden was asked on Tuesday whether he thought Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would lose the 2020 presidential election if he became the Democratic Party’s nominee.
Several prominent pundits, including James Carville and Chris Matthews, have expressed deep concern about Sanders winning the nomination, based on their belief that a socialist would alienate the general electorate.
Sanders describes himself as a “democratic socialist” who supports stronger social programs like Medicare-for-All and government-funded college for those who get the grades to earn a spot at a university they want to attend.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program (while the show was on location in New Hampshire), Biden was asked directly if he agreed with Carville’s and others assessments. The former vice president dismissed them.
“I refuse to suggest any Democrat can lose, I think we could run Mickey Mouse against this president and have a shot,” Biden said.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) February 11, 2020
Recent polling suggests Biden is correct. Both he and Sanders, presently the top frontrunners in the Democratic presidential primary race, appear to perform well against incumbent President Donald Trump in a hypothetical matchup in a general election contest.
According to polling from Quinnipiac University, Biden would receive 50 percent of the popular vote versus Trump, who would receive a dismal 43 percent. Sanders sees virtually the same outcome, with 51 percent of the electorate preferring him over Trump, who again receives 43 percent support in the poll’s hypothetical election.
Tuesday is the New Hampshire primary, where polling indicates Biden could come in third or even fourth place. The first-in-the-nation primary election will likely be won by Sanders, according to data from Suffolk University’s poll.
Sanders came in second place at the Iowa Caucus, although due to discrepancies in the numbers from that contest as well as the closeness of the race, most view the outcome from that event last week as a virtual tie between him and Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Biden came in fourth place in the caucus.
The vice president may not win any of the first two contests, but is hoping to do well in the next two: South Carolina and Nevada. From there, its Biden’s hope that he can win on Super Tuesday, when a number of other states will have their primaries as well.