BOSTON (CBS) – He’s the president Democrats love to hate, and the prospect of a second Trump run has them seething.
But as Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents begin to consider potential Trump challengers, a new CNN poll is upsetting the conventional wisdom about what voters are looking for.
Despite all the talk about the party moving to the left only five percent say progressive positions on issues are the most important factor in their decision. And only three percent want the nominee to “represent the future of the party.”
But 16% want someone with the right experience, and 26% want someone with the best chance of beating Trump, by far the leading attribute.
Enter Joe Biden, the frontrunner in the current CNN poll and two previous ones. More than six in ten surveyed say Biden should enter the race, a 15-point jump over the last time he considered running in 2015.
Half say they’d be likely to support him, with white voters overall, whites without college degrees and seniors – the same voters who gave Trump his winning margin in key states last time – among his strongest supporters.
No doubt, Biden has baggage. But as a slew of lesser-known Democrats, most of them to Biden’s left, struggle to break out and survive intense scrutiny, the former vice president is widely known, well-liked, and able to offer both a link to a glorious party past and a break from a detested status quo.
There is a long way to go, and Biden’s two previous campaigns for president did not go well. But right now he seems more in synch with the voters who will choose the nominee than almost any other candidate, yet another reason to be skeptical of conventional political wisdom a year out from the first caucuses and primaries.