BOSTON (CBS) — Did a spate of recent accusations by women that former Vice President Joe Biden invaded their personal space hurt his prospects as a presidential candidate?
The political danger for Biden was not in what those women said – after all, none of them accused him of sexual harassment.
It was the idea that their discomfort would fuel the perception of him as just too old and out of touch to be the nominee.
But that doesn’t appear to be the case.
A new Morning Consult/Politico poll suggests most Democrats are still bullish on Biden, despite the recent rash of complaints about his physical style.
The poll found Biden’s handsiness makes no difference to a majority of Democrats and Democratic women, and even 45 percent of Republican women say they don’t care.
Instead, the survey shows Biden remains – on paper at least – as strong a potential candidate as ever.
Half of African-American voters want him to go for it, trailed only slightly by strong Democrats and Democratic women. Those three groups will likely dominate the primaries next year.
“I just don’t see him as a threat,” says President Trump of Biden. “He’s been there a long time, his record is not good, he’d have to run on the Obama failed record.”
But Democratic voters in this poll beg to differ with the president. Three-quarters of them see Biden’s experience as a plus. Half find him progressive enough to be their nominee. And a solid majority see him as the best chance to retire the incumbent.
The bottom line?
President Trump has a point, Biden will be called to account for Obama-era policies that find disfavor with voters, even in a Democratic primary. And there are many ways in which a Biden presidential run could stumble.
But for now, at least, being too friendly doesn’t appear to be one of them.