Joe Biden Mulls 2020 Campaign Aimed At The Working Class
He’s enjoying his coquettishness, answering questions with a smile and a wave, or a little comment while taking selfies in the crowd after and saying, “We’ll announce that pretty soon.” The union’s president, Harold Schaitberger, seemed pleased after working the crowd with Biden. “His voice is more than connecting with the neighborhoods,” he said. “He really connects with the individuals.”
Schaitberger said Biden “absolutely” delivered votes for the ticket in 2008—a campaign in which Jim Messina, an aide on Obama’s 2008 campaign and his 2012 campaign manager called Biden “a crucial touchstone for these white working class voters in assuring them Obama was on their side and shared their values.”
Pressed to identify where those votes were, Schaitberger said, “It’s not like physically where they were, it’s like who were they.” He said he wasn’t going to get into saying there were any states Obama won which he would have lost without Biden on the ticket, and he’d never polled his members to see if they share his own love for Biden.
“I’ve just watched him and this for so long, maybe it’s my own personal bias. I’ve seen this, felt this, been on the trails with him. And I see how workers and people react,” Schaitberger said.
Bill Russo, a Biden spokesman who was at his side backstage and working the crowd at the firefighters event, said he doesn’t see the support as a question.
“Joe Biden has fought and will fight for policies that treat working people with the respect and dignity they deserve, and they in turn support him,” Russo said. “He believes there is no distinction between pursuing progressive policies and speaking to the real concerns of working people. It’s why he is able to campaign for candidates from Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania to Andrew Gillum in Florida—because working people know they can depend on Joe Biden.”
John Anzalone, a pollster who has been advising Biden on a 2020 run, pointed to a Harvard-Harris poll from last month that showed three-quarters of people who said they’d support Biden don’t have college educations, and that he’s winning 42 percent of non-college educated voters—as opposed to the closest runner up, Bernie Sanders, who had 22 percent. Likewise, Anzalone noted that Biden was leading among non-college educated voters with 30 percent in a Monmouth University poll that came out earlier in the week.
There’s no way to actually measure if Biden has moved or motivated voters in the past, but Anzalone said he feels like the polls are a strong indication that he did.
“Biden has consistently had comfortable leads with non-college voters in public polls because he has a real connection with them,” he said. “They think he is both authentic, cares about them and understands their lives and problems.”
One former 2016 Clinton operative remembered Biden’s numbers in Pennsylvania as being “supernaturally high,” and above anyone else’s in other battleground states, as well. Of course, Clinton went on to lose Pennsylvania, as well as all the other states in which she had Biden campaign.