As the Democratic Primary Shapes Up, Voters Size Up the Candidates

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readJun 23, 2019
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s kickoff rally for his 2020 Presidential campaign. May 18, 2019 (photo: Michael Stokes)

In the crowded field of Democratic contenders for President, few definites have emerged in the past months. As candidates have brushed up against one another in the press, sometimes politely, sometimes not, no one has dazzled.

No one one has exactly gone down in flames, either.

Former Vice President Joe Biden seems to be favored by many Democratic insiders and in the polls as the one Democrat in the field who could definitely win in a head-to-head against Donald Trump. Other Democrats aren’t so convinced.

Those with their ear to the ground still don’t find Biden all that strong of a candidate. They fear his history, his voting record, and most of all, they fear Biden’s well-deserved reputation as a gaff-master. His misspeaks, missteps, misstatements, misunderstandings are practically legendary in politics.

Keeping Biden insulated from the press seems to be the current campaign strategy. But that shows only the side of Biden that emerges after one of his notorious gaffes when he faces the press under pressure to explain himself. At these times, Biden is in damage control mode, which can sometimes comes across as defensive.

Biden’s most recent gaffe- a reference to his friendly working relationship with Democratic segregationists decades ago- made the usual angry rounds across social media. Some Democrats, like Sen. Cory Booker, who is also running for President, were quick to condemn Biden.

Others Democrats were quick to defend the former Vice President, choosing to focus on the gist of Biden’s argument- that he is capable of working with anyone, however odious- rather than the other less savory implications of his statement.

Biden, in typical Biden fashion, failed to apologize, standing on his record with regards to civil rights and brushing off Booker’s criticism as as political ploy for effect.

While former Vice President Joe Biden has continuously failed to energize the Democratic base, other candidates have tried to distance themselves from the rest of the pack.

Small-town mayor Pete Buttigieg has been working the circuit, appearing at town halls and extolling large crowds on his virtues as the Democratic…