Former second lady Jill Biden made an unusually honest pitch to voters on Monday for her husband to be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.
“I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that,” she said at a campaign event in Nashua, N.H. “But I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who’s going to win this race.”
“Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” she continued. “But you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election. And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘OK, I personally like so and so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”
She added: “So I think if your goal — I know my goal — is to beat Donald Trump, we have to have someone who can beat him.”
Since the start of the 2020 race, polls have consistently showed Joe Biden beating President Trump by the widest margins of any Democratic candidate in a hypothetical general election matchup.
A Fox News survey released last week found Biden with a 12-point advantage (50 percent to 38 percent) over Trump. But the same survey showed three of Biden’s rivals — Sens. Bernie Sanders (48 percent to 39 percent), Elizabeth Warren (46 percent to 39 percent) and Kamala Harris (45 percent to 39 percent) — beating the president too. (Trump, for his part, lashed out at Fox News over the poll results.)
The Biden campaign is certainly betting on electability being the key issue for Democratic voters. A new campaign ad released Tuesday, titled “Bones,” argues that “we all know in our bones that this election is different.”
“The stakes are higher,” a voice-over in the ad says. “The threat is more serious. We have to beat Donald Trump.”
Urging voters to compromise on certain issues while considering a candidate’s electability is common. In 2016, progressive voters who backed Sanders were urged to vote for Hillary Clinton.
And Republicans with reservations about Trump’s behavior were urged to swallow a “bitter pill” and vote for him.
Trump himself offered a similarly blunt message at a rally last week in New Hampshire, telling voters that their 401(k)s would go “down the tubes” if Biden were elected.
“So whether you love me or hate me, you gotta vote for me,” Trump said.
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