17 votes

Biden outperformed because he won voters who decide late

41 comments

  1. Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    TL;DR endorsements are quite effective if you're undecided, which works exceptionally well against Bernie, since he isn't endorsed often and his voters are not late deciders.

    On Super Tuesday, it was better late than never for former Vice President Joe Biden. Late-deciding voters, that is. One consistent trend across the country was that voters who made their minds up in the last few days moved toward Biden, helping him win some states unexpectedly and run up bigger margins in others. Biden’s strength among late-deciding voters was further evidence of his stunning turnaround since the Nevada caucuses — rising from a distant second to Sen. Bernie Sanders and competing with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the race’s front-runner.

    If we dig a little further into the differences between early and late deciders, Maine, Massachusetts and Minnesota illustrate how one group — white voters — played a key role in Biden’s success. Each state’s electorate was at least 80 percent white. Gary Langer, ABC’s polling guru, reported on election night that, in aggregate data across all states with exit polls,2 Biden won 52 percent of white voters who decided in the last few days compared to just 21 percent among those who picked a candidate earlier. That 31-point margin was the largest among any racial or ethnic group for which we have data.

    TL;DR endorsements are quite effective if you're undecided, which works exceptionally well against Bernie, since he isn't endorsed often and his voters are not late deciders.

    19 votes
  2. [39]
    envy
    Link
    I was witness to the last minute decision making of my wife. She liked Bernies policy positions, but felt like Biden had the best chance of beating Trump. She voted for Biden just before the polls...

    I was witness to the last minute decision making of my wife. She liked Bernies policy positions, but felt like Biden had the best chance of beating Trump. She voted for Biden just before the polls closed.

    8 votes
    1. [35]
      post_below
      Link Parent
      I feel like this has been a remarkably successful propaganda line that big money democrats and the media have pushed since the beginning of the race. I say propaganda because the numbers don't...

      I feel like this has been a remarkably successful propaganda line that big money democrats and the media have pushed since the beginning of the race.

      I say propaganda because the numbers don't really support it. Sanders consistently beats Trump in polls, sometimes by a larger margin than Biden.

      There's also Biden's debate skills, which speak for themselves.

      There's his past, which offers endless attack opportunities. Whereas "he's a socialist" is about all you can come up with against Bernie.

      Then there's Biden's mental health. Regardless of how healthy he is or isn't, he behaves as though his faculties are in decline. That's going to scare a lot of people away.

      We also have his aggressive outbursts. There's bound to be another, and in the general election everyone will be watching.

      Finally we have his behavior towards women, especially younger ones. The video compilations are highly memeworthy. "Creepy grandpa" is the last thing you want in your party's nominee.

      20 votes
      1. [12]
        Loire
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Which, if past history in America is any indication, is a pretty big one.... This poll suggest otherwise. As does this one. This one...

        There's his past, which offers endless attack opportunities. Whereas "he's a socialist" is about all you can come up with against Bernie.

        Which, if past history in America is any indication, is a pretty big one....

        I say propaganda because the numbers don't really support it. Sanders consistently beats Trump in polls, sometimes by a larger margin than Biden.

        This poll suggest otherwise.

        As does this one.

        This one...

        7 votes
        1. [6]
          JamesTeaKirk
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          The only reason that this exists is because Americans have been shielded from learning what the word "socialism" actually refers to. If Bernie gets on a debate stage with Trump, he'll be able to...

          Which, if past history in America is any indication, is a pretty big one

          The only reason that this exists is because Americans have been shielded from learning what the word "socialism" actually refers to. If Bernie gets on a debate stage with Trump, he'll be able to dispel misconceptions about his policies and it will become very clear who has a substantive platform. The fact of the matter is that most Americans support Bernie's policies. Biden has a highly questionable record and his policies are vague half-steps toward Bernie's platform. I doubt that his half-baked "return-to-decency" platform is exciting enough to generate enough turnout during the clearly populist moment we're having. I think it's pretty clear that the general election will depend on turnout, and I'm very confused by Democrats who think that making young people stay home in order to try and capture Trump voters is a good idea right now.

          This poll suggest otherwise.

          Two of those polls are individual samples of less than 1000 people, and all of them are very out dated. For months leading up to super Tuesday, Bernie was consistently beating Trump in the polling by an often larger margin than Biden. Now Biden is slightly ahead, because apparently half of the party was waiting to be told who to vote for, despite the empirical evidence that Bernie's platform has more support. I sincerely hope that works out for them better than it did in 2016.

          8 votes
          1. [3]
            envy
            Link Parent
            The debate stage didn’t help Hillary.

            The debate stage didn’t help Hillary.

            1 vote
            1. JamesTeaKirk
              Link Parent
              Yes. My point is that it is absurd to think that Biden will fare better than Bernie on a debate stage against Trump.

              Yes. My point is that it is absurd to think that Biden will fare better than Bernie on a debate stage against Trump.

              9 votes
            2. post_below
              Link Parent
              Hillary had a huge disadvantage on the debate stage: She can't produce anything that looks like authenticity.

              Hillary had a huge disadvantage on the debate stage: She can't produce anything that looks like authenticity.

              1 vote
          2. [2]
            AnthonyB
            Link Parent
            I'm a Sanders supporter, but I don't know if it would work out that way. So far he hasn't been able to dispel that fear within his own party. Fortunately, the primaries aren't over, so if Sanders...

            If Bernie gets on a debate stage with Trump, he'll be able to dispel misconceptions about his policies and it will become very clear who has a substantive platform.

            I'm a Sanders supporter, but I don't know if it would work out that way. So far he hasn't been able to dispel that fear within his own party. Fortunately, the primaries aren't over, so if Sanders can successfully make that pitch, we'll see it in the coming debates. Unfortunately, the rational behind such bold, aggressive policies requires a bit of nuance and time to present, which we don't get on the debate stage. That's why I'm a bit worried that we might've missed our best candidate in Warren. Watching her go after Bloomberg was very impressive. I feel like she was great at simplifying her policies and getting right to the point and that she would've done the best job in a debate against Trump. Oh well. If it turns out to be Biden, the race will fall on young people and progressives like it did in 2016. Hopefully we/they don't make the same mistake.

            1 vote
            1. JamesTeaKirk
              Link Parent
              I do agree that the format of the debates is much more conducive to Trump's style of making things up on the spot and leaving little room for actual issues to be addressed. I suppose I'm just...

              I do agree that the format of the debates is much more conducive to Trump's style of making things up on the spot and leaving little room for actual issues to be addressed. I suppose I'm just hoping that it will be much more difficult to pigeonhole Sanders in a one on one situation as opposed to the mess we've had in the Democratic debates so far. While I personally prefer Sanders overall, I do admit that the Warren campaign had the best distillation of the competing interests in the party, and probably the most viable national platform.

              2 votes
        2. [5]
          Death
          Link Parent
          Individual polls are usually not what you want to be looking at, especially not with such a wide spread over time. Biden currently outperforms Sanders in the polling aggregate though the margin is...

          Individual polls are usually not what you want to be looking at, especially not with such a wide spread over time. Biden currently outperforms Sanders in the polling aggregate though the margin is thin.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            wycy
            Link Parent
            Oof. Although Biden's average in that polling aggregate is slightly higher, it also shows him losing to Trump in one. At least Sanders wins in all of the polls.

            Oof. Although Biden's average in that polling aggregate is slightly higher, it also shows him losing to Trump in one. At least Sanders wins in all of the polls.

            1. [3]
              Death
              Link Parent
              That's kind of a reach, honestly. Outliers do not necessarily disprove an overall trend in correctly aggregated data. Aggregate polls are typically designed with this in mind.

              That's kind of a reach, honestly. Outliers do not necessarily disprove an overall trend in correctly aggregated data. Aggregate polls are typically designed with this in mind.

              1. [2]
                wycy
                Link Parent
                Arguably all polls are designed with these factors in mind.

                Arguably all polls are designed with these factors in mind.

                1. Death
                  Link Parent
                  Not necessarily, no. It depends on the means the pollsters have. On a small scale these issues are much harder to iron out and not every pollsters has the time or inclination to do so. It's also...

                  Not necessarily, no. It depends on the means the pollsters have. On a small scale these issues are much harder to iron out and not every pollsters has the time or inclination to do so. It's also much more common for them to include other fatal design or process flaws because typically they are less closely scrutinized but still under a lot of pressure to publish.

                  1 vote
      2. [15]
        Litmus2336
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        And sometimes not I think Biden is extremely unelectable, and will lose to Trump. But I think there is a Bernie bubble that deflects criticism of him. For example, that he won't release medical...

        Sanders consistently beats Trump in polls, sometimes by a larger margin than Biden.

        And sometimes not

        I think Biden is extremely unelectable, and will lose to Trump. But I think there is a Bernie bubble that deflects criticism of him. For example, that he won't release medical details (Don't @ me because I personally don't care but a lot of people do).

        And the whole socialism thing is kinda a big deal for a lot of people. The fact that he has spoken quite highly of a country that had nukes pointed at us really is a massive issue for a lot of people. (You can @ me here because I hate the USSR)

        You can disagree whether these should be deal breakers, but I don't think we can pretend that Bernie has guaranteed cross demographic appeal.

        4 votes
        1. [13]
          JamesTeaKirk
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I don't really know how relevant the medical details issue is in an election where everyone running now is literally a senior citizen and the incumbent won't even release his taxes. The...

          I don't really know how relevant the medical details issue is in an election where everyone running now is literally a senior citizen and the incumbent won't even release his taxes. The "socialism" problem is the only legitimate criticism in terms of the general, but it has no substantive backing. Trump can call Bernie a socialist all day but it won't change the fact that Bernie's actual policies are air-tight and supported by most Americans. His relationship with the USSR was rooted in a quest to begin easing relationships from the ground up during an extremely tense era. Every interview where Sanders is praising the factual social accomplishments of these governments, he qualifies his statements with criticisms of their authoritarian activities. Again, I just don't see the evidence that shows a significant amount of people who have serious concerns about what Bernie Sanders was doing in the 70s in the same way that people aren't talking about Biden's actual extensive relationships with authoritarian regimes.

          4 votes
          1. [6]
            envy
            Link Parent
            Obamacare is not supported by most Americans, but they support all the components of Obamacare. The Republicans are very effective at spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt.

            Obamacare is not supported by most Americans, but they support all the components of Obamacare.

            The Republicans are very effective at spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt.

            3 votes
            1. JamesTeaKirk
              Link Parent
              That will be the challenge for sure. But it seems to me that the difficulty of overcoming that challenge is multiplied with Biden.

              That will be the challenge for sure. But it seems to me that the difficulty of overcoming that challenge is multiplied with Biden.

              4 votes
            2. [4]
              skybrian
              Link Parent
              Hmm, what's your source for that? It seems unlikely that a majority was in favor of people paying a tax penalty if you don't have health insurance? (Though that part was done away with.)

              Hmm, what's your source for that? It seems unlikely that a majority was in favor of people paying a tax penalty if you don't have health insurance? (Though that part was done away with.)

              1. [3]
                envy
                Link Parent
                https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/15/most-americans-want-obamacare-mandate-ended-until-they-hear-effects.html
                2 votes
                1. [2]
                  skybrian
                  Link Parent
                  Hmm, interesting. It's easy to forget how much the specific wording of survey questions matters. If you don't know what the question was and how it was asked, you don't know what the number means....

                  Hmm, interesting. It's easy to forget how much the specific wording of survey questions matters. If you don't know what the question was and how it was asked, you don't know what the number means.

                  Unfortunately it appears that Kaiser didn't post the questions for this survey, which was in 2017. The closest thing would be to quote their key finding:

                  The majority of the public (55 percent) support the idea of eliminating the requirement for all Americans to have health insurance or else pay a fine as part of the Republican tax plan. Views are largely driven by party with three-fourths of Republicans (73 percent) and six in ten independents (58 percent) supporting eliminating the individual mandate, while the majority of Democrats (59 percent) oppose eliminating the requirement as part of the Republican tax plan. Attitudes towards this idea are malleable with the share of the public who oppose eliminating the individual mandate growing to 62 percent when hearing that most people get their coverage through their employer or a public insurance program and therefore are not affected by the requirement.

                  A bit more detail:

                  The share of the public who oppose eliminating the individual mandate can increase up to 62 percent after hearing that most people get their coverage through their employer or a public insurance program and therefore are not affected by the requirement. This is similar to the share who change their views once they hear it could increase the cost of premiums for people who by their own insurance by about 10 percent (60 percent), that people could not be held to the requirement if the cost would take up too much of their income (59 percent), or that it would increase the number of the uninsured by 13 million people over the next ten years (59 percent).

                  It seems to me this indicates that public opinion was not stable at the time, because many people could easily be talked into changing their minds just by providing a bit more information.

                  2 votes
                  1. envy
                    Link Parent
                    The point remains. Americans were against Obama-care, but for many of the individual components such as no-preconditions, staying on your parents plan until 25, etc...

                    The point remains. Americans were against Obama-care, but for many of the individual components such as no-preconditions, staying on your parents plan until 25, etc...

                    1 vote
          2. [6]
            Litmus2336
            Link Parent
            I said don't @ me /s Citation needed. The biggest one is that "medicare for all" is supported by all Americans, but that's a bit misleading. Because one you add qualifiers like "What if you can't...

            I don't really know how relevant the medical details issue is in an election where everyone running now is literally a senior citizen and the incumbent won't even release his taxes.

            I said don't @ me /s

            Bernie's actual policies are air-tight and supported by most Americans

            Citation needed. The biggest one is that "medicare for all" is supported by all Americans, but that's a bit misleading. Because one you add qualifiers like "What if you can't keep your private insurance" or "What if your taxes go up" you start seeing gaps. I really doubt that most Americans support Sanders's policies - if they do, then why don't they vote for him?

            Every interview where Sanders is praising the factual social accomplishments of these governments, he qualifies his statements with criticisms of their authoritarian activities.

            Still, a bit of a double standard. Rightfully, if I were to say "Pinochet sucks but the economy did great" I would be lambasted as a fascist. I don't think saying "Hey this Soviet union is has done some good stuff, shame about the Authoritarianism" somehow absolves him.

            1. [5]
              JamesTeaKirk
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Fair points here about the general, I should have said that the vast majority of Democratic voters overwhelmingly support Bernie's platform. I disagree with your premise on two fronts. People are...

              Citation needed.

              Fair points here about the general, I should have said that the vast majority of Democratic voters overwhelmingly support Bernie's platform.

              I really doubt that most Americans support Sanders's policies - if they do, then why don't they vote for him?

              I disagree with your premise on two fronts. People are voting for Bernie. Thus far in the primary, 4,000,000 votes for Bernie have been counted. But even then, I think we could have a very long discussion about the various ways in which the voting public consistently votes directly against it's interests. I concede that the obvious challenge for Bernie is in educating those voters.

              1 vote
              1. [4]
                Litmus2336
                Link Parent
                The article you linked literally states that once informed of costs support drops below half for $15 min wage, student debt forgiveness, paid family leave, and green new deal. This directly...

                The article you linked literally states that once informed of costs support drops below half for $15 min wage, student debt forgiveness, paid family leave, and green new deal. This directly contradicts your assertion.

                Not to be a jerk, but I think your article proved my point. People say they support Bernie's plans, but when they see the bill they get cold feet.

                1 vote
                1. [3]
                  JamesTeaKirk
                  (edited )
                  Link Parent
                  I believe we are misunderstanding each other because we fundamentally disagree about what is going to be most important factor in the general. I believe that enthusiastic turnout from the...

                  I believe we are misunderstanding each other because we fundamentally disagree about what is going to be most important factor in the general. I believe that enthusiastic turnout from the Democratic base is the only way to defeat the enthusiastic turnout of the Trump base. There are two reasons why it makes the most sense to go with the more "radical" policies if you agree with this theory. The support for Bernie's policies dropping below 50% is occurring in bipartisan polls, which under my scenario where enthusiastic base turnout is key, is irrelevant. The other supporting factor is that almost all Democrats say in polling that defeating Trump is the most important factor in their vote, suggesting that they will vote for Sanders even if they're not crazy about his "radical" way of doing things.

                  You also have to consider that a significant portion of Sanders supporters have not committed to voting for the nominee if it's not Sanders. It may not be reasonable, but it is reality that it will be more difficult to get Sanders supporters to vote for Biden in the general than it will be to get Biden supporters to vote for Sanders.

                  It's also just a matter of principle for me. I think the Democratic party should be putting forward actual progressive policies again. If you're concerned about the cost of his plans then you probably don't understand how much wealth is stored in this country. These are very doable plans in their current form and they will surely be massively whittled down if he becomes president and passes them anyway.

                  2 votes
                  1. [2]
                    Litmus2336
                    Link Parent
                    Again, citation needed. These are some key claims, and even if 10 young people (of which on average only one will vote) refuse to vote for Biden all it takes is one or two elderly white or black...

                    it will be more difficult to get Sanders supporters to vote for Biden in the general than it will be to get Biden supporters to vote for Sanders.

                    Again, citation needed. These are some key claims, and even if 10 young people (of which on average only one will vote) refuse to vote for Biden all it takes is one or two elderly white or black voters (who vote often) who think Sanders is too radical.

                    I totally get what you're saying, but I think you underestimate how many "moderate" democrats there are.

                    1. JamesTeaKirk
                      (edited )
                      Link Parent
                      Here's a poll I understand that there is a large base of moderate Democrats who tend to determine the direction of the party (because young people don't vote). But I believe that base is comprised...

                      Again, citation needed

                      Here's a poll

                      I totally get what you're saying, but I think you underestimate how many "moderate" democrats there are.

                      I understand that there is a large base of moderate Democrats who tend to determine the direction of the party (because young people don't vote). But I believe that base is comprised of high-propensity voters that the data seems to show will probably vote for the nominee in the general regardless of who it is.

                      1 vote
        2. envy
          Link Parent
          I wonder if the USSR would be an issue. Right now Republicans seem neutral on Russia.

          I wonder if the USSR would be an issue. Right now Republicans seem neutral on Russia.

          1 vote
      3. [2]
        envy
        Link Parent
        The polls also showed Sanders having better youth turnout. The polls also showed Hillary winning. I love looking at polls more than most, but I don’t trust them any more.

        The polls also showed Sanders having better youth turnout.

        The polls also showed Hillary winning.

        I love looking at polls more than most, but I don’t trust them any more.

        1 vote
        1. post_below
          Link Parent
          I agree, polls get it wrong often. But to be fair... Lots of news stories today about multi hour wait times and insufficient voting stations at colleges. I wonder if part of the lower than...

          I agree, polls get it wrong often.

          But to be fair...

          Lots of news stories today about multi hour wait times and insufficient voting stations at colleges. I wonder if part of the lower than expected turnout was the result of gatekeeping (or bad planning).

          Hillary did win, at least by votes.

          1 vote
      4. [5]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        Not for me, it doesn't. Would you mind elaborating?

        There's also Biden's debate skills, which speak for themselves.

        Not for me, it doesn't. Would you mind elaborating?

        1. [4]
          JamesTeaKirk
          Link Parent
          Biden has a history of verbal gaffes and sometimes when he's campaigning he says very strange things (like repeatedly lying about participating in sit-ins during the civil rights movement). In...

          Biden has a history of verbal gaffes and sometimes when he's campaigning he says very strange things (like repeatedly lying about participating in sit-ins during the civil rights movement). In recent years, the gaffes have seemed to increase in frequency possibly due to his age. I won't say it's necessarily a fair criticism of Biden, but I honestly think it's going to be painful to see him on the same stage as speedy Trump.

          3 votes
          1. [3]
            mrbig
            Link Parent
            Have you seen this article about Biden's stutter? I read it a while ago merely because I was interested in the subject of speech disorders, but I feel this may be relevant here. It's pretty well...

            Have you seen this article about Biden's stutter? I read it a while ago merely because I was interested in the subject of speech disorders, but I feel this may be relevant here.

            It's pretty well written.

            2 votes
            1. [2]
              JamesTeaKirk
              Link Parent
              I have heard this before and I feel badly about it. I'm making a point about tactics here. I'm not criticizing Biden's ability to participate in a genuine debate. (But thank you for bringing it up...

              I have heard this before and I feel badly about it. I'm making a point about tactics here. I'm not criticizing Biden's ability to participate in a genuine debate. (But thank you for bringing it up because I do think people should be aware of it)

              2 votes
              1. mrbig
                Link Parent
                It seems that at least a few gaffes may be the consequences of him attempting to hide the stutter. But I get your point.

                It seems that at least a few gaffes may be the consequences of him attempting to hide the stutter. But I get your point.

    2. [3]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Do you know why she feels more confident with Biden's general election performance?

      Do you know why she feels more confident with Biden's general election performance?

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        envy
        Link Parent
        Yes. I do know. It's based on how she thinks her family would vote.

        Yes. I do know. It's based on how she thinks her family would vote.

        5 votes
        1. teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          I think I've heard similar arguments made in the past. I guess the implication is that your family represents the greater population. There's an interesting psychological study to be done there.

          I think I've heard similar arguments made in the past. I guess the implication is that your family represents the greater population. There's an interesting psychological study to be done there.

          2 votes
  3. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. ibis
      Link Parent
      Yes, Australia has ranked preferential voting and it constantly baffles me that the USA doesn't. I think preferential voting is more democratic, and it would improve a lot of the systematic issues...

      Yes, Australia has ranked preferential voting and it constantly baffles me that the USA doesn't.

      I think preferential voting is more democratic, and it would improve a lot of the systematic issues with the US electoral system.

      3 votes