Could This Vote from 17 Years Ago Haunt Biden’s 2020 Bid? | NTK Network Could This Vote from 17 Years Ago Haunt Biden’s 2020 Bid?

Could This Vote from 17 Years Ago Haunt Biden’s 2020 Bid?

A recent poll conducted by Politico/Morning Consult indicates the issue deeply impacts how voters aged 18-29 view the former vice president.

By NTK Staff | 05.15.2019 @1:00pm
Could This Vote from 17 Years Ago Haunt Biden’s 2020 Bid?

While it’s still early in the Democrats’ nominating contest, former Vice President Joe Biden entered the race in the lead and has only expanded that lead since jumping in the race last month.

But one policy area that helps boost Biden’s standing among Democrats could also be one of his biggest vulnerabilities: foreign policy.

Biden “has more foreign policy experience than any other candidate in the sprawling 22-person Democratic primary field,” Politico’s Nolan McCaskill wrote on Wednesday. But, he cautions, Biden’s “2002 vote in favor of the invasion of Iraq is already providing fodder to his rivals — and could pose problems with younger voters.”

A new poll commissioned by Politico/Morning Consult goes deeper:

Seventy-three percent of Democratic respondents said Biden’s experience in the Senate and as President Barack Obama’s No. 2 makes them more likely to back him in the primary. But nearly 3 in 10 Democrats said they were turned off by his Iraq War vote, and more than 40 percent of participants between the ages of 18 and 29 said his record on the issue made them less likely to support him.

Losing young Democrats’ support could be devastating to Biden’s overall chances of winning the presidency. Barack Obama’s campaigns boosted youth turnout to record numbers, but Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign failed to appeal to younger voters in the same way. A prolonged primary in which Biden’s rivals focus on his Iraq War vote could undercut his chances of victory in the general election.

And there are signs that that is the direction Biden’s primary rivals are headed. During an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week” earlier this month, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) brought up Biden’s Iraq War vote, just as he did in 2016 against Clinton. “Joe voted for the war in Iraq. I led the effort against it,” Sanders said.

The problem for Biden is that the issue won’t go away even if he wins the primary. Donald Trump famously lambasted Clinton for her Iraq War vote in the general election in 2016.

Look to the first presidential debate next month to see if candidates begin latching on to Biden’s record as a way to simultaneously bring him down while pulling themselves up. If these candidates see signs of this strategy’s success in the polls, events like the DNC-sponsored debates will likely turn into feeding frenzies.

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