The Electability Question




Opinion editorial by WBZ NewsRadio political analyst Jon Keller

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Forget about war, climate change and the economy - “electability” has been the foremost issue in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

This makes sense.

Eighty-eight percent of Democrats in the most recent polling disapproved of President Trump’s performance, and chances are most of the remaining 12 percent misunderstood the question.

But what does “electability” really mean?

Head-to-head polling shows all the leading candidates have a good chance of beating Trump right now. And if one of them builds up a head of steam, they will automatically inherit an aura of electability – it happens every four years.

But the real issue is which candidate is least vulnerable to the massive assault the Trump campaign and its allies will launch – on the air, on the internet, overt and covert – on the nominee once he or she emerges.

You can muddy up someone pretty good with a half a billion dollars to spend.

And there will be no rules of the road observed. The president was willing to throw a key foreign ally overboard in his search for dirt on Joe Biden, and the honesty of any attacks is clearly not a consideration.

Democrats considering Elizabeth Warren or Pete Buttigieg should wonder if they are well-known enough to survive Trump’s attacks.

Is Bernie Sanders too easy to dismiss as an anti-American throwback to ‘60’s radicalism?

This is why Joe Biden is still very much in the mix, despite a wobbly campaign – people know him, generally like him, and expect no surprises for Trump to jump on.

And it’s possible that might turn out to be enough.

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