Opinion: Biden needs Democratic unity

Scott Shelton

Sports Editor

Last month on Super Tuesday, I voted in the Democratic primary, and I didn’t vote for former Vice President Joe Biden. I voted for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Four years ago, I had voted for Sanders, too, in the Democratic primary. Had Biden run in the 2016 election, he likely would have been my second choice.

I respect Biden, but I have reservations about the former vice president now that he is the presumptive nominee to face President Donald Trump in November’s general election.

However, despite my qualms about Biden, I’m willing to put them aside and do what I can to support him in the election because I feel there is a much larger challenge at hand, and that’s removing Trump from office.

One obstacle hindering Biden’s election chances is the number of Sanders supporters who will either not vote at all, or vote for Trump.

I’ve voted for Sanders twice, and I can understand why his supporters are upset.

Sanders’ most ardent supporters feel the Democratic National Committee (DNC) actively worked against their candidate to make sure he didn’t win the nomination due to fears he would lose to Trump in the general election.

I think their feelings are valid, considering the DNC treated Sanders similarly in the 2016 Democratic primary.

My biggest fear is history repeating itself because the Democratic Party is in a similar position today that it was in four years ago.

We’re left with a centrist-Democrat to face Trump, who this time will have had four years of the presidency under his belt.

In the last election cycle, one of the reasons why Secretary Hillary Clinton won the nomination is the idea she would have an easier time defeating Trump in the general election. We saw how that turned out.

Now, the Democratic Party believes its best chance to make sure Trump is a one-term president is to have Biden as the nominee.

I would be happy to support Biden as I did in 2016 with Clinton, but to have the best chance at winning the presidential election and having a successful presidency, he has some work to do.

Beating Trump is Biden’s No. 1 priority, but I think he needs to focus equally as much on taking back the United States Senate for the Democratic Party.

If Biden wins and Democrats retain control of the House of Representatives, there’s no way any of his agenda will pass in Congress if Republicans still have control of the Senate come January 2021.

Biden needs to take time in his campaign to stump for Senate candidates in swing seats because the outcome of the Senate elections will decide his presidency before it even starts.

Taking back the Senate comes down to winning seats in four states. The same goes for Biden in the electoral college.

The ideal scenario for a presidential candidate would be to campaign hard in all 50 states, but realistically that can’t happen.

The Biden campaign needs to focus on four states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida. There are 75 electoral college votes in these four states, and winning three of them will win the presidency, as long as the other states vote as they did in 2016.

In 2016, Clinton didn’t spend a lot of time and resources in the Rust Belt states, and that’s one reason why she lost the election.

The 2020 Democratic primaries have shown electability is a chief concern of voters.

It seems voters want Biden to be the nominee because they think defeating Trump is the main goal in choosing a nominee.

Even though Biden was not among my ideal candidates in terms of ideology, I can swallow my pride and understand the fate of a nation’s future is in the voters’ hands.

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