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Boomers love him, millennials don’t: Who is Joe Biden?

·4-min read
WAUKEE, IOWA - JANUARY 30: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Vince Meyer Learning Center on January 30, 2020 in Waukee, Iowa. With less than a week to go before the 2020 Iowa Presidential caucuses, Joe Biden is campaigning across Iowa.
Who is Joe Biden? Source: Getty

Current candidate for the 2020 US Presidential Election, Joe Biden, is the frontrunner for the Democrats, leading against his competitor senator Bernie Sanders by about 5 per cent in the latest polls.

But before he was running for president, he was vice president during the Barack Obama administration between 2009 and 2017, after trying for a Democratic nomination once in 1988 and again in 2008.

Why is Joe Biden running for president?

When Joe Biden announced his candidacy in April 2019, he tweeted: “The core values of this nation…our standing the world…our very democracy…everything that has made America – America – is at stake.

“That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.”

And he shared a video revealing his views on President Donald Trump.

“We’re in the battle for the soul of our nation,” Biden said.

“If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. Who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”

What are Joe Biden’s views on the issues?

The former vice president was instrumental in the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and healthcare remains a top priority for him.

In fact, Biden has called it a “personal” issue. His son, Beau Biden, died of brain cancer in 2015, and his first wife and baby daughter died in a car accident in 1972.

According to Politico, Biden’s in favour of abolishing the death penalty and scrapping private prisons.

When it comes to gun control, Biden supports a voluntary buyback program of assault weapons, and is in favour of universal background checks when purchasing guns.

He’s also in favour of raising the minimum wage to US$15/hour, decriminalising marijuana and increasing existing taxes on upper-income Americans.

When it comes to student debt, Biden supports expanding or fixing existing debt-relief programs, as opposed to forgiving the debt altogether.

Biden also cares about helping children with speech impediments, as he suffers from stutters himself.

Joe Biden controversy

Baby boomers love him, but the younger generation not so much.

While millennials are expected to represent 27 per cent of voters in 2020, Biden said in 2018 he had “no empathy” for “the younger generation”.

"Give me a break. Because here's the deal guys, we decided we were going to change the world," he said of baby boomers.

"And we did. We did. We finished the civil rights movement in the first stage. The women's movement came into being. So my message is, get involved."

But in a recent interview with the New York Times, Biden said the notion that he’s anti-millenial isn’t true.

“This idea I'm anti-millennial...the implication is I don't care much about it," he told The Times.

"I care like the devil about them. They are the future."

Biden has also faced scrutiny over his interactions with women.

Since 1993, eight women have accused Biden of touching them inappropriately and invading their personal space - none of them said his behaviour amounted to sexual harassment, but admitted it made them feel uncomfortable.

Will Joe Biden win?

As of 28 January, a Fox News national poll placed Biden ahead of other Democratic candidates with 26 per cent support, and a January Washington Post poll showed he had 28 per cent.

That compares to senator Bernie Sanders, who has 23 per cent support according to the Fox News poll, and 24 per cent according to the ABC.

According to Vox, these polls give a good insight into how voters outside of the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada are thinking about the candidates, but while Biden is leading the race, it doesn’t necessarily mean he will win the Democratic nomination.

Vox reported that, at this point in the 2016 race, Hillary Clinton had a large lead on Sanders in polling averages, but only narrowly won Iowa, and was defeated in Vermont.

In a Hill-HarrisX poll conducted in December 2019, 83 per cent of self-identified progressives prefered Biden, compared to 75 per cent who picked Sanders.

So, while there are some early signs of a win for Biden, there’s still some uncertainty around the nomination.

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