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'Almost Anybody' Can Beat Trump, Biden Figures

Candidate adjusts campaign's answer on Democrats' best choice
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2019 9:30 AM CDT
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Presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks Wednesday in Spartanburg, S.C.   (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

(Newser) – Jill Biden told New Hampshire voters this month that even if her husband isn't their first choice on every issue, he's the one who can defeat in President Trump in next fall's election. Joe Biden now has broadened his answer to the question: Who can beat Trump? "Well, I think almost anybody," he told the Washington Post. Speaking of the Democratic field, Biden said, "They’d all make a better president than Trump, no matter who’s left in the race." A central message of Biden's campaign is that he's the best chance Democrats have of winning the election. His latest assessment could undercut that, USA Today reports. But when asked if "it's gonna take an old white person to beat an old white person"—"old school against old school"—he tweaked his campaign's message. "When the assertion is made that ... well, the reason the only person that can beat Trump is, 'an old white guy,'" Biden said, "I just think that ... there’s other people in the race who can beat Trump."

Democratic voters seem to side with Jill Biden: A USA Today/Suffolk poll this week showed Biden leading the Democratic field, at 32%. Elizabeth Warren was second, at 14%, and Bernie Sanders was backed by 12% of respondents. But the results showed Joe Biden might have a point, too: 41% said they would vote for an unnamed Democratic nominee, vs. 39% who'd vote for Trump. In Salon, Matthew Rozsa has a cautionary tale for Biden. In 1972, Ed Muskie was the Democratic front-runner, though to match up well with President Richard Nixon. That didn't work out. (Read more Joe Biden 2020 stories.)

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