It remains surprising that in the midst of the most volatile year in recent memory, the presidential race has remained stable. Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump in survey of Texas voters from left-leaning pollster On The Trail: Making sense of Super Poll Sunday Trump rebukes FBI for investigating supporters accused of harassing Biden bus MORE has consistently led Donald Trump in national polling and in key swing states. And though Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOn The Trail: Making sense of Super Poll Sunday Trump winning farm vote despite pinch of trade policies, pandemic Trump stages five rallies in five states in pre-election sprint MORE was also in the lead four years ago, 2020 is not like 2016 in a number of critical facets.
Biden is running with a positive favorability rating, unlike Clinton. He has reached the 50 percent threshold in over five consecutive NBC/WSJ polls; Clinton managed it only twice. His lead is between 6 and 11 points and hers was sometimes as small as 3 points, within the margin of error. Biden leads with seniors, a group that Trump won by double digits. And there doesn’t appear to be a third-party spoiler in the works as there was in 2016 with Jill Stein.
I know it may sound ridiculous, considering Joe Biden has been in public service nearly a half-century, but he represents a much-needed restart of the American project after a nearly four-year diversion. His closing argument not only demonstrates that he understands the gravity of the moment, but also that his administration’s priorities will be in sync with those of the American public.
First and foremost, Biden is the candidate who takes the coronavirus seriously. Handling COVID-19 has been the most important issue to American voters for over six months, and the president continues to dismiss its severity. As we set infection records in 25 states, Trump tells us that we are “rounding the bend” — a phrase he has used in 39 of the past 57 days. Joe Biden knows we aren’t “rounding the bend” but, rather, facing a “dark winter” that requires a plan to keep Americans safe, children in school, and the economy humming. He has made that case with his comprehensive proposal to voters. They favor Biden as the one who is better-suited to handle the virus by double digits and, crucially, improve upon the Affordable Care Act, which enjoys its highest approval to date.
What’s more, a survey of top issues addressed in Trump TV ads in 11 battleground states found that the virus features in only two states between Sept. 1 and Oct. 24. President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump in survey of Texas voters from left-leaning pollster On The Trail: Making sense of Super Poll Sunday Trump rebukes FBI for investigating supporters accused of harassing Biden bus MORE is running from what is hurting the American public, while Joe Biden runs towards the challenge.
The second most important issue to Americans is the economy. Biden’s emergency action plan and his “Build Back Better” platform are focused on helping those who need it most: average Americans. While wealth inequality continues to spiral, Biden will not raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000 a year. He’ll roll back the GOP tax cuts for those who need it the least and modestly increase taxes on corporations that pay far less than their fair share. According to Moody’s, Biden’s plan would create 7 million more jobs than Trump’s proposal and the unemployment rate would dip below 4 percent in late 2022, versus 2024 if Trump is reelected. And he’ll raise $2.4 trillion in revenue.
The beauty of a Biden presidency is that you don’t have to like him to know he will be good for America. The numbers don’t lie.
Racial justice has been front and center in the American conscience since the death of George Floyd last spring in Minneapolis. While President Trump has denied that systemic racism exists as recently as last month, even his own supporters know better. Biden’s comprehensive plan to reform the police, support and expand minority-owned business, and improve accessibility to higher education is our best shot at advancing minority interests in America. We desperately need a president who acknowledges white privilege and seeks to equalize a system that is nothing short of a betrayal of American ideals.
There are many other policy areas worthy of discussion, but I want to make sure to highlight characteristics that go beyond policy proposals. Heart. Empathy. Decency. There is only one man on the ballot who possesses these critically important qualities. We should always have a president of good character, but at this particular moment in history we need it more than ever. Biden cares about people. He is the person who stays up late making calls to the families of those we lost in battle, coaches young Americans who suffer from stuttering like he does, and stops to talk to homeless people outside of movie theaters about their struggles.
We need that kind of person in the White House. We need Joe Biden.
Jessica Tarlov is head of research at Bustle Digital Group and a Fox News contributor. She earned her Ph.D. at the London School of Economics in political science. Follow her on Twitter @JessicaTarlov.