With the announcement of former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy, President Trump appears to have faced a serious contender who poses a real threat in 2020.
A Republican strategist familiar with the matter has even said that Trump has privately voiced concerns that Biden could potentially beat him in the 2020 presidential election. Politico reports that Trump first expressed his worries last fall, telling his advisers, “How are we gonna beat Biden?”
After being reassured the Democrat could never defeat several of his more liberal rivals, the President would ask, “But what if he does?”
What Trump fears is that Biden could take away from him the voters of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that helped the President win the office in 2016. The reason, Politico adds, is that the two men share a lot of personality traits, both positive and negative, and have much in common when it comes to attracting a certain group of voters.
Biden and Trump have been fierce rivals for the past two years, often exchanging crude remarks and engaging in verbal fights. Following Trump’s inadequate comments about women, Biden said in 2018 that if they were in high school, he would have beaten Trump.
The President replied that Biden “would go down fast and hard, crying all the way. Don’t threaten people Joe!”
The former vice president has often been the target of Trump’s mockery, which a GOP strategist claims is a sign the President takes Biden seriously and considers him a threat.
“The candidates he doesn’t talk about, it’s a signal that he doesn’t take them seriously,” this person said.
“We have had a number of conversations about potential challengers, and Biden has been at the top of the list because of his polling numbers,” noted a Republican lawmaker who talks frequently with the President. “He is seen as one of the most difficult potential challengers because of his appeal to independents and his likable style.”
Recent hypothetical polling shows that Biden is leading Trump by 8 percentage points in a hypothetical 2020 general election matchup, which only solidifies the President’s fears.