Although Joe Biden has yet to make a decision about a bid for the Democrats' presidential nomination in 2020, he is nonetheless very big on Beto O’Rourke in the race.
The reason, several high-level Democrat sources told Newsmax, is that private polls show O'Rourke, the failed 2018 candidate for Senate from Texas, takes votes from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
One well-connected Democrat says Biden and his fellow centrist, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, already have a “gentleman’s agreement.”
The deal, as it was explained, has McAuliffe backing Biden unless he doesn’t run or decides to drop out.
In that case, Biden would back McAuliffe.
The Biden-McAuliffe deal unites the Clinton political machine with Obama centrists.
These Democrat traditionalists don’t want a far-left candidate like Sanders to win.
Hence, their newfound love for former Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
“[O’Rourke] now seems moving more towards the progressive wing in his speeches,” Franklin & Marshall College Professor G. Terry Madonna, who is considered the premier pollster in Pennsylvania, told Newsmax.
Biden is usually considered the front runner in polls of Democrats about their favorite candidate for 2020—albeit narrowly.
A just-completed Morning Consult poll among likely Democrat voters nationwide shows Biden leading Sanders by 35 to 27 percent, with O’Rourke who only entered the race last week tied (8 percent) for third with California Sen. Kamala Harris.
Sanders supporters say the sole reason for Biden’s strong standing in the polls is his name recognition after eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president, that their man is the true front-runner among liberal activists.
In the pivotal early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, polls show Biden and Sanders running neck-and-neck.
The most recent CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom Poll showed, among likely attendees to the 2020 Iowa Caucuses, Biden and Sanders are in a near-tie (27 to 25 percent respectively) and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is third at 10 percent. (Harris placed fourth with 7 percent and newly-minted contender O’Rourke drew 5 percent).
In New Hampshire—where Sanders emerged triumphantly over Clinton in ’16—the Vermont senator leads Biden -- 27 to 25 percent -- among likely primary voters in ‘20, according to the most recent Emerson poll.
The same survey showed O’Rourke in sixth place at 5 percent among a field of twenty Democrat hopefuls.
But the Democrats believe O’Rourke will cut deeply into Sanders' base of young, progressive Millennials.
Among the positions O’Rourke emphasizes are a full program to deal with climate change, opposition to the Trump-backed wall along the Mexican border, and universal health care.
Last December at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel, McAuliffe told Newsmax that the Democratic Party needs to get back to the views and agenda on which his friend Bill Clinton was elected President.
As to whether he’s the Democrat who can run a successful Clinton-style campaign in 2020, McAuliffe simply told us “We’ll see.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.