Interviews with dozens of voters, union members and Democratic strategists reveal that a party embracing Mr Biden – a 77-year-old white man – is familiar political rhetoric, though some have bristled at what they considered a gender bias in this assessment.
“The Republicans did a fantastic job portraying Hillary Clinton like the devil for over 20 years so she was a tough sell,” said Aaron Stearns, Democratic President of Warren County in northwestern Pennsylvania . “It’s just a lot easier with Joe Biden because he’s a guy and he’s an old white man. I hate to say it, but it’s the truth.
Even though Mr Biden is proposing a much bigger role for government than Ms Clinton did four years ago, some voters see the Democratic candidate as more moderate in how they saw her. And they don’t see him as such a divisive political figure as Ms. Clinton, despite Mr. Biden’s long history of legislative battles.
“I didn’t like Hillary – I felt she was a fraud, deep down, a liar and an accomplice,” said Sarah Brown, 27, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, who regrets her 2016 vote for Mr. Trump and plans to vote for Mr. Biden. “I’m not a huge fan of him either, but both options – I guess that’s the lesser evil.
As of 2019, Mr Biden held a four to eight point advantage over Ms Clinton in major swing districts, according to an analysis by John Hagner, a partner at Clarity Campaign Labs, a democratic data analytics company.
Poll shows Mr Biden scores higher than Ms Clinton among a wide range of demographic groups – including older voters, white voters and commuters. But its advantage is striking among those who did not participate in the 2016 election or supported third party candidates.
Mr Biden leads Mr Trump, from 49% to 19%, among likely voters who backed third-party candidates in 2016, according to a recent survey of battlefield states by the New York Times and Siena College. Among registered voters who did not participate in the 2016 election, Mr Biden leads by nine percentage points, according to polls.