Who will win the Democratic presidential primary? If mainstream media coverage is any indication, the race is Joe Biden’s to win. Biden has been dominating coverage on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight blog ran an analysis on news clips and found that in the week following his announcement, Biden was mentioned more than every other democratic candidate combined.
Coverage of Biden has cooled a bit in the days since, dropping to 34 percent, but that still leaves him well ahead and in first place. In the week following Biden’s announcement, the former vice president got 2,232 mentions. The next closest candidate? Bernie Sanders, who pulled in 602 mentions. Policy wonk Elizabeth Warren garnered just 339 mentions, while Kamala Harris got 419.
Biden is also racking up endorsements. Biden already has 20 major endorsements from Democrat party members, while Bernie Sanders has racked up just 10. Unions and other organizations have also been endorsing Biden. The former vice president will almost certainly be the favored Democrat on Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms as well.
Most polls likewise indicate that Biden is in the lead. However, polls have proven less reliable in recent years. Senator Bernie Sanders remains firmly in second place in most polls. And while Biden has been enjoying polling numbers around 30 percent, he faces a major obstacle: The Democratic Party, on the whole, has been shifting to the left.
While Biden has attracted many of the parties centrists, if progressives rally behind one candidate, that candidate may be able to overtake him. According to the latest Morning Consult poll, Biden enjoys support from 40 percent of voters. Meanwhile, progressive candidates Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders combine for 34 percent of the vote, within striking distance of Biden. It’s unclear, however, if any one of those candidates can muster all or most of the progressive vote in time for the primary.