Fifty-four percent of likely voters think former Vice President Joe Biden, the gaffe-a-minute Democrat contender for the presidency, is capable of debating Donald Trump while 68 percent of voters think it’s important for the two to cross swords on the debate stage, according to a new Rasmussen survey.
The survey of 1,000 likely voters was done July 9 and 12 with a sampling error of =/- 3 percentage points.
Biden’s capabilities have been questioned in recent months as he has provided some rambling commentaries while remaining largely off the campaign trail. The 2020 election cycle has been overshadowed by the coronavirus outbreak and then weeks of social unrest, including some riot situations, in several cities following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis while being restrained by police. The four officers involved in that alarming incident were fired and subsequently charged.
The death set off a wave of Black Lives Matter protests, some of which were co-opted by the Antifa crowd that turned to property destruction, vandalism and looting.
According to Rasmussen, 36 percent of survey respondents do not believe Biden is capable of debating the president while 56 percent think it would hurt his chances if he refuses to participate in a debate.
But there’s dramatic bias along party lines. Rasmussen said 77 percent of Democrats think the former veep can hold his own in a debate, while only 32 percent of identified Republicans agree. Forty-nine percent of Independents think Biden can debate Trump successfully.
Biden reportedly “raised eyebrows” Monday when “echoed rhetoric that was famously used by Chinese communist dictator Mao Zedong,” as noted by published reports cited by Fox News.
What did the gaffe-prone Biden say? Claiming to be quoting “an old Chinese proverb,’ the former vice president reportedly asserted, “We’ve got to get real economic relief into women’s hands now,” following up a moment later with, “women hold up half the sky.”
But the “women hold up half the sky” remark was attributed to Mao, the communist blamed for millions of deaths in that country.
What would liberal progressives say about Trump if he had alluded to “an old Chinese proverb?” Would the race card be played?
An earlier Rasmussen survey from late June revealed how 38 percent of likely voters believe Biden is suffering from some degree of dementia. Forty-eight percent disagree with that position, and 14 percent aren’t sure.
Depending upon the poll, Trump is trailing Biden right now, but he was also trailing Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016. A debate could propel or sink Biden’s campaign, depending upon how he fares and appears on camera, whether he falters or excels.
At this moment in the campaign, such as it is, the election theoretically is Biden’s to lose. All that it would take is for Joe to drop one of his famously weird remarks about “truth over fact,” or to forget which state he’s in. Politics is a contact sport. A Biden-Trump debate has the potential to be a knuckle-buster.
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