A Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey released on September 29, 2015, suggests that if Democrats want to carry North Carolina in the 2016 election, they should seriously consider choosing Vice President Joe Biden as their party’s nominee. The PPP poll found that Biden performed much better than both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in hypothetical head to head contests with the leading Republicans.
For example, in a match up against Jeb Bush, Bernie Sanders trailed 45-39, and Hillary Clinton trailed 46-41. By contrast Joe Biden led Bush 47-42, performing 10 points better than Clinton, and 11 points better than Sanders, when pitted against the former Florida Governor.
The PPP poll also found Donald Trump running ahead of both Sanders (46-43) and Clinton (47-42). However, a race between Trump and Biden was a toss up in the Tar Heel State, with both candidates deadlocked at 45 percent.
North Carolina is a crucial swing state that Republicans simply cannot afford to lose, if they want any chance to win back the White House. President Barack Obama eked out a narrow victory over John McCain in North Carolina in 2008, by a razor thin 49.7 to 49.4 percent margin. In 2012, Obama lost the state by two percentage points (50.4-48.4) to Mitt Romney.
Biden’s relative strength in North Carolina would potentially give the Democrats an opportunity to shut the door on Republicans in a state that the GOP desperately needs in order to take back the White House in 2016. In North Carolina, Biden is the most well-liked Democratic presidential candidate. Voters in the Tar Heel State have a more favorable opinion of Biden than they do of either Sanders or Clinton.
Joe Biden has not yet entered the presidential race. One reason he may have stronger favorable numbers than his potential Democratic rivals, is because so far, he has been above the fray of campaign politics. Nevertheless, his current standing suggests that he might be the Democrat’s strongest option for winning North Carolina in a general election.
Given, North Carolina’s status as a barely red-leaning swing state, this also raises the possibility that Vice President Biden might also be the Democrat’s best choice for retaining the White House in 2016. It is that possibility that has many Democrats hoping he will enter the presidential race.