Donald Trump has reportedly been panicking for months over Joe Biden’s chances against him in the 2020 election, suggesting that the incumbent president fears the former VP more than any of the other Democratic candidates.
According to a new report from CNN on Thursday, despite the fact that there now 20 declared Democrats in the primary race, Biden has been on Trump’s mind more than anyone else.
More from the report:
He’s the Democratic candidate President Donald Trump has long worried would emerge as his general election rival. Now, with the entry of former Vice President Joe Biden into a crowded primary field, a race that once seemed to Trump like abstract chatter has sharpened into a concrete proving ground that will challenge his hold on the nation’s political spotlight.
In political meetings at the White House, Trump often asks about Biden’s strength, particularly as his candidacy has grown more certain in recent weeks. Biden’s native Pennsylvania — Trump’s favorite state that he switched from blue to red in 2016 — is at the root of the President’s concern. Biden’s first rally will be in Pittsburgh on Monday
Biden’s entry was long expected, and Trump has been polling his advisers for months on the former vice president’s chances. People familiar with the conversations say Biden has factored into Trump’s 2020 thinking more than any other candidate, though the President has made private assessments about several of the Democrats as each of them enters the race or enjoys a moment of national attention.
Trump has responded to his growing concerns over the Democratic field by running to his friends at Fox News.
As CNN noted, Trump “is planning his own direct appeals to the conservative base of voters unlikely to be drawn away by Democrats. He’s phoning into Sean Hannity’s Fox News program on Thursday, will speak to the National Rifle Association at their annual conference in Indiana on Friday, and will appear at an evening campaign rally in Wisconsin on Saturday.”
But this appeal-to-the-base strategy Trump is employing ahead of 2020 is misguided. Fox News viewers, NRA supporters and MAGA rallygoers are already in his camp. It’s going to take more than that for him to fend off the Democratic nominee, particularly if Biden is his ultimate opponent.
There is a long primary process ahead of Democratic voters before they settle on a nominee. But Trump’s behavior in the early going suggests that he sees former vice president Joe Biden as his greatest threat.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.