Why Biden needs to answer the court-packing question

A new Washington Examiner/YouGov poll indicates that just 34 percent of independent voters — and 32 percent of independents — are in favor of adding justices to the court. That number zooms up to 60 percent for Democrats, however. That is no surprise. And presidential nominees often are challenged to find a balance between pleasing their party’s voters while appealing to swing voters who might decide an election. The trick is not to make either side so unhappy that they decide not to cast a ballot.

Biden faces an additional challenge in 2020. He can’t just win the election — he has to win big. If he wins the popular vote by a narrow margin, prognosticators believe Trump will win the Electoral College. A close election might also give Trump a chance to muddy the waters and claim victory for himself, no matter the actual vote tally. So Biden must build a coalition of voters so large that, if he wins, the repudiation of the current president is unmistakable both to Trump and his supporters.

So it is understandable that Biden doesn’t want to reveal his plans for the court. That doesn’t make it right.