The Biden candidacy, in many respects, has come to represent a test for the strength of the party’s Left, which is very vocal and influential on social media. In the run-up to his candidacy, Biden was subject to an avalanche of criticism for past positions and statements that were seen as out of touch with the modern Democratic Party. Many assumed that as soon as he announced his candidacy and more of his record came to light, he would quickly fizzle. This has not happened yet. Quite the contrary. Biden has soared to around 40% in polls, which is extremely impressive in a race with over 20 candidates running, and nobody is within 20 points of him. He has left the door open for impeachment, but for now has merely pushed for more follow-up investigations.
“Biden’s apparent resurrection from relic to runaway front-runner has illustrated a chasm between perception and reality,” New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait wrote. “The triumph of the left is somewhere between a movement ahead of its time and a bubble that has just popped.”
As long as Biden’s surge continues to fuel perceptions that very liberal Twitter is not representative of the broader Democratic Party, it’s even less likely that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will be convinced to abandon her skeptical stance regarding impeachment.