But many Democratic voters don’t just have PTSD from 2016—they have a daily, constantly refreshed panic about 2020. To these voters, it’s understandable why the prospect of Uncle Joe, wrapping his arm around America and saying it’s going to be all right, has resonated deeper now than it did when Biden and top aides first started privately laying out a potential campaign pitch over two years ago, still early into Trump’s first term…

His campaign isn’t coy about how much he owes to Trump. In a conference call with reporters last week, a person who according to the ground rules set for listening could only be identified as a “senior campaign official,” said, “We think voters are really in a serious mood,” adding, “the fear about [Trump] being reelected is deep and it’s defined.” This person insisted that the campaign’s research shows voters are inclined to choose Biden for his character and sense of stability, not just as a guy who can beat Trump. “Probably the most common word used to define Trump these days is ‘erratic,’” the campaign official said. “Four years ago, the most common word to describe Trump was ‘disruptor’ … It’s a totally different calculation. It’s actually a very complicated and detailed assessment that voters have.”…

“He’s familiar,” said Laryssa Rod from Sommerville, Massachusetts. Rod had also been at the convention and was wearing a T-shirt that read Literally Anybody Else. “Everybody’s terrified that Trump’s going to get re-elected,” she added. Rod said she’s a big Warren supporter, though she was waiting to see Buttigieg at the picnic, too.