Expectations aren’t high for the former vice president after a series of mediocre debate performances during primary season. The Sanders campaign, among other Biden detractors, views the debate as a chance for him to fall flat on his face, reviving questions about the durability of his candidacy just as Biden is poised to break the race wide open with a four-state sweep in the March 17 primaries.
But in years past, Biden has thrived in the one-on-one format during vice presidential debates. His plan Sunday is to focus on his electability and how he’s in sync with the Democratic electorate after winning 15 states, according to aides.
In the face of aggressive questioning from Sanders, Biden can now point to record turnout in states like Virginia, which overwhelmingly supported him. Then there’s the fact that he won nearly all of the African American support in Mississippi. What’s more, Biden has won whites by big margins and racked up wins in the cities, suburbs and in rural areas, a fact that advisers hope will give him a sense of confidence against Sanders.