Biden’s current political position suggests he’s more Teflon-coated than many have assumed. He has already weathered the flurry of Burisma accusations. To some Democratic voters in the run-up to Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden’s blustery defensiveness made him look like damaged goods. But however awkward certain exchanges have been, Biden’s refusal to wilt helped him withstand those attacks to claim the Democratic nomination and hold the general election lead. Even the incendiary Reade accusations, so far, have failed to derail Biden. Last week, when major news organizations such as the New York Times finally began to report on the charges, Biden attracted more coverage from his string of high-profile endorsements by Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

The Reade claims remain below-the-fold, after mainstream media coverage included weaknesses in her story, and several subsequent commentaries from progressive women have expressed hesitation in taking her accusations at face value. Even some who have suggested the allegations are believable, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and GEN columnist Jessica Valenti, say they will nonetheless vote for Biden, even if it is unenthusiastically and without official endorsement. In effect, the message being sent to progressive voters is: whether or not you or believe Reade, vote for Biden, because the alternative is unbearable.

Such reaction in all likelihood isn’t an accident.