OPN 200306 Joe Biden-1583495930198
Democratic presidential candidate former vice-president Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden (left) and sister Valerie Biden Owens, attend a Super Tuesday event at Baldwin Hills Recreation Centre in Los Angeles, California, on March 3, 2020. Image Credit: AFP

Joe Biden seems to be on a roll as he chases the Democratic Party nomination for this year’s US presidential election, and his massive win on Super Tuesday has remarkably improved his chances. The former vice-president started the campaign a distant fourth with the Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders enjoying a clear lead.

On Tuesday, Biden won in traditional African American strongholds such as Alabama and Virginia. He also bagged in Texas and dealt Sanders a big blow in such liberal electorates as Massachusetts, Minnesota and Maine — electorates thought to be an easy win for Sanders.

Now, with former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg, Senator Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg all dropping out and united in endorsing Biden’s candidacy, the former vice-president seems to have secured the support of the majority centrist members of the party.

So, what happened? Sanders’ nomination didn’t get much serious attention at the beginning. He ran for the nomination four years ago and lost to Hillary Clinton. It was sort of a déjà vu. He would run but ultimately lose to the more centrist, establishment-friendly players like Clinton. But as his campaign gathered momentum and as he started dominating the debates, things started to get serious.

Electing Sanders as president, a self-proclaimed democratic socialist who is calling for a political revolution, or even just winning the Democratic Party’s nomination, would be a nightmare for the capitalist American system. Sanders said he would ban oil and gas fracking, break up big banks and impose a new wealth tax. Such a position would put the Democrats in a very weak position come November. The business-friendly President Donald Trump would win a re-election easily, political pundits predict.

Therefore, the Democrats have lined up behind a veteran political player who can attract not only centrists but also those liberals who just want to rid the White House of Donald Trump. Before serving as Barack Obama’s vice-president from 2009 to 2017, Biden represented Delaware in the Senate from 1973 to 2009 — three decades and a half of navigating the power corridors of the Capital Hill and eight years of presidential warm-up in the White House.

The Democrats are choosing political realism over the romantic liberal ideas of a maverick senator from Vermont who also shunned powerful lobbyists like the American Jewish Political Committee (Aipac). For decades it was mandatory for all major party candidates to attend the pro-Israel Aipac’s annual conference to solicit its support. And that may explain Biden's surge.

Right now, Biden seems to be the favourite candidate of the Democrats. But does he have any chance of beating Trump in November? That’s another game altogether.