Joe Walsh could be Joe Biden's worst nightmare

Former Congressman Joe Walsh has entered Presidential race to cause a huge political upset. He just might but it won't be the one he had planned.

Patrick Sullivan, Political Editor
On 3 February 2020 13:23

You could be forgiven if you hadn’t heard of Joe Walsh before reading this article. He is a former Republican Congressman from Illinois, a State which neighbours Iowa. He is also running for President. As a Republican.

It is not only the Democrats who are holding their Caucus in Iowa tomorrow- the Republicans are too. Fmr. Rep. Walsh is on the ballot against President Trump and has decided that the Iowa Caucus will be his hill to die on.

He will not do well and will likely quit the race Tuesday. That might not be before fundamentally changing the direction of American politics. As the most recent CBS News poll shows a dead heat in the Democratic race between Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice-President Joe Biden, Walsh’s presence might be enough to put a thumb on the sale for Sanders. The reason being that lowa Caucus-goers are able to register and change Party affiliation on the day of the Caucus.

President Trump has over 90% approval within the Republican Party but there remain 5% - 10% of Never-Trumpers within the GOP. In normal circumstances these voters might be expected to “cross-over” and take part in the Democratic Caucus. The beneficiary of this would most likely be former Vice-President Biden because whether rightly or wrongly he is seen as the most “centrist” Democrat. Walsh being on the Republican ballot significantly reduces the likelihood that these voters will cross-over because they now have the option to register their protest at the Trump Presidency by voting for the Never-Trumper on the Republican ballot.

Given how close the Democratic race is this could prove decisive. Why even a narrow defeat at the hands of the Sanders campaign could prove so fatal to Biden’s Presidential bid is that the solitary basis for his campaign is a perceived electability.

Should he lose the first contest, the image he has cultivated as winner will be shattered. This is what former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is waiting for. Sanders to see off Biden in the initial States which he is sitting out. He then expects the Democratic Party establishment to be so terrified of Sanders that it coalesces around his candidacy and his money ahead of Super Tuesday where he is on the ballot and has been ploughing record sums into political advertising into the relevant media markets.

It is likely that Biden’s campaign will run out of and Bloomberg’s will gain momentum in due to the quixotic campaign of one Rep. Joe Walsh, who will turn out to be Ralph Nader to Joe Biden’s Al Gore.


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