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Geiger Counter: Democrats, it was always going to be Joe Biden

On Tuesday, a battered and beaten Joe Biden emerged victorious. After weeks of being left for dead by the media and pundits, the former vice president secured a string of strong victories in states previously thought to be comfortably voting for Sen. Bernie Sanders. What most will miss, however, is that such events were always bound to happen. It was always going to be Joe Biden.

When Biden entered the Democratic primary back in April, he became the instant frontrunner. He posted some of the best numbers across the entire field of candidates: polling in first among all Democratic candidates, near the top of the pack in favorability ratings, and outpolling President Trump in one on one matchups.

These numbers indicated from very early on the Biden was the candidate to beat. And as the primary progressed, the media seemed to forget that.

First, it was Sen. Kamala Harris, with her strong debate performance in June. Her poll numbers surged to a high of roughly 15%, enough to put her in second place for a brief moment … behind Joe Biden.

Just five months later, the California senator would suspend her presidential campaign, due to poor fundraising and polling.

The next candidate to take a swing at Biden’s frontrunner status was Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Unlike, the senator that came before her, Warren had much more sustained success, surpassing Biden in polling for just a brief period of time in October. 

Ultimately, such numbers didn’t matter in the end, as Warren would wind up ending her bid for the presidency on Thursday. She failed to place above third place in a single primary contest. 

Other candidates took a shot at Biden’s moderate mantle as well, notably Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar. In short, two white Midwestern candidates fared well in the also white and Midwestern Iowa, as well as the very white New Hampshire. Regardless of their performances in those two states, both candidates were doomed to fail. Klobuchar raised less money than Andrew Yang, who started with *substantially less name recognition and polling numbers. Buttigieg, on the other hand, polled at dismal numbers with minority voters, handing him devastating losses in Nevada and South Carolina

When the vice president finished towards the back of the pack in Iowa and New Hampshire, it was not a sign of the candidacy’s weakness. Instead, it was caused by the rather large field running and the strength of the Klobuchar and Buttigieg campaigns in those two states.

And when two billionaires tried to use the sheer force of their pocketbook to defeat Biden, it failed miserably.

Tom Steyer was the first of the two to take a swing at stopping the septuagenarian candidate. The billionaire from California spent $250 million of his own money, namely targeting the states of Nevada and South Carolina. Steyer attempted to position himself as an alternative to minority voters instead of Biden, but ultimately ended up looking foolish. He finished in a distant *fifth in Nevada and third in South Carolina.

Another Billionaire, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, faced a similar result. He dropped out on Wednesday after spending roughly $500 million of his own money and only winning a single primary contest - American Samoa. 

Every candidate named above was taught the same lesson: you cannot beat a candidate whose political career spans decades and has impacted Americans across the country. Biden’s support runs deep across a broad coalition of voters - namely African Americans. And in an election where more voters care about electability and beating Donald Trump above all else, this is the result you get.

The race is now down to Sanders versus Biden. And if the primary continues to progress along the same trajectory it has all year, don’t be shocked if Democrats choose “results over revolution.”

Matthew Geiger is a freshman studying economics at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Matthew? Tweet him @Mattg444. 

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