Moderate Republicans May Vote Liberal
Joe Biden is trending ahead of Donald Trump in national election polls. One possible explanation for his lead is the support of moderate Republicans. These moderate Republicans may vote liberal in the 2020 election.
Many moderate Republicans are concerned over Trump’s policy record and erratic behavior while in power. And while they don’t align with Biden on all of his policy stances, they align on some big-picture issues.
But the liberal party must exercise caution in courting moderate Republicans. It may be losing the votes of progressive liberals — votes it needs to win the next election.
Widespread concern over Trump’s record
Moderate Republicans generally favor conservative fiscal policies, strength in the international relations and defense space, and practical decision-making. Some of Trump’s decisions and actions have caused widespread concern for these Republicans.
For example, the creation of a wall on the US-Mexico border is seen by many to be a waste of money, as walls are not effective deterrents to immigration. Trump’s friendliness toward governments that interfere with American democracy is seen as bad foreign policy. And Trump’s frequent non-compliance with the law is off-putting to moderate voters.
Moderates align with some Biden platforms
Concern over Trump’s record and behavior is not the only reason moderates may vote for Biden. While some of Biden’s platforms don’t appeal to moderate Republicans, but many do.
For example, Biden proposes to keep and create more jobs in the United States. He pledges to restore America’s place on the international stage. He doesn’t swing far left on big issues like health care. And his environmental stances have been gaining steam with moderate Republicans for years.
All in all, Biden’s stances are relatively moderate. Thus, they’re acceptable, even if not ideal, to the center-right.
Progressive vote at risk
Some pundits have voiced concerns that Biden’s effort to appeal to moderate Republicans is turning off progressive voters.
Politicians from both sides are voicing their support for Biden; from Ohio Republican John Kasich to Vermont progressive Bernie Sanders. But Biden’s center-left stances and promises to reach across the aisle may not inspire confidence from liberal voters who want to see substantial change in Washington.
For Biden to win the election, he will have to carve a place for himself that inspires both moderates and progressives. Voters may be more compelled to cast their vote this year that they were in 2016, but Biden can’t afford to test voters’ commitment to his victory.