As one of the most experienced career politicians in the race for the White House in 2020, Joe Biden started as the front-runner of most US opinion polls. Having first been elected as a United States Senator in 1972, Joe Biden stayed to gain the fourth longest tenure in the Senate before becoming vice president to Barrack Obama in 2009. Biden announced his 2020 presidential campaign on 25th April 2019, and has previously criticised Trump, spoken in favour of Climate Change reforms, in favour of LGBT rights, and spoken out against Trump’s immigration policies. However with such a long history Biden faces memories of previous unpopular decisions such as authorising the Iraq War, and more recent scandals such as unwelcome physical contact complaints from women, and insulting the latest generation of voters (so called Millennials).
Biden’s performance at the first democratic debate saw much of this unpopular history brought up, as he was challenged on his legacy of failing on school desegregation legislation in the 70s, Kamala Harris personally calling out his part in supporting racist legislation. Likewise Sanders brought up Biden’s support of the Iraq War and even his age was raised as an issue by Eric Swalwell, who directly called on Biden to “pass the torch” to a new generation . Despite being the leading candidate going into the first debate according to approval ratings, Biden is widely seen as having a bad performance in this debate, giving some unclear answers, and leading to a 10% drop in his rating . Biden however seemed more prepared for the second debate, he seemed more prepared to hit back this time and mention other candidates historical blunders.
Despite this Joe Biden stumbled on some issues and failed to deliver some comments correctly, including his closing statement in which he asked viewers to visit a non-existent website. Biden's bumbling answers continued into the next debate, where his performance was widely criticised. He was interrupted by immigration protestors, gave bad answers that many viewed as racially offensive, made exaggerated and false statements and delivered rambling answers that didn’t seem to address the actual question at times, or make sense at others. Since September 2019 impeachment proceedings began against Donald Trump for a conversation with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump attempted to persuade Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, for alleged corruption. This resulted in another knock to the Biden campaign, Biden falling to second in the majority of polls for the first time in this run up to the 2020 presidential election.
Despite this Biden delivered some passionate responses to a lot of applause in the 4th debate, denying there was a conflict of interest when his son was on the board of a Ukrainian company at the time of Biden’s vice presidency. Biden continued to point out his experience throughout the next two debates, but by the 5th debate the pressure from Joe Biden's involvement in Trump's impeachment seem to be effecting his performance, as Biden again stumbled on his words, looking tired and unfocussed as he became the butt of other candidates jokes. Joe Biden however lost some of this flack into the next debate in Los Angeles, as the candidate field got smaller into the December debate Pete Buttigieg seemed to be the main target of other candidates criticism, with some commentators calling this performance Biden’s best.
Biden's campaign took a surprise rebound in South Carolina, and this shift of pace started a trend throughout the Super Tuesday primaries of March, as Biden became the clear front runner again with both the popular vote and most pledged delegates. Even though Biden has faced a number of faux pas, gaffs and involvement in Trump's impeachment, he has managed to remain the front runner in most of the polls taken throughout the democratic nominations for presidential candidate. Biden made news at the March no-audience debate in the CNN studio vowing to nominate a woman as vice president if he became president. During the 2020 pandemic Sanders expressed his desire to continue debating Biden, to which Biden has replied, "my focus is just dealing with this crisis right now. I haven’t thought about any more debates. I think we’ve had enough debates. I think we should get on with this" .
Joe Biden's lasting popularity eventually forced all other candidates to drop out and endorsing him, and although Sanders held out the longest he suspended his campaign on the 8th April 2020, making Joe Biden the presumptive democratic nominee. In June 2020 Joe Biden secured the Democratic Party’s nomination for the 2020 presidential race by surpassed the delegate threshold, but the momentous occasion was hardly publicised as candidates stopped campaigning in April due to the coronavirus. He is widely viewed as the strongest candidate to defeat Trump, and current polling as of June 2020 shows that Biden’s approval rating has surpassed Trump given his mishandling of both the pandemic and the large scale protests movements currently taking place in the US. On the 11th August 2020 Joe Biden named Kamala Harris as his pick for vice president and running mate, she would be the first African American and first woman to serve as VP in US history.
The long delayed first presidential debate was a train wreck, the moderator could not handle the format of the debate, repeated question segments followed by open debate, and it often ended with all three men, Biden, Trump and moderator Chris Wallace, talking at once. Being more of a verbal brawl than a debate, the discussion just descended into endless interruptions and name calling. As a result lots of subjects were discussed, but not a lot of light was shined on anything in particular. Despite that Biden managed to delivery his core message: the nation is weaker, more violent, and sicker under Trump, and he managed to convey the strong and shocking statistic – that the US has 4% of world’s population and 20% of COVID deaths.
More noteworthy and worrying however were Trump’s words, again refusing to condemn white supremacist organisations and far-right militia groups, disturbingly saying “Proud Boys stand back and stand by”, while also calling on his supporters to carry out voter intimidation at polling booths. With the second debate cancelled by Trump the final debate took place on the 22nd October 2020, being a bit calmer and more organised the subject of policy was finally covered to enable voters to make this important decision. But it was on the subject of corona virus that Biden came out strongest, stating "anyone that is responsible for that many deaths should not remain president of the United States of America" , at the time over 200,000 Americans had died as a result of the pandemic. This message is likely to resonate with voters most strongly, Biden is currently leading in poles and still seems the strongest candidate to win the 2020 presidential election.