There is one central bet that underlies Joe Biden’s candidacy for the presidency. What he is wagering is that the majority of Democratic voters are far more moderate politically than Twitter and television talking heads would have us believe. Amazingly, he is the only major candidate pushing his chips over this platform, while the others compete to outwoke each other. This week, Biden further solidified his position as the race’s sole moderate, this time on the abortion issue.
Progressives were outraged when Biden announced that he still supports the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding for abortion. No other major candidate supports the law, which Hillary Clinton removed from the Democratic Platform in 2016. Immediately pundits began pondering whether this position will estrange Biden from the Democratic base, which for some reason they think is hyper-progressive in general, and especially regarding abortion.
But the numbers don’t actually back up this assessment. According to a Marist poll reported on by National Review back in February, reaction to New York state’s extreme “abortion until birth” law and attempts to pass such a law in Virginia pushed many Democrats into the pro-life camp.
According the poll, the “most striking data shows that the shift in public opinion on abortion is being driven primarily by Democrats, especially younger ones. In January, only 20 percent of all Democrats self-identified as pro-life; the new poll found that percentage has jumped to 34 percent.”