I have no doubt that many Democrats support Biden because they think he’s the most likely to win. Others think that he was alright with Obama, so he’ll probably work out (needless to say, I don’t think that…). But amidst all the talk about electability, there’s another reason why some Democrats like him: they don’t want what left-ish Democrats are offering. While the ideological appeal of ‘centrist’ neo-liberalism was overrated, a fair number of Democrats kinda liked it (note: I’m using neo-liberal as a descriptor, not a pejorative. Mostly).
Someone who voted in the Democratic primary found Clinton’s exhortations about the horrors of ‘free college’ appealing. If we go back a few years, many Democrats liked welfare reform, an immensely punitive criminal justice system, and a whole bunch of other bad policies. Maybe some have “evolved” to use Obama’s phrase, but some, maybe many, haven’t. And as I keep pounding over and over (and over…), a non-trivial fraction of Democratic voters are decidedly unwoke. Biden is very appealing to these Democrats (though some might have drifted over the Republican Party). That’s why the Biden-or-busters are potentially a problem.
So, sure, many voters just want to win, baby. But some of them are probably using electability as a fig leaf. It avoids having to declare that you just don’t want left-ish policies, that you think they’re wrong on the merits. The New Democrats still walk among us