On the Surface
History says that Joe Biden is likely to run for president; only three of them have not either run for or become president. If Biden does step into the field, Democratic fringe candidates and Republican candidates in general will receive a boost as Biden helps to create a contrast.
What Biden Means for Democrats
With Hillary Clinton widely viewed as the inevitable Democratic nominee amid an email scandal, Biden represents a feasible alternative for voters disillusioned with the former Secretary of State. While both have similar political views, each has a different public persona: Clinton is the seasoned veteran plagued by controversy, while Biden is more well-meaning, if prone to the occasional faux pas. Biden is more likely to eat away at Hillary Clinton’s voter base than he is second-place candidate Bernie Sanders’. If Clinton is able to defeat Biden, she could be viewed as more competent and able to fend off strong competition.
What Biden Means for Republicans
Many Republicans are running on the idea of a “generational choice” in American politics. If Biden, who is 72, enters the Democratic field, he represents the view of Democrats as an older generation (if he enters, the average age of Democrat candidates will be 66; the average age of Republican candidates is 58, with four of them in their 40’s).
However, if Biden emerges as the Democratic nominee, Republicans would have a slightly less formidable opponent than Clinton; though Biden is a tested politician, he does not possess the same aura of command as Clinton, or the same base size (according to a Gallup poll, 45 percent of Democrats think Biden should run, while 47 percent think he shouldn’t).
If Biden decides to run, he’ll have to create an infrastructure rapidly. Regardless of whether or not his campaign for nominee is successful, a Biden run in 2016 is good news for anyone that isn’t Hillary Clinton.