Feb 11, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Paul Ryan: Biden is "the best bet the Democrats have" to beat Trump

Joe Biden and Paul Ryan bring a joint session of Congress to order in January 2017. Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that Joe Biden is "the best bet the Democrats have" to beat President Trump in 2020, but cautioned that he expects a more progressive candidate to ultimately win the nomination, CNBC reports.

What he's saying: Ryan said he believes that first-generation, college-educated, white-collar voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania and his home state of Wisconsin are the key to winning in 2020 — and that they'll view Biden as a safe and moderate option.

  • "[I]t's going to be the suburbanite that’ll basically be the difference-maker," he said.
  • "A first-generation Republican and they like Trump the idea, they like Trump the disruption — they don’t necessarily like the personality and the noise and the tweets that come with it," Ryan added.
  • The former congressman said that he believes Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg both pose threats that will prevent Biden from being able to rack up the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination.

The big picture: Polling ahead of the New Hampshire primary — and Axios' conversations with voters and campaigns — indicate that Biden is at risk of finishing as low as fifth in that contest, behind Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar.

Go deeper: Bloomberg's monopoly, Biden's market crash

Go deeper

Bloomberg's monopoly, Biden's market crash

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Spencer Platt/Getty Staff, Joe Raedle/Getty Staff

MANCHESTER, N.H.— The political market is rendering two unambiguous trend lines: Mike Bloomberg's TV monopoly is fueling his surge into the top tier of Democratic presidential rivals, and cash-strapped Joe Biden is crashing.

State of play: The billionaire and former New York mayor is achieving a critical mass in national polls and capturing the attention of the media, establishment Democrats (and Republicans) and the betting market. And the former vice president is dropping in those same metrics.

Poll: Joe Biden loses status as most electable Democrat

Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images

The share of Democratic primary voters who believe Joe Biden has the best chance out of any 2020 candidate to beat President Trump has dropped to 17%, down 12 points since the New Hampshire primary, according to a Morning Consult national poll.

Why it matters: Biden's electability pitch is widely considered his core appeal as a candidate.

Biden reborn with a massive Super Tuesday comeback

Biden speaks in Los Angeles Tuesday night. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Super Tuesday made Joe Biden the 77-year-old Comeback Kid, clipping Bernie Sanders' wings and transforming the Democratic primary into a two-man race.

Why it matters: Biden's campaign was broke and all but dead until he won South Carolina on Saturday. The revival that unfolded across 14 states last night was built not only on strong support from African Americans but also a consolidation of white, establishment Democrats around the former vice president.