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Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is listed in the Progressive Voters Guide below. The Courage California Voter Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Vote in every race on your ballot! It's our right and our responsibility. Please share this guide with your friends and family.

  • Democrat
    Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
  • Elect Vice President Joseph Biden as President of the United States to get America back on track. 

    About the Position

    The President of the United States is the head of the Executive branch of the federal government, and the Commander-in-Chief for all branches of the armed forces. A president has the power to make diplomatic, executive, and judicial appointments, and can sign into law or veto legislation. Presidential administrations are responsible for both foreign and domestic policy priorities. Presidents are limited to serving two four-year terms in office.

    About the Race

    As of October 12th, Democratic challenger Vice President Joe Biden is leading Republican incumbent President Donald Trump in the polls by an average national margin of 9.2% (as of 10/24/20). Ten days before Election Day in 2016, Secretary Hillary Clinton held an average 4.9% polling lead over Donald Trump. Vice President Biden’s campaign has raised $952 million (as of 10/14/20) and is not funded by fossil fuel money. While his platform commits to establishing meaningful campaign finance reform, his 2020 campaign has received donations from special interest, corporate PAC, and lobbyist organizations. President Donald Trump has raised $601 million (as of 10/14/20) and has not taken any fundraising pledges. President Trump is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, Citizens United, Proud Boys, and a variety of law enforcement organizations.

    About the Candidate

    Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is from Scranton, PA, and moved to Claymont, DE with his family when he was 10 years old. He has been a resident of Wilmington, DE, for most of his adult life. Vice President Biden came of age during the 1960s Civil Rights movement, which he cites as his inspiration for majoring in political science at the University of Delaware before earning his law degree at Syracuse University. His political career began in 1970 when he was elected to the New Castle County Council. Just two years later, at age 29, Vice President Biden ran for the Delaware Senate seat, and became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. A few weeks after his election, his wife and infant daughter were killed in a car accident, and his two sons were badly injured. This personal tragedy shaped Vice President Biden’s public image as an empathetic leader and committed family man. 

    Vice President Biden spent 36 years representing Delaware in the Senate. He is often critiqued as being an unremarkable, status quo Democrat, and mid-career votes in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, anti-drug legislation, and the Iraq War reaffirm that characterization. In 1991, Vice President Biden was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and presided over the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas, who had been credibly accused of sexual harassment by a former colleague, Anita Hill. Vice President Biden’s mismanagement of the hearing resulted in a targeted and unfair character assassination of Anita Hill, and remains a reminder of his complicity in the patriarchal and racist systems on which American government is built. 

    Vice President Biden has also been directly accused of unwanted contact by several women over the course of his career. Most of the accusations came to light as part of the #MeToo movement, and related to invasions of personal space that included the touching of shoulders, caressing of hair, and close whispering. He has apologized publicly for this behavior, and stated an understanding of his responsibility to conform to more modern social norms in his interactions with women. 

    Vice President Biden launched two unsuccessful campaigns for President during his time in the Senate, in 1988 and 2008. After ending his 2008 campaign, he was chosen by President Barack Obama to join his ticket as Vice President, and they served together for two terms. As Vice President, he was responsible for managing the 2009 economic recovery, helping to expand health care through the Affordable Care Act, and acting as the administration’s liaison to the Senate. In 2015, his oldest son, Beau Biden, lost his battle with brain cancer at the age of 46. Since leaving office in 2016, Vice President Biden has dedicated substantial resources to cancer research.

    Although he was rarely a trailblazer, Vice President Biden’s record does demonstrate a consistent liberal evolution on many issues throughout his career. After voting in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, he was the first member of the Obama Administration to advocate for marriage equality in 2012. After presiding over the Anita Hill hearings in 1991, he was the architect of the Violence Against  Women Act in 1994, and led the Obama Administration’s effort to reduce campus sexual assault through the It’s On Us campaign. After supporting the 1994 Crime Bill and aligning with the racist ‘tough on crime’ approach of that era, his current platform supports criminal justice reform, abolishing private prisons, and decriminalizing marijuana. 

    Vice President Biden has long been committed to building relationships with colleagues across the aisle, and bridging intra-party policy differences to establish compromise legislation for the American people. This commitment to civility resulted in Vice President Biden maintaining problematic working relationships with segregationist Senators James Eastland and Herman Talmadge during his time in the Senate. During the 2020 primary, Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Kamala Harris, both Black candidates running for President, were outward in their critique of what they viewed as Vice President Biden’s defense of the reputations and decency of these segregationists. However, Vice President Biden has not apologized for his continued defense of collaborating with these segregationist colleagues, and maintains broad support in the Black community. 

    Vice President Biden’s commitment to compromise has extended to the left in recent months, and updates to his campaign platform are reflective of his interest in connecting with progressive voters. While he was a more moderate candidate in the larger 2020 field, he has been conscientious about including the popular perspectives of his progressive rivals, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders, in his platform. He has recently issued proposals that include middle-class tax cuts, lowering Medicare eligibility to age 60, new benchmarks for greenhouse gas emission limits, free college tuition for families making less than $125,000 annually, and clean energy investments. While these proposals do not embrace the full scope of progressive ideals, they are an important indicator of his capacity for collaboration. 

    The Biden/Harris campaign is endorsed by many progressive groups in the country. While the Biden/Harris platform is the most progressive platform ever adopted by a major party ticket, we encourage progressive advocates to continue to hold their administration accountable, and work to encourage progressive legislation throughout the country. With consideration to their records in public service, we unequivocally recommend Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the strongest choice for equitable and representative leadership in office.

    Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is from Scranton, PA, and moved to Claymont, DE with his family when he was 10 years old. He has been a resident of Wilmington, DE, for most of his adult life. Vice President Biden came of age during the 1960s Civil Rights movement, which he cites as his inspiration for majoring in political science at the University of Delaware before earning his law degree at Syracuse University. His political career began in 1970 when he was elected to the New Castle County Council. Just two years later, at age 29, Vice President Biden ran for the Delaware Senate seat, and became one of the youngest people ever elected to the United States Senate. A few weeks after his election, his wife and infant daughter were killed in a car accident, and his two sons were badly injured. This personal tragedy shaped Vice President Biden’s public image as an empathetic leader and committed family man. 
    Last updated: 2020-10-27

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