Who is Joe Biden?

Mr. Biden was born in Scranton, Pa., in 1942, and moved to Delaware as a child. As a politician, he has maintained close political ties to both states, though Mr. Trump has accused Mr. Biden of having “deserted” Pennsylvania.

“I was in third grade,” Mr. Biden shot back.

He continues to maintain strong ties to Pennsylvania, a critical general election battleground that Mr. Trump won in 2016, and he has based his campaign headquarters in Philadelphia.

As cited in Telegraph, Joe Biden has wanted to be president for at least 30 years. He first ran in 1988, crashing out in his bid for the Democratic nomination over a plagiarism scandal.

In 2008, Mr Biden took on Barack Obama but again stumbled at the first hurdle, securing less than 1 per cent of the vote at the all-important Iowa caucus.

At the last election was tragedy that intervened, with the then-vice president declining to run after his son Beau’s death from cancer.

Now, with Mr Biden the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, one question looms large – is 2020 the year Mr Biden finally gets over the line?

Joe biden: who he is and what stands for (published 2019)
Joe Biden in the White House with Barack Obama. Photo: Telegraph

Biden’s signature issues

Mr. Biden, who has served in public life for around a half-century, is emphasizing his government experience, seeking to cast himself as a steady, seasoned hand in a dangerous and uncertain world.

As the coronavirus crisis has unfolded, he has looked for ways to help voters picture him as commander in chief, formulating recommendations rooted in advice from health care and economics experts. Those suggestions include making coronavirus tests broadly accessible, and free. He has said there should be no out-of-pocket cost for patients to receive an eventual vaccine, either. And he has been sharply critical of President Trump’s response to the virus, accusing him of reacting too slowly.

Mr. Biden served as vice president in the Obama administration during the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and health care remains a top priority for him. It’s an issue he often discusses in the context of his family’s personal tragedies: He lost his first wife and an infant daughter in a car accident in 1972, and in 2015, his son Beau Biden died of brain cancer. Health care, he said in an early television ad, is “personal” to him. He supports adding a public option to the Affordable Care Act, but opposes “Medicare for all,” the sweeping single-payer measure advocated by some progressives in his party, including Senator Bernie Sanders.

Mr. Biden, who served for decades in the Senate, firmly believes in the value of bipartisanship and insists on extending overtures to Republicans even in a moment when many in his own party don’t see negotiating partners on the other side. As a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he also speaks passionately about asserting and defending America’s role as a leader on the global stage.

Can Biden win?

Telegraph said, his supporters argue that Mr Biden has enough centrist clout to win back Trump voters while possessing sufficient left-wing credentials from the Obama years to inspire the Democratic base.

And it’s not just backers. “Eighty percent of people I talk to on the Hill, both Republicans and Democrats, say Joe Biden has the best chance of beating Trump,” said a UK official whose job it is to know.

Polls indicate that Mr Biden is ahead in the race and has been since the start of the year, with his lead bouncing between five and 10 percentage points. On October 23, he was at 51 per cent of the vote, compared with Mr Trump’s 43 percent, according to leading US political site, Real Clear Politics.

Of course there is a chance that Mr Biden could win the popular vote, as Hillary Clinton did, and still fall short by losing the battleground states thanks to the electoral college system. So, to secure a victory, he must sway the swing voters in states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina.

Biden would be the oldest president in history at his inauguration, at age 78. Mr. Trump, who is currently 74, would also be the oldest president ever if he wins a second term.