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Friday 31 March 2023 Dublin: 10°C
Carolyn Kaster/PA Images Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on stage together in Wilmington, Delaware.
# 11 weeks to go
A convention week like no other, but Democrats in Ireland think their candidate is well placed
Joe Biden will officially accept his party’s nomination on Thursday

THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL Convention kicks off today, beginning two weeks when the media focus in the US will be firmly on the election and not Covid-19.

Next week Donald Trump and the Republicans will take to the virtual stage but this week is Joe Biden’s big moment.

Biden will officially accept his party’s nomination on Thursday but before that we’ll have speeches from much of the Democrat top brass

Bernie Sanders, runner up in the Democratic nomination race this year and in 2016, will open the big speeches this evening with Michelle Obama set to give the keynote speech tonight. 

The convention will nominate Biden for the presidency after the former vice president won the party’s primary despite a slow start. 

Biden trailed Sanders following voting in the early primary states before a big win in South Carolina propelled him to numerous other victories on Super Tuesday, when other rivals had dropped out.

Presidential candidates from both parties are selected by party members who vote in their own state. Each of the candidates is then allocated a certain number of party delegates from each state based on how well they did in statewide votes.

On the Democratic side, Biden has won over two-thirds of the almost 4,000 delegates on offer, so is safely above the threshold to be nominated. 

3 November

Recent polls have shown Biden to have a double-digit national lead over Trump, with Democrats Abroad Ireland Treasurer TJ Mulloy saying the election was never Trump’s to lose even before Covid-19. 

“Everyone was saying Trump’s gonna win, Trump’s gonna win but, Trump has only hit 49% approval, he’s never been above 50% approval. He has never been above 50% approval since maybe the week of his inauguration. So if you’re not at 50% approval, you always have a tough time being re-elected.  He spun 49% into a narrative earlier this year that he was going to run away with it.”

Despite this, Mulloy believes Biden’s open adoption of public health advice in wearing a mask and restricting his movements has shown leadership in the age of Covid-19. 

75% in national polls support mask-wearing. We’re much more unified than it’s let on to be, we’re not as dumb as we’re made out to be. There is a certain cohort that is going to say ‘no’ to just about anything, but it seems even many of them are coming around.

“A public health concern has unfortunately been made political by Trump and the Republican Party. But it seems the message is getting through, thanks to Anthony Fauci and many state public health officials.”

Mulloy adds that the addition of Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate makes it “a very strong ticket” and that Biden having vice presidential experience means he’s the perfect person for Harris to learn from. 

“I don’t think anyone doubts that she could take the reins at any given moment, if the unfortunate was to happen,” he says.

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