With less than six months to Election Day, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden now faces an accusation that he sexually assaulted Tara Reade, a former staffer, when he was a senator back in 1993. Party elites who once loudly demanded we "believe all women" during the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process have done complete 180s, pronouncing that Biden's denial "it never happened" sounded good enough.
But what of Democratic voters? Were they convinced by his Friday interview with MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski?
According to a recent Morning Consult survey, more than a quarter—26 percent—said they want the party to replace Biden as the presumptive presidential nominee, though a majority—61 percent—said they still believe the former VP should be the one to take on President Trump in the 2020 election.
Support for replacing Biden atop the ticket was driven by the party’s youngest voters, a group that mostly backed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the Democratic primary and is more likely to view the former vice president with skepticism. Forty percent of Democrats under the age of 45 said the party should pick a different nominee, compared to 15 percent of those ages 45 and older.
The responses came after respondents were shown a 35-second video clip of Biden’s first interview on the subject, where MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski detailed Reade’s allegation and asked point-blank if he sexually assaulted her.
“No. It is not true. I’m saying unequivocally: It never, never happened. It didn’t. It never happened,” he said. (Morning Consult)
Even this late in the game, calls to replace Biden are growing. A New York Times opinion piece published Sunday urged the party to consider a plan B, while WaPo ran one calling for Biden to step aside.
It's unlikely Democratic leaders will listen, however. DNC Chair Tom Perez dismissed those demanding an investigation of the allegations, arguing Biden has already been thoroughly vetted in his career.
"There's been so many investigations of the vice-president. The most comprehensive investigation of the vice-president was when he was vetted by Barack Obama in 2008. I'm very familiar with the vice-presidential vetting process. They look at everything about you," Perez said on ABC News' "This Week."
"They looked at the entire history of Joe Biden, his entire career. And I'll tell you, if Barack Obama had any indication that there was an issue, Barack Obama would not have had him as his vice-president. Barack Obama trusted Joe Biden. I trust Joe Biden. And those investigations have been done."