Polling guru Nate Silver predicted allegations of inappropriate behavior will harm former Vice President Joe Biden the most with younger voters should he decide to run for president in 2020.
The FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief also said the reaction on Twitter, where controversies can easily be amplified, can't be taken at face value for the Democratic primary.
“The Biden accusations are likely to hurt him more with young voters than old ones, which on the one hand still isn't great for Biden but on the other hand (since Twitter leans young) will increase the divide between what people on this platform think and the D electorate overall,” Silver tweeted Monday evening.
The Biden accusations are likely to hurt him more with young voters than old ones, which on the one hand still isn't great for Biden but on the other hand (since Twitter leans young) will increase the divide between what people on this platform think and the D electorate overall.— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) April 1, 2019
Over the past two days, two women have accused Biden of inappropriately touching them years ago.
Former Nevada state assemblywoman Lucy Flores alleged Friday that Biden gave her an unwelcome kiss on the back of her head at a campaign rally in 2014, and Amy Lappos, a former congressional aide to Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., claimed Monday Biden touched her inappropriately at a political fundraiser in 2009 when he tried to “rub noses” with her.
Biden defended his behavior in a statement Sunday, saying he would “remain the strongest advocate I can be for the rights of women.”
“I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear. But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will,” Biden said.
The former vice president, who is 76 years old, already has struggled to ensnare the youth vote, although overall he leads the field.
According to a poll conducted by Harvard University's Institute of Politics, 31 percent of likely voters ages 18 to 29 favor Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is 77, in a Democratic presidential primary race. The poll, which surveyed 934 likely voters nationwide from March 8 to 20, showed Biden more than double digits behind Sanders, garnering only 20 percent of younger voters.
At large, Biden has a tremendous edge over his potential 2020 competitors. A Quinnipiac University poll revealed 29 percent of registered Democrats and voters who lean to the Left back Biden, in comparison to 19 percent who support Sanders. The poll was conducted from March 21-25 and surveyed 1,358 voters nationwide.
A RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Biden ahead of everyone with 29.2 percent. Sanders is in second place with 21.8 percent support.