Inside the Mind of a Super Tuesday Voter

One suburban voter — who has a personal history with Joe Biden — asks himself which moderate candidate has the best chance of beating President Trump.

Comments: 63

  1. This guy is the problem with the Democratic party.

  2. If you interview people that live in $1.5 million dollar homes, you will get answers that support their lifestyle

  3. Joe Biden needs to chose a strong woman VP or Pete.

  4. I really appreciate your reporting but am dismayed that you don’t talk about Warren more. Why count her out of the election so early? She is very qualified and is a viable option for President.

  5. It’s only important to beat Trump if MY candidate wins When do we start discussing joes policies instead of “ he makes me feel good”

  6. Easy for a rich white guy to say. Supposedly wants a "Democrat" but can't decide between Biden and Bloomberg AND can't commit to supporting Sanders in the General Election. Everything that's wrong with the out of touch Democratic Elites.

  7. The "it depends" answer to final question (would you vote for Sanders if it came down to Sanders vs. Trump?) floored me. To any other Democrat who can't answer that question quickly and easily, let say this: The Trump administration held 69,550 migrant children in government custody during the 2018-2019 fiscal. Those are the real stakes of this election. Vote accordingly.

  8. ‘A socialist revolution is not what we need ‘ says the white man in the 1.3 million dollar house. This isn’t even comical in its obviousness, let alone interesting. I was SO hoping that there would be a plot twist here and he would describe waking up from his privileged slumber and say: ‘you know, Bernie is just right. The corporations have too much power and we have to finally stand up to them.’ Ugh. Business as usual while the planet burns.

  9. Half an hour interviewing a millionaire about why he's in love with Biden, guy is so lame it's actually pretty comical, says stuff like the best day of his life was when Biden took him out for a beer. Usually I get depressed by those type of specials but this one made me laugh.

  10. @John Thanks for this comment. Couldn't have said it better. Why is the NYT interviewing this set in the first place, much less devoting this much time to it? Telling in and of itself.

  11. There was so much wrong with this interview. That it was done at all... Brian Keane's story about Biden was cute, but he did not have any compelling insights about the candidates or the election. And then, that this man could suggest calmly that he might not vote for the Democratic candidate in November if it is Bernie, is disgusting given the stakes of this election. The NYT commitment to "bothsidesism," perpetuating false equivalences, has been infuriating in these dangerous times, but it seems to not apply to stories involving Bernie. By publishing this interview you amplify and spread the narrative about party disunity and fear of Bernie's radicalism from these so-called "moderates." And you also legitimate the disunity and fear. Is that accurate? Instructive? Useful?

  12. Three days in a row of 'why Biden is great' is too much right before Super Tuesday.

  13. Why is there so little news time spent on Warren?! Candidates that were ranking lower than her have received far more news coverage.

  14. The last 3 episodes dedicated to Joe Biden. I wonder who the NY Times is throwing their weight behind? I would just be echoing sentiments already mentioned regarding the tone deaf interview with a millionaire who's main goal in choosing a candidate is to oust Trump... as long as it's not Bernie Sanders.... so I'm going to mention my surprise when the interviewer failed to refer to the multiple polls showing Sanders would actually beat Trump. The sound bites at the end made me laugh at the lopsided story-telling: Moderate candidates showing support for Biden followed by a + fade out of Sanders stating he's for the people not the establishment"...they do not want me to be President because our administration will transform this country to create an economy and a government that works for all the people..." Why not let his statement ring out NY Times??

  15. @Devin On Jan. 19, the Times editorial board endorsed both Warren and Klobuchar.

  16. the bias could not be more blatant.

  17. This is such a redundant interview. Just a random guy talking about his opinions of candidates based on gut feelings and pleasant encounters. This is a lesson on how you shouldn’t make up your mind when choosing your leaders. Look at policy, people! Maybe something with a bit more substance might help guide voters choose the right candidate? Daily?

  18. This is only missing one important thing. "I am Joe Biden and I approve this message." Really? The NYTimes is passing this off as news? Snooooze.....

  19. Great. Sustainable energy guy with four young kids won’t even commit to voting against Trump. Addressing climate change must be low on his list of priorities. Can we guess what is at the top of his list?

  20. @Ian Five kids, not to put too fine a point on it.

  21. Maybe Mr Keane should understand that Mr Bloomberg isn’t a lifelong Democrat. I take it he pointed that out to suggest Sanders isn’t worthy of the nomination. Why would Bloomberg be? Possibly Mr Barbaro should have pointed that out to him. ??? Just a thought. While I support Bernie Sanders, I would never stay home on election day if he isn’t the candidate. Trump must be defeated. But, I get it. Mr Keane’s way of life will not suffer under Trump as will people that are not in his socioeconomic status.

  22. One more question to ask this guy is if his software company has his clean energy non-profit as a client.

  23. This race mirrors the Republican race in 2016 so much. Instead of listening, the elite decide to ignore those most affected by the horrible policies put in place that have allowed so much wealth inequality. This issue didn't start under Trump. This is so much more than Trump. People voting - don't get lost in the sauce. They want you to stay narrow minded so you are not asking the essential questions. The Democrat Establishment is a part of the problem with our country.

  24. As a long time The Daily listener, this podcast was disappointing. Today is a very important day in politics, and you interviewed a singular wealthy, DC area democrat without a strong or policy based inclination towards a particular candidate. Instead, we heard several incredibly frustrating and out of touch comments from a so called "well-read, educated" voter. A few of them being: 1. He admitted that "the system doesn't work for millions of people" and yet said that using "the language of revolution is irresponsible." When else is a revolution necessary than when the system doesn't work for millions? Or maybe you're okay with the system because it works for you. 2. Apparently getting Trump out is most important for him, and he makes the "electability" argument against Bernie... and then says he might not vote for Bernie if he's the nominee. Of course he won't win if you don't vote for him! That's completely irrational. 3. His arguments for Biden were because he's a nice, good guy (I'm not debating that, but it's not enough) and for Bloomberg is that he has money and because he's "good at social media." What on earth? This all left a terrible taste in my mouth. His interview could have been consolidated into 5 minutes and combined with a number of other perspectives from super Tuesday voters. What a waste.

  25. @Claire Your comment expresses my feelings perfectly. Thanks!

  26. Anyone else frustrated that Bernie supporters are told time and time again to fall in line if he's not selected as the Democratic nominee, but it's fine for never-Berners like this gentleman who was interviewed to not expect to vote for Bernie if he becomes the candidate?

  27. Improving the social safety net, empowering workers, and checking corporate abuse of power is not a socialist revolution. It is my opinion that Sanders invokes revolutionary passion, like that which founded this country, but his reality is not the authoritarian socialist revolution that you are selling to your audience.

  28. For the Super Tuesday episode, The Daily chooses to explore the mind of one voter: a rich Washington elite that literally knows one of the candidates personally. Comprehensive coverage that gets to the heart of the race. /s

  29. I always enjoy the show, but was disappointed Elizabeth Warren was barely mentioned by you or your guest. In my world (physician women, many in CA), she is the #1 choice of most. Your show fed the narrative of "I like her but she's not electable" by not even mentioning her and only putting Biden against Bloomberg. She is the most qualified candidate by far, but if everyone else thinks voting for her is a lost vote, eg, not getting a mention on The Daily, misogyny persists and we're left with only angry old men.

  30. Brian Keane rationalizing his vote for Trump over Sanders because Bernie isn't a true Democrat is a bit ironic. Though Keane may have registered as a Democrat eons ago, his values fall far from it in 2020. If I learned anything listening today, it wasn't that Bernie isn't a true Democrat, it's that Keane isn't one. He's clearly a closet Republican in denial.

  31. The interviewee is a textbook example of a neoliberal. He doesn’t want to blow up the system because the system has made him a winner. His hesitancy to support Bernie Sanders — even if he becomes the Democrats’ pick to challenge Donald Trump — is especially telling. The possibility of Trump getting a second term doesn’t scare him nearly as much as a Sanders presidency.

  32. Why are we interviewing someone who lives in a million dollar house, and gets excited over having a beer with Joe Biden? Why aren't we interviewing someone who is a real Democrat, someone who lives the problems that so many Americans live? This guy thinks that Sanders can't be elected and he thinks that because he doesn't want Sanders to be elected. He doesn't understand the difference between a socialist and a social democrat, and he thinks he's voting the issues. The issues he's voting are the ones that protect his privileged lifestyle. The issues that he is voting do not protect people who have to decide between paying their electric bill and buying life saving medication, or buying food. This is disappointing on the part of the New York times. I would have expected better and I want to be able to expect better.

  33. People don't want to break the system, my god, how condescending and ridiculous is that? We have gone so far right that the ideas of FDR are considered extremist. In no other country would it be considered breaking the system to provide healthcare for everyone and a living wage. Why do you think that is breaking the system? We have people working a full-time job for where they receive a wage that is insufficient to buy food. These people get food stamps while working full time. Do you not see a problem with that? The wealth that they create through their labor goes to the people who own the corporations resulting in a handful of people having more wealth than the bottom 50% of the population. I find the ignorance so very frustrating. The Democrats that voted for Obama and then voted for Trump did so because they felt that the Democratic party was not being responsive to their needs. And they were right. Sanders would have been elected if he had gone up against Trump, but he didn't. Sanders will be elected if he is the nominee. If we elect someone like Biden we will not solve the problems that got us Trump in the first place. People will get angrier, the rich will get richer, the middle class and lower class will continue to suffer and nothing good will come of it. I agree, we should elect a Democrat. Unfortunately there's only one running in this field and that is Sanders.

  34. Bryan’s story illustrated to me what is really wrong with the Democratic Party. Bryan doesn’t feel the pain that led many “Obama/Biden” voters to support Trump. Bryan wants to enjoy his, admittedly great, life without crafting policies to help the less fortunate - even at modest expense to someone like himself. Whenever the country gets its act together and starts electing people who really want to make the United States work for ALL then “Democrats” like Bryan will flee to whichever authoritarian - maybe Trunp - who will preserve their privileges.

  35. There are some who remember the brokered convention of 1968. The luxury of hindsight can remind us how deep was the divide that resulted and still persists. It was a time when we still reveled in our ignorance of the cascade of environmental issues on the way. Thinking of ourselves as earthlings rather than parties could help clarify the decision process.

  36. Great story, and I find myself thinking mostly along the lines of Mr. Keane. However, the very last lines of the story I find quite ironic. Mr. Keane understand why people would want to break the system, and said, "It's not a perfect union. We are trying to create a perfect union." And in the same breath said, "The language of revolution is not responsible, is not helpful." ",,,in order to form a more perfect union" is the literal language of the American Revolution.

  37. Couldn’t you at least give an appearance of neutrality by interviewing some Sanders supporters as well ? I haven’t seen from The Daily a neutral or sympathetic program dedicated to the Bernie movement which is a large portion of the American electorate. Why not?

  38. This was pretty disappointing. Was your best idea on how to inform an electorate to go ask a millionaire with a cute Joe Biden past experience to how he’d approach voting on Tuesday? Shocking that he would frame the election as an objective to defeat Bernie Sanders. He complained that the Democratic Party would even consider not nominating a democrat and then was noncommittal on who he’d support Bernie vs Trump. Maybe he is the one lacking the democratic values. You gave very little insight into the challenges and frustrations that average Americans face on a daily basis and why Bernie Sanders has such a compelling message to those people. Many voters will be listening to this prior to casting a vote on Super Tuesday and they were failed to be informed.

  39. On Super Tuesday millions of Americans got 30 seconds at the end of the episode. I thought the The Daily wasn't going to be more balanced this time around.

  40. Again a great story in particular because of the guest. My impression is that Biden may win Virginia tonight. The establishment endorsed him. But it's not going to be by a landslide like in South Carolina. Bernie may end up a close runner-up. More important will be the results in California and Texas. Joe Biden certainly is a good man. Will he be able to win against Trump? Would he be able to lead this country? I would have been more convinced, had he boldly testified in Congress in exchange for Bolton's testimony. The guest expressed the common angst that Bernie would be sure to lose against Trump and drag everyone else with him, ending in a colossal defeat for the Democrats. I respectfully disagree. All predictions I saw tied any top contender, even Bernie, with Trump with slight leads for one or the other in the margin of error. Right now, any survivor of Super Tuesday might win in November with the odds of 50/50. If Bernie won the nomination, prudent liberals would vote for moderate congressional candidates to counterbalance a radical White House. I predict that the Democrats will carry Congress regardless of who wins the presidency.

  41. Strange choice for today's podcast. I understand trying to get into the mind of the average moderate voter from the suburbs. But this guy is a political insider who likes Joe Biden because he met him a couple of times and got to have a drink with him (how average is that). His wife is an attorney for the DNC. And though he says he understands why people want to fix the system, he benefits so greatly from it that I find that hard to believe. I was hoping he would be part of your story and then the other half someone equivalent more to the left of him. This focus on the individual and the anecdote can sometimes illuminate the whole but I don't think it did this time. Felt tone deaf.

  42. I lived in Northern Virginia for a good long time … and this was as depressing and equivocating as I imagined it would be.

  43. I was disappointed that Elizabeth Warren was absent from the discussion in today's episode. She's polling near or above Bloomberg in Super Tuesday polls. What gives? For context, I am a huge The Daily fan and have been a NYT subscriber since June 2011, but this didn't sit well.

  44. I really felt like this guy lived inside of a political bubble, which really put into perspective what Bernie and Warren talk about. Everything he said did not regard the actual issues other than winning. It felt like he this whole thing was a game to him or a hobby and that's pretty.... scary.

  45. I find it funny that when Michael asks about VP pairings for Bernie, the guy says "Elizabeth Warren could get me for sure", yet she was never brought up as the possible answer here. Elizabeth seems to be the perfect candidate for this race, but she so often gets overlooked by the two camps. It's frustrating because I think she would be very good at energizing, and perhaps most importantly, uniting the party and beating Trump in November.

  46. He admits that the system is not working for millions of Americans, and his feelings are hurt when Sanders is critical of the "Democratic Establishment" he feels defines him. Political Revolution is about making our Democracy work for everyone, not just the millionaires.

  47. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one that felt this way about this episode. I was waiting for other people to be interviewed about personal stories regarding Bernie and Warren but it simply never came. Do better.

  48. What is so wrong about restructuring the Democratic party? A democracy is supposed to change over time to reflect changes in its representatives and society, and you cannot deny Bernie's grassroots support. I simply do not understand how people can be as repulsed by the Trump presidency as I am but want so desperately to return to the normalcy and complacency that enabled it in the first place.

  49. I feel like today’s episode moved beyond information and analysis (which is what you do so well!) and into an endorsement of Biden. Super disappointing. Especially given the influence over voters this kind of information has (as Keane clearly stated himself), right on the day of the election! This story would have been more appropriate tomorrow, as a way to explain the results, instead of today, as a way to deliver results.

  50. 15 minute story about a rich guy who met Joe Biden once. Are these the stakes? We should be hearing from the voices of the millions of Americans who are struggling and have been struggling for a generation? Very disappointed in this episode.

  51. I love The Daily and have so much respect for the reporters diligence and depth of coverage. However, I have been utterly dismayed and disappointed with the recent reporting on the primaries that have completely disregarded and ignored Warren as a viable candidate. Case in point, in today's report (3/3/20) Michael Barbaro spent nearly the entire interview asking his subject, Brian Keane as to why he is waffling in his decision to vote for either Biden or Sanders, yet not once does he ask Keane to reflect on why he isn't considering Warren. Not once. I mean up until not that long ago she was considered a front runner. She consistently outperforms in the debates and continues to raise money for her campaign. The fact that Barbaro asked Keane for his assessment on Bloomberg and not Warren just astounds me. I feel frustrated that the media is influencing voters to prematurely to write off a still-viable and highly qualified candidate without offering valid explanations or reflections as to why. It is dismissive at best. I'm left drawing the sad conclusion that sexist assumptions (unconscious or otherwise) are the only explanation.

  52. @CDG I couldn't agree more. This was so maddening. I regret listening to this episode.

  53. You’re absolutely right. The sexism- again- is robbing us of another brilliant leader.

  54. Three days focussed on Biden? And in today's story, the focus was completely on how support for Biden is essential for beating Trump. What about the idea that support for Bernie and/or Warren is critical for getting voter turnout to take back the White House? What about how progressives are appealing to a critical mass of the population suffering the worst of economic inequality and the current wave of nationalism/racism. I love The Daily but your recent reporting has felt very one-sided to me. A balanced article would include both points of view.

  55. Although I understand the flip flopping in deciding to vote for the Democratic candidate (Biden or Bloomberg) best able to beat Trump, what I do not understand is Brian Keane’s decision to potentially vote for Trump if Bernie becomes the candidate. And then to justify that decision by saying that he can’t believe the Democratic Party would nominate someone (Sanders) who isn’t a democratic. News flash: before becoming a candidate, neither was Bloomberg.

  56. It's not clear to me why Mr. Keane was selected for this lengthy interview. How well does the experience of a wealthy DC-area man with positive personal interactions with one of the candidates generalize to 97% of the voters voting on Super Tuesday? That a person for whom the system is working very well does not want a candidate who wants to change the system (Sanders) is not especially news. I am not a Sanders supporter, underemployed, blue-collar, or young, but I understand such individuals' anger and frustration - and their desire for major change. NYC and DC media and politicians didn't understand this in 2016 because they spent too much time in their silos and were flummoxed by Trump's win. That the NYT on the eve of Super Tuesday decided to go interview someone within the silo as somehow representative of much at all shows that little was learned from 2016.

  57. He was selected because his wife is a lobbyist for the Democratic National Committee.

  58. This episode was deeply disappointing to me. I have been listening to The Daily for a few months and have found it to be such a measured, interesting and accessible way to keep up to date on current events. But the bias against Bernie Sanders has gotten so over the top that I can't listen to it anymore. Almost the entire episode the day before the most important day of the election thus far is an interview with a Biden supporter who personally knows Joe Biden and who is clearly opposed to Bernie Sanders. Despite Bernie Sanders currently being the front runner, there is no mention of why his supporters follow him, what they hope his election could change, or any of the issues that matter to them. This gives me a deep mistrust of The Daily and of Michael Barbaro's integrity as a reporter. I won't be listening anymore.

  59. This is a really disappointing episode and really puts into question the whole moral and ethical stance of the work being done by the Daily team. It is an incredible tone deaf and irresponsible piece of propaganda not reporting. Really disappointing work.

  60. I'm sorry, this interview was nothing but a plug for Biden - from now on, please label your podcasts episodes as "Editorial" or "Opinion" pieces so I can skip them - It was easy to skip the podcast titled "Joe Biden's Big Win" but you all clearly caught on that no one was interested and made sure to make this title a little more ambiguous. I don't know if it was sadder that NYT did this or that the only person they could find who they could use to "humanize" Joe Biden had a story from 20 years ago and clearly was out of touch for being so "politically minded." Do better NYT. Actually, just stop reporting on the Democratic primary, the last few episodes have been sad. Save it for "the latest" so I can skip the episodes altogether.

  61. I would be one thing if you had come out and said: "Vote for Joe Biden on Super Tuesday." But the episode was called "inside the mind of a Super Tuesday voter," as if his viewpoint was just the average view. Do you know how many undecided voters you may have swayed with this disguised puff piece? I'm leaning more towards believing that that was the point. Weeks back, you guys had a whole episode about ethics and responsibility in reporting and learning from 2016. This episode's timing undid all of the goodwill you've earned. Blatant manipulation of your loyal listeners. You've lost my trust and subscription.

  62. I really feel that The Daily has failed some basic journalistic obligations with this episode. A man living in a million-dollar-plus home in the D.C. area doing very well in our current economic arrangement and who has organized Democratic-minded events all the way back in the 1980s is happy to vote for Joe Biden. He even considers voting for former Mayor Bloomberg, someone who has quite literally been a Republican in the past. By the end of the episode, it is clear Mr. Keane's real concern is avoiding a Bernie Sanders presidency. So much so, that he is willing to consider voting for Donald Trump should Sen. Sanders be the nominee-- the same Donald Trump who imprisons children and neglects them to abuse and death, who admitted on tape to a pattern of serial felony sexual assault, and who is purposefully endangering the lives of Americans to avoid a financial market panic over a new deadly disease, among many other concerns. Mr. Keane is willing to vote for all of that in order to avoid a presidency by a decent man who has been an elected Congressperson since 1991. Michael and The Daily had a journalistic obligation to challenge Mr. Keane to explain that view, and to explain why someone who has been an involved Democrat for 30+ years would vote for President Trump. I don't know the answer to that question, but I would argue that the most logical explanation is that Mr. Keane's actual first priority is to protect his wealth and the system that allowed him to accrue it.

  63. I have always voted with the Democratic Party because it seemed to best approximate compassionate social values that aligned with my own. I have avoided the strong Libertarian influences in the West because they seemed narrow-minded and self centered. I have dismissed overly optimistic and unrealistic versions of Flower Power also prevalent in the West. But today, when I listened to Brian Keane pontificate from a position of power 3,000 miles and a world away, I felt a deep sense of divide. Already, my vote in Oregon barely counts. Candidates rarely visit, and by the May primary only 2 candidates have survived the gauntlet. The party marginalizes my vote by exerting national pressures that essentially control the dialogue. Party liners choose candidates for me instead of the other way around. Sanders has widespread approval, but the party is attempting to destroy his candidacy by backing opposing candidates. This is distasteful to me, and I was offended by the tone of Brian Keane's political calculations. I have not sided with third parties in the past because they are often decisive. Now I find myself seriously considering the necessity of a third party, especially for my children and grandchildren who deserve the right to form a government that best meets their needs as defined by their era.