Last night Michael Taylor, the Mayor of Sterling Heights, Michigan, endorsed Joe Biden for President. This may not sound like much of a big deal, until you realize that Taylor is Republican. He’s not some Never Trumper either; Taylor voted for Donald Trump in 2016 but has since come to regret it, and now he plans to vote for Biden over Trump in the general election. But there’s something bigger going on here.
Joe Biden is rolling out the endorsement of this Republican Mayor right now because Michigan has an open primary, and Biden is hoping to convince moderate Republicans to vote for him in the primary. This a legitimate practice, as these Republicans actually want Biden to be President – as opposed to the Trump-supporting Republicans who have been voting for Bernie Sanders as a spoiler in open primaries. This points to Biden’s ace in the hole in the general election.
Michael Taylor isn’t the only Republican officeholder who’s likely to end up supporting Joe Biden over Donald Trump. For instance, the Republican Governor of Massachusetts and the Republican Governor of Vermont both called for Trump to be convicted and removed from office. There’s a good chance they’ll both endorse Biden over Trump. But even if they’re planning to do so, Biden will sit on those endorsements until the right time in the general election, for maximum impact.
Joe Biden is already the most popular candidate with Democratic voters, and he’s driving Democrats to the polls, as evidenced by his increasingly dominant performance in the Democratic primary race. But in an election where the Democrats have to overcome everything from Republican voter suppression to Russian meddling, it’ll help greatly that a number of Republicans will eagerly turn out to vote for Biden over Trump, thus padding Biden’s vote total.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report