The Biden for President campaign is building a “secret” group of Republican supporters in an effort to entice would-be Trump voters to cast a ballot for the former vice president instead, per a Daily Beast report Sunday.
The group is likely to attract so-called “Never Trump” Republicans, many of whom have been working against the president since before he won the election in 2016 and have undertaken several mostly unsuccessful efforts to undermine the president’s administration and derail his re-election.
Biden gave some insight into the group’s creation late last month when he suggested that his campaign was “speaking to a lot of Republicans,” according to the Daily Beast. “Matter of fact, there’s some major Republicans who are already forming ‘Republicans for Biden…Major officeholders.”
The Daily Beast admits that organizational efforts for a “Republicans for Biden” campaign are only in their initial stages, though “preliminary talks about messaging, engagement, leadership, and roll out are starting to be broadly sketched out, according to sources directly familiar with the matter.” Talks have become more frequent — and more serious — the outlet says, as Biden inches closer to a real presidential campaign, and other efforts to take down the president’s re-election bid from the inside of the Republican party have failed.
“It is literally just forming,” one source told the outlet. “I’ve had several conversations with people who have approached me. It’s going to take off, it’s going to happen. The question is to what degree and form it does.”
The source added that the effort will be secretive until its ready for prime time: “You don’t want something like this out on the street before it needs to be. It just makes it much harder to do.”
Republican opposition to President Donald Trump is nothing new. Efforts to derail the president’s 2016 campaign took root well before he was the declared Republican presidential nominee and coalesced after Trump’s inauguration.
Several large groups, charged with “preserving” the Republican party and the conservative movement surfaced in the early days of the Trump administration. As re-election moved closer, the anti-Trump movement looked to recruit figures interested in challenging Trump for the 2020 Republican presidential nomination, but of a handful of contenders, none came close. Former pro-Trump radio host, Joe Walsh, exited the race after a single primary, and former libertarian vice presidential nominee Bill Weld lasted only through Super Tuesday.
Trump secured the Republican presidential nomination in early March, with nearly 98% of the total primary vote.
Before any Republicans for Biden effort can consolidate, though, Democrats need to make sure there is a solid “Democrats for Biden” coalition — an effort that is proving much harder than expected, according to a source that spoke with the Daily Beast.
“They have been cautious about going ahead with anything official ‘Republicans for Biden,’ [partly because] they want to make sure the Democrats are all okay first,” the source said.
So far, at least 25% of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) are not on board, and that could prove deadly to the Biden campaign, which is still running ahead of Trump, but by only a razor-thin margin nationally.
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