Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency

Crown. Mar. 2021. 528p. ISBN 9780525574224. $30. POL SCI
Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election was contested by Republicans.Journalists Allen (NBC News) and Parnes (The Hill) believe it was thanks to a series of lucky breaks along the way that Biden won at all. This behind-the-scenes report of the Biden campaign, from the earliest days through election night, explores the campaign’s strategies, the primary election contests, and the general election confusion created in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors maintain that glitches in CNN polling before the Iowa caucuses and technical problems in reporting caucus results were Biden’s first lucky break because they took the spotlight off his fourth-place finish in Iowa. Later, a pivotal late endorsement enabled Biden to win the crucial South Carolina primary, and set him up for a near-sweep on Super Tuesday to help him secure the Democratic nomination. The book also has an intriguing account of Biden’s choice of former California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate. Allen and Parnes thoroughly document the interviews, broadcast and print articles, and anecdotal evidence they use to tell the story of Biden’s election.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy political coverage of the election process and want to know more about Joe Biden’s campaign will be well informed by this book.
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