Let’s play a game: Biden or Bernie?

Who delivered more results for progressives?

Jonas Bedford-Strohm
2 min readMar 3, 2020

Whether we like it or not, many of us will have to choose between Biden and Bernie in the 2020 primary now.

Bernie has captured the imagination of the Democratic party, driving it left on many issues. But has he delivered results on his ideas?

License: Wikimedia Commons

I reviewed both Biden’s and Bernie’s record. Here’s what I found.

  1. Who introduced the first climate change law and got it passed in Congress? It was Biden.
  2. Who drafted and passed the Violence Against Women Act in Congress? Also, Biden.
  3. Who secured funding in Congress for the Financial Consumer Protection Bureau? You guessed it, Biden.
  4. Who helped pass the Federal Assault Weapons Ban banning semi-automatic guns? Yup, Biden.
  5. Who drummed up the votes necessary to pass the Affordable Care Act through Congress? That, too, was Biden.
  6. Who saved manufacturing jobs by securing funds for the flailing auto from Congress in 2009? Again, Biden.

Bernie will certainly pass purity tests for liberal voters, but Biden wins the delivery game in a landslide.

Bernie’s Wikipedia article illustrates the problem. Read through the issues section and you’ll find a lot of wishes, desires, intentions: “he admires,” “he advocates for,” “he supports,” “he considers himself,” “he believes,” “he opposes,” “he was against,” “he has called for,” “he criticized.”

Compare legislative records of Bernie and Biden, and you’ll see the scale of the delivery gap yourself.

Bernie passed 7 enacted bills as primary sponsor (here‘s his data). Among them are two bills on veterans issues, two bills naming post offices and one bill dedicating 2 March 1991 as “Vermont Bicentennial Day.”

Biden passed 42 enacted bills as primary sponsor (here’s his data). Among them are bills on background checks, human trafficking, infectious diseases, child exploitation, offender reentry programs, fire fighter protection, genocide prevention, and the dedication of a day to celebrate abolishionist Harriet Tubman.

Biden’s long history of delivering actual results is likely driving why 61 % of black voters in South Carolina voted for Biden, and only 17 % went for Bernie.

Biden has delivered more on Bernie’s goals than Bernie ever did.

Which leads me to conclude:

If you want to change actual laws, you’ll want to go for Biden, despite all impurities, documented or perceived.

If you want to change discourse only, you’ll do well with Bernie, but don’t be surprised if nothing happens beyond executive orders.



Jonas Bedford-Strohm

Innovation @ARDde @BR_NEXT, Co-Founder @ForumDotEU, Media Ethics @zem_dg, Co-Founder @Wikwiheba