“There are a few candidates — Biden, obviously, being one — that could be attractive to disaffected Republicans and more centrist Republicans,” said former Representative Carlos Curbelo, Republican of Florida. He also mentioned Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.
Mr. Biden’s appeal to what some might call the “reasonable Republican dad” vote goes like this: He shuns far-reaching proposals like “Medicare for all”; he has a history of working with Republicans; his warm personal style is disarming; and he represents a return to what some moderates view as a more stable era.
A number of those factors are a liability among progressive voters, who are clamoring for bold change. But on the campaign trail with Mr. Biden, it’s the centrist Republican and independent voters who are often top of mind for his supporters as they think about the general election.