To run or not to run…that is the question that Biden still appears to be wrestling with. The most recent survey from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal indicates that Biden would do well, out-polling Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. According to that poll, Biden would easily beat all three top-tier GOP candidates (currently Carson, Fiorina and Trump).

However, that means little at this point. As an NBC News reporter points out, up until now, media coverage has focused on whether or not Biden will run at all, particularly in light of the family’s grief over the recent loss of Beau Biden. So far, there has been virtually no examination of Joe Biden’s record, past mistakes and policy positions that might not sit well with Progressives. Furthermore, another recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll indicates that Biden’s entry into the race would give Sanders a significant boost by taking support away from Hillary Clinton.

On September 29th, the UK Guardian speculated that the Democrats consider Biden their “backup” candidate, in case the recent scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton prove to be too much of a liability. Prominent mainstream Democrats are also nervous about the possibility of self-proclaimed Socialist Bernie Sanders winning the party nomination, and with good reason, Bernie will try to change the corporatist structure.

In any event, Joe Biden must soon decide one way or another. In order to participate in the first Democratic debate on Tuesday, October 13th, Biden will need to make a public announcement that he will be filing a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission no later than October 14th. This means that, in accordance with CNN rules for the debate, Biden could announce his candidacy the same day and still qualify to participate.

In his favor, Joe Biden has name recognition. As vice-president, Biden has enjoyed a favorability rating of 74% as of August, 2015, according to a recent Gallup poll. Furthermore, Biden is well-liked by his colleagues and generally perceived as an all-around “nice guy.” Significantly, Biden supporters have already been hiring campaign staff in 11 “Super Tuesday” primary states (Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia), and have been busy fundraising, according to a story from Reuters.

On the other hand, Biden would still have to win over women voters who continue to support Hillary Clinton – and who make up the majority of primary voters. The fact remains that Sanders’ support continues to grow, and voters are sick and tired of “business as usual” politics. Biden may be less of an “Establishment” candidate than Clinton, but he is not exactly a Progressive, either. That is the direction in which the country is moving, even if We, The People have to drag our political candidates kicking and screaming all the way.  Biden may jump into the race because of his late son’s dying wish, or because Hillary Clinton winds up going down in flames and the DNC is terrified of Bernie unwillingness to carry their baton.

K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.