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Democrats Warn Biden's Slide Could Get Even Worse with 3rd- or 4th-Place Finish Possible in Iowa

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Joe Biden’s last presidential run ended in Iowa back in 2008, with a one percent finish in a caucus contest that ended up giving the win to an Illinois senator named Barack Obama.

A dozen years later, according to Bloomberg, some Democrats are predicting a new round of humiliation for the Democratic Party’s original putative front-runner for the 2020 nomination.

While Biden is currently running second to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the RealClearPolitics Iowa polling average, some Democrats told Bloomberg things aren’t looking nearly that rosy for the Biden campaign.

And they’re blaming Biden’s own shortcomings for what might be coming — a third- or even fourth-place loss in the Hawkeye State.

While the Bloomberg report studiously ignored the embarrassing revelations that have come out about what Biden and his son Hunter were up to in Ukraine during Biden’s time as vice president, the article had plenty of damaging details about Biden’s efforts so far.

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When the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses kick off the first formal steps in the Democratic nomination process that involve average Americans, Biden is likely to be playing catchup, Bloomberg reported.

Biden started later than his competitors, not announcing his entry into the 2020 field until April.

While his campaign numbers are roughly similar to the competition in terms of offices and staffers, his campaign organization in Iowa doesn’t even boast a director who lives in Iowa, according to Bloomberg.

Biden’s state director, according to the campaign’s website, is Jake Braun, is a veteran campaign organizer who is on the faculty of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.

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(Braun told Bloomberg in writing that he’s in Iowa “5-6 days a week and have consistently since I joined this campaign in May,” which must make those Iowans proud.)

Finally, Democrats told Bloomberg, Biden has been so busy projecting himself as the front-runner that he’s skipped the small gatherings in homes and community centers that have become a hallmark of Iowa’s vetting process for presidential candidates.

“Instead, he has tried to project the aura of the Oval Office by delivering speeches from a TelePrompter without taking questions,” Bloomberg reported. “That has the benefit of helping him avoid the verbal gaffes that hurt his campaign over the summer, but it has made the famously friendly politician seem aloof.”

And that’s when he’s there. Biden spent most of September raising money outside Iowa, Bloomberg reported, and still ended up behind Warren; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in fundraising.

Those could be adding up to serious missteps.

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“I think it’s fair to say if action isn’t taken soon, you’re going to find that a person who was 7 or 14 points behind Biden will be breathing down his neck or actually ahead of him,” Kurt Meyer, the chairman of the Mitchell County Democratic Party, told Bloomberg last week.

“There’s still time because the caucuses are not on Oct. 27, but action needs to be taken.”

Meanwhile, some people who have a keen interest in Biden’s progress – namely followers of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign – were having a field day with the news.

It’s important to point out that Biden doesn’t need to win Iowa. He doesn’t really need to win New Hampshire, the next state up. (He’s running second to Warren there, too, according to RealClearPolitics.)

In the other two states that vote in February, he’s up in South Carolina by nearly 20 points, according to RealClearPolitics, and in Nevada by 4.

And Biden doesn’t see a problem.

“This is really early in the process as you know and most observers know the Iowans take a long time making up their mind and so I feel good about Iowa,” Biden told MSNBC on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. “I feel good about what’s going on. I think we have all we need to conduct a really successful campaign in all four early states and so I’m feeling good about it.”

According to Bloomberg, Biden said that he was confident not only about Iowa, but also about New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. They are the four states that will have primaries or caucuses before the March 3 Super Tuesday, when voters in 13 states will weigh in.

Maybe. But a third- or fourth-place finish in Iowa would be an undeniable setback, and probably kill Biden’s chance to claim to be the front-runner heading into Super Tuesday.

A poor showing in Iowa might not be able to squash the Biden campaign this year the way it did in 2008, but if he doesn’t finish strong there, it could be the beginning of the end.

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Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro desk editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015.
Joe has spent more than 30 years as a reporter, copy editor and metro editor in newsrooms in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida. He's been with Liftable Media since 2015. Largely a product of Catholic schools, who discovered Ayn Rand in college, Joe is a lifelong newspaperman who learned enough about the trade to be skeptical of every word ever written. He was also lucky enough to have a job that didn't need a printing press to do it.
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