All those gaffes might be catching up.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who used to boast commanding leads of 20-plus points in Democratic primary polls, is now leading his closest competitor by a single point, according to a new tracking poll released by The Economist/YouGov.
And the folks in Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s camp must be kicking up their heels.
The poll asked potential voters: “If the Democratic primary or caucus were held in your state today, who would you vote for?”
Biden got the nod from 21 percent of respondents. Warren was right behind him with 20 percent.
This early in the nomination process, that might not mean a whole lot by itself. (Biden still maintained a 19-point lead over Warren in a poll of South Carolina voters released this week).
But at the very least, it’s a sign that Biden is eminently catchable — and his constant stream of inanities isn’t helping his cause to be the Democratic standard-bearer who tries to take down President Donald Trump in 2020.
This is the guy who, within the past 10 days alone, has made some memorable mistakes:
He incorrectly stated he was vice president when the school shooting took place in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018. (A campaign official later said Biden was actually referring to the Sandy Hook massacre of 2012.)
He also misstated the locations of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. (He thought they were in Houston and Michigan.)
And in one particular howler, he told an audience at an Asian and Latino coalition town hall in Iowa that “poor kids are just as bright and talented as white kids.”
It’s true he almost immediately corrected himself to say “wealthy kids,” but the words were out — and the damage was done.
Now, it might be that the gaffes aren’t the only reason for Biden’s swoon in the poll from The Economist/YouGov.
The radical left is a strong force in the Democratic primaries, and Warren’s incessant pandering to extreme leftist causes is likely strengthening her case.
(On Friday, for instance, Warren joined fellow contender California Sen. Kamala Harris in claiming that a police officer “murdered” black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, when every investigation of the shooting concluded otherwise.)
But Biden is clearly not helping himself on the campaign trail lately.
Every time he shoots off his mouth, it seems, he shoots himself in the foot.
And that doesn’t just give Trump another reason to declare — with considerable justification — that Biden might not be “playing with a full deck” anymore.
It gives Biden’s Democratic competition reason to hope they can take him down, too.
Democrats pinning their hopes on Biden to be their guy against Trump better think long and hard about what their options are — because those gaffes might be catching up to him for good.
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