FREEFALL: Biden Plunges To 4th Place In New Poll
Joe Biden is running a terrible campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, filled with gaffes and goofs. Now, it’s all catching up to the one-time inevitable nominee.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has surged to the top of a New York Times/Siena College poll, drawing support from 22% of those surveyed about the Iowa caucuses. Sen. Bernie Sanders comes in second and 19%, while South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg pulled in 18%. Biden has dropped to fourth place at 17%.
“Ms. Warren appears to have solidified her gains in the first voting state while Mr. Buttigieg has climbed quickly to catch up with Mr. Sanders and overtake Mr. Biden, the onetime front-runner,” The Times wrote.
The survey is full of alarming signs for Mr. Biden, who entered the race in April at the top of the polls in Iowa and nationally. He is still in the lead in most national polls, but his comparatively weak position in the earliest primary and caucus states now presents a serious threat to his candidacy. And Mr. Biden’s unsteadiness appears to have opened a path in the race for other Democrats closer to the political middle, particularly Mr. Buttigieg.
Biden began having problems before he even entered the race in April. Lucy Flores, a former Nevada assemblywoman who was running for lieutenant governor in 2014, accused Biden of inappropriately touching her during a campaign rally, saying she felt uncomfortable and demeaned by his touching. Biden’s fellow Democrats, especially the ones who were already running for president, let him twist in the wind — or pounced on the allegations outright.
“I believe Lucy Flores,” Warren said in Iowa. “And Joe Biden needs to give an answer.” When Sen. Sanders was asked whether Flores’ accusation disqualifies Biden from running for president, he said: “That’s a decision for the vice president to make.”
At 76, Biden is prone to gaffes and misspeaks often, sometimes multiple times in a week. His mistakes have been covered widely, even by outlets predisposed to support him — and the stumbles just keep coming.
At one Democratic Party debate, Biden blurted out “go to Joe 3-0-3-3-0.” Apparently, he meant to tell viewers they should text “Joe” to 30330, but he looked out of it with the blunder. There have been plenty more: In New Hampshire, he said he loved it there … in Vermont. Then he said, “Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.” Then he … Oh, you get the point.
Barack Obama has still not endorsed his former White House partner, saying he wants to stay out of the fray and allow Democrats to pick their candidate. That forced Biden to make the embarrassing claim that “I asked President Obama not to endorse, and he doesn’t want to. Listen, we should — whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits.”
Behind the scenes, Obama aides and supporters say the former president is worried that Biden will actually tarnish his legacy rather than build on it.
Biden’s wife, Jill, also has said that her husband might not be the best candidate, but she told voters, “maybe you have to swallow a little bit” and vote for him anyway.
“Your candidate might be better on, I don’t know, health care, than Joe is,” Jill Biden said on MSNBC, “but you’ve got to look at who’s going to win this election, and maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, ‘OK, I personally like so-and-so better,’ but your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.”