Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign began playing down expectations in Iowa Monday as the Democratic frontrunner continues to slide in the first-in-the-nation caucus polls.
“I think we’re the only ones who don’t have to win Iowa, honestly, because out strength is the fact that we have a broad and diverse coalition,” Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Monday.
The Biden campaign is hedging its bets on strong first place finishes in South Carolina and Nevada, where Biden carries a commanding lead in the two states that follow the first-in-the-nation caucuses in Iowa and the first primary in New Hampshire.
Biden’s support in the Hawkeye State has continued to sink as other candidates begin to surge, with a recent New York Times/Siena poll showing Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and even South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg ahead of Biden in the critical first contest state — granted, all within the margin of error.
Schutlz pointed out to the Wall Street Journal that if the final results were to look like the numbers shown in the recent poll, with Warren at 22 percent, Sanders at 19 percent, Buttigieg with 18, and Biden with 17, that the result would not provide a clear winner reflective of the race moving forward.
“Does anybody win? Technically, yes, maybe. But does that give you clarity on where the heart of the Democratic Party is? I would say, ‘no,’” Schultz said.
Biden however, is still playing hardball in the state, launching a $4 million ad campaign that will run until the caucuses on Feb. 3.
Nationally, Biden remains the crowded field’s frontrunner, with Real Clear Politics’ latest aggregate of polls showing Biden with about 29 percent support, followed by Warren with nearly 21 percent, Sanders with almost 17 percent, and the rest of the field remaining below double-digits.