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World Biden’s poor showing in Iowa shakes establishment support

04:45  05 february  2020
04:45  05 february  2020 Source:   bostonglobe.com

Biden pushes for witnesses in impeachment trial but says of his Ukraine role, 'What is there to defend?'

  Biden pushes for witnesses in impeachment trial but says of his Ukraine role, 'What is there to defend?' Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden told reporters Monday that he does not think it's necessary for him to testify as a witness in President Trump's impeachment trial because he has "nothing to defend."Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden told reporters Monday that he does not think it's necessary for him to testify as a witness in President Trump's impeachment trial because he has "nothing to defend.

Iowa Polling AverageLeft to right: Joseph R. Biden Jr., Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth The choice of establishment Democrats since he entered the race, Mr. Biden will aim to overcome a Polls have shown her slipping, with even some of her own supporters doubtful that she’d have the

Caucuses in Iowa are supposed to sort out the pack as primary season begins, but it has done the opposite, Varney argued. There is no clarity in the 2020 Democratic field and none of the candidates has momentum which, if anything Biden ' s poor showing in Iowa shakes establishment support .

Jill Biden, Joe Biden are posing for a picture: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.© John Locher Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Joe Biden's third presidential bid enters a critical stretch after a disappointing finish in the Iowa caucuses sent the former vice president on to New Hampshire with a skittish donor base, low cash reserves and the looming threat of billionaire rival Michael Bloomberg and his unlimited personal wealth.

In New Hampshire on Tuesday, Biden insisted he had a “good night” in Iowa even as he trailed the top moderate candidate, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and the leading progressive, Bernie Sanders, according to initial returns from 62% of precincts. Biden was running fourth, close to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who just days ago polled in single digits.

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  Lines, some delays signal strong turnout at Iowa caucuses Lines of people snaked out the door and down the block waiting to enter an Iowa caucus site Monday, among the early signs of strong turnout as Democrats begin choosing a nominee to take on President Donald Trump. The start of a caucus in downtown Iowa City had to be delayed by more than an hour as hundreds of people were still waiting to check in or register to vote. Inside the Englert Theatre near the University of Iowa, 500 first-floor seats were mostly full and organizers were opening an additional 200 seats in the balcony.

Biden ’ s poor showing may be the reason his campaign has attempted to dismiss the caucuses, even before the results were clear. On Monday evening, after the Iowa Democrat Party announced it would have to delay the results because of a technical issue, the former vice president made public a letter it

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That leaves some establishment Democrats, including some Biden supporters, questioning his contention that he'll reclaim clear front-runner status in the race against President Donald Trump once the primary fight moves beyond overwhelmingly white Iowa and New Hampshire to more racially diverse electorates. And it's a reminder of how Biden's previous presidential campaigns never advanced beyond Iowa.

“If he came in fourth, yeah, that could hurt,” said Bill Freeman, a Biden donor from Nashville, Tennessee, who added that he hadn’t even considered such a possibility heading into Monday’s caucuses. “That’s a bad night, no matter how you spin it.”

Most precarious for Biden: Some of the would-be donors he could win over with a strong showing are giving new looks to Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor whose entire strategy of sitting out the four early nominating states is pegged to the possibility that Biden falters. Bloomberg, one of the world’s wealthiest men with a net worth approaching $US60 billion ($AU89 billion), isn’t asking for money. He’s simply looking for support that could cut off financial lifelines to Biden, whose campaign reported just $US9 million ($AU13 million) cash on hand to start the year.

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Mr. Biden ’ s team argues that the former vice president, who is stronger in later-voting and more diverse states, has been trying hard to prevail in Iowa but also sees multiple paths to the nomination. Still, some advisers and allies are aware that a poor showing in Iowa could be crushing to a campaign

Democratic Party officials released the first two-thirds of the data showing South Ben Mayor Pete Buttegeig and Senator Bernie Sanders with the largest share of the vote so far. Biden ' s poor showing in Iowa shakes establishment support . Associated Press.

That's patronage Biden needs to remain competitive with Buttigieg, as well as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sanders, who have raised massive sums from small-dollar online contributors who have been far less generous to Biden.

Alex Sink, a Democratic donor who hosted Hillary Clinton in the 2016 race, said many donors are holding back, waiting to see how Biden does. They are also keeping an open mind about Bloomberg, whose campaign asked Sink last week to attend an event in Tampa.

“I was anxious to do it because, like so many others, I’m curious and interested and worried about who our candidate will be and how we are going to beat Trump,” she said. “Most of my friends don’t know yet who they are voting for."

Biden aides have said for months that he didn’t have to win in Iowa or on Feb. 11 in New Hampshire because he was better positioned in Nevada’s Feb. 22 caucuses, South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary and a slate of March 3 primaries with more than a third of Democrats’ national delegates at stake on a single day.

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Joe Biden pledged to continue his quest for the Democrat nomination on Monday after evidence suggested a poor showing in the Iowa Caucuses. “The Iowa Democratic Party is working to get the results straight … from our indication it’ s going to close,” Biden told supporters in Des Moines, Iowa .

That never meant, however, that Biden could sustain a bad showing in Iowa and New Hampshire. The approach was also an expensive one, requiring deep campaign reserves to finance advertising and staffing in Nevada, South Carolina and delegate-rich states like California and Texas.

Pictures: 2020 Presidential candidates

Joe Sestak et al. standing in front of a computer: Former Congressman Joe Sestak, center, said on June 22, 2019, he will seek the Democratic nomination for president. He is pictured here with his wife, Susan Sestak, left, and daughter Alex Sestak after speaking to supporters at his campaign headquarters in Pennsylvania on April 26, 2016.

Biden has a campaign footprint across the March primary map, with paid staff or volunteer offices in 13 states. But his cash flow raises questions about how much he can bolster his existing operation. His uneasy financial situation is underscored by an affiliated super PAC that spent more on Iowa ads than the campaign itself, but still has struggled to raise money and has little left over after Iowa.

“Will he have as much money as Bernie Sanders? Probably no. But it doesn't matter — all you need is enough gas to finish the race,” said John Morgan, a Florida plaintiffs attorney and one of Biden’s top fundraisers.

Freeman and Morgan agreed that Biden needs to finish in the top 3 in New Hampshire and ideally as the top moderate. That reflects what had been the quiet hope of Biden’s team heading into Monday’s caucuses. They didn’t necessarily expect to win outright. But they hoped that they could emerge from Iowa as the clear alternative to Sanders, a democratic socialist and leader of the left’s progressive base.

How Iowans changed their minds on the Democratic candidates for president

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The poor showing should be cause for alarm for the candidate who started Monday as the primary’s national leader — because it shows But the delay proved unable to shield Biden from the damages he’s sustained in Iowa ’s contest. Biden ’ s repeated campaign missteps and sundry foibles have

An effectively two-person race between Sanders and the former vice president, Biden confidants believed, would open the financial spigot, firm up his advantages among nonwhite voters and win over skeptical white moderates now aligned with Buttigieg or Klobuchar.

“That’s my conversation with people: If Bernie Sanders is the nominee, would you vote for him?” Morgan said. “If not, then back Joe.”

Biden took the same approach Tuesday on the campaign trail, hammering Sanders as directly as he has in weeks. “It’s time to get real about health care,” he said as he compared his proposal to expand existing insurance markets with a “public option" to Sanders’ “Medicare for All” idea. Sanders has been pushing single-payer insurance for “30 years now,” Biden said, and ”hasn't moved it an inch."

The problem, Freeman said, is that a lackluster start in Iowa makes the Biden-Sanders juxtaposition a much harder sell. “I don’t think any of those conversations are happening today” with potential new donors, he said.

Still, Buttigieg and Klobuchar have their own challenges if they hope to displace Biden as the presumed establishment favorite. They both have negligible nonwhite support, and Klobuchar especially has far more financial obstacles than Biden.

Clay Middleton, a South Carolina Democrat who worked for Clinton in 2016 and Cory Booker’s now-suspended campaign this presidential cycle, said that Iowa doesn’t have to bury Biden but that he and every other candidate faces a delicate path trying to amass delegates going forward.

“The conditions are not the same now,” Middleton said, referring to when Biden dropped his 2008 bid after Barack Obama won the 2008 caucuses. “But again, does he have infrastructure in South Carolina to win four out of the seven congressional districts, and does he have the infrastructure in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, as part of his Super Tuesday strategy? That's the real test."


Bernie Sanders in the lead, Joe Biden crashes out in New Hampshire primary .
Bernie Sanders is on track to win the influential New Hampshire Democratic Party primary, edging out centrist rivals Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.The trio's success came at the expense of former frontrunner Joe Biden, who flamed out in a disastrous fifth place, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren who finished a distant fourth.

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