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Politics Biden, Seeking Revival, Is Counting on at Least Second Place in Nevada

06:00  18 february  2020
06:00  18 february  2020 Source:   nytimes.com

Why Biden’s Candidacy May Survive

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Joe Biden ’s first two finishes sent his national poll numbers plummeting and put his donors on edge. He wants Nevada to begin his comeback, not The campaign, Mr. Schultz made clear on the call, was banking on finishing in at least second place in the upcoming Nevada caucuses, a contest that will

CARSON CITY, Nevada : With the Nevada caucuses less than a week away, Democratic presidential candidates campaigning Sunday were fixated on a rival Nevada 's lieutenant governor issued a statement endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination on Sunday

LAS VEGAS — On Friday afternoon, Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign manager, Greg Schultz, convened a conference call with supporters to outline a path forward following two bruising losses in Iowa and New Hampshire.

a group of people sitting in front of a crowd: Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his campaign are hoping to make Nevada the state that begins his comeback.© Bridget Bennett for The New York Times Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his campaign are hoping to make Nevada the state that begins his comeback.

The campaign, Mr. Schultz made clear on the call, was banking on finishing in at least second place in the upcoming Nevada caucuses, a contest that will offer the first major test of Mr. Biden’s assertion that he can uniquely assemble a diverse coalition.

Poll: Sanders leads Dem field in Nevada

  Poll: Sanders leads Dem field in Nevada The survey, conducted earlier this week, finds Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders ahead of Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in next week's first-in-the-West caucuses.The Nevada poll, conducted by the GOP polling firm WPA Intelligence on behalf of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and AARP Nevada, reports that 25 percent of the state's likely Democratic caucus-goers support Sanders. Former Vice President Joe Biden comes in second place with 18 percent of respondents, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 13 percent.

Nevada is the first test. Early voting has started in Nevada , and Latinos' preferences are likely to be a big factor in which of the Democrats win crucial votes. As early voting surged in Nevada 's nominating contest, former Vice President Joe Biden lashed out at Democratic rival Bernie Sanders on Saturday

Nevada Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshall announced her endorsement of Joe Biden for President in a statement released Sunday. Biden accuses Sanders of not being enough of a gun grabber. Things are getting testy out in Nevada as we crash headlong toward caucus day.

Left unsaid: Nevada will also show whether Mr. Biden, the former vice president, can revive his campaign after his first two finishes sent his national poll numbers plummeting, put his donors on edge and jeopardized his standing even in his perceived firewall state, South Carolina.

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“First would be wonderful, but us getting a second place I think does the work that we need to do to win South Carolina,” Mr. Schultz said. “We win South Carolina, we’re going to have ended the first four contests likely with a delegate advantage.”

He added, “I think the Democratic Party will sigh a collective sigh of relief when we finish second or better in Nevada.”

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  DNC announces debate qualification rules for South Carolina The rules are functionally identical to next week's debate in Nevada.To qualify for the Feb. 25 debate in Charleston, S.C., candidates need to hit 10 percent in four polls approved by the Democratic National Committee (or 12 percent in South Carolina-specific polls) or win at least one delegate to the Democratic National Convention from one of the three preceding early states: Iowa, New Hampshire or Nevada. Polls must be released between Feb. 4 (the day after the Iowa caucuses) and Feb. 24.

Nevada Lieutenant Governor endorses Biden for President. Nevada Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshall announced her endorsement of Joe Biden for President in a statement released Sunday. Early voting lines wrapped around polling places in Nevada as candidates ramp up attacks on

Nevada lieutenant governor endorses Biden ahead of caucuses | TheHill. With the Nevada caucuses less than one week away, your donation is more important than ever. The top contenders for the Democratic nomination are in Nevada this weekend making their case to voters.

With only days until Saturday’s caucuses, Mr. Biden’s campaign is racing to make Nevada the state that begins his comeback — not the one that accelerates a plunge from which he never recovers.

Yet such an outcome is hardly assured.

Mr. Biden struggled to excite Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire, a crucial factor in his early losses. But in Iowa especially, poor organizing played a significant role, raising questions about how he will fare in Nevada, which, like Iowa, also holds caucuses instead of a traditional primary election.

“His ground game has been here a while and had staff here for a long time, but similar to Iowa, they took things a little for granted that he was the front-runner, that he had 99 percent name ID,” said Megan Jones, a political strategist in the state who worked for Harry Reid, the former Nevada senator and Democratic majority leader. “They have been quickly making up for lost time because they know it’s a make-or-break situation.”

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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden suggested on Sunday that winning South Carolina's primary was of the utmost importance for continuing his Skeptics will note that Sanders was likely hurt by the large field of candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire that gave the vote more places to go.

The Nevada caucuses are on February 22; ahead of them, Bernie Sanders is leading in the polls, followed by Joe Biden , Elizabeth Warren, and Tom Steyer. Nevada Democrats turned out in force on Saturday for the first day of early voting in the Democratic Early voting takes place through Tuesday.

Mr. Biden’s campaign has redeployed staff from later-voting Super Tuesday states to lend extra manpower in Nevada and now says it has more than 130 staff members on the ground. He is leaning on a roster of high-profile endorsers in the state, and he is campaigning here day after day, putting a particular focus on outreach to voters of color.

“He knows that he cannot take the minority vote, the African-American, Latino and Asian-American vote, for granted,” said Representative Steven Horsford, Democrat of Nevada, who endorsed Mr. Biden last week. “He will do something, once he’s the president, to actually deliver for the American people and for voters of color who sometimes feel taken for granted and only get appealed to during an election. There are some candidates who literally right now are just now engaging in Nevada.”

Mr. Biden has been airing television ads in Nevada focused on gun violence as well as on health care, but he has been significantly outspent by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, whose fund-raising has far outpaced Mr. Biden’s. Mr. Biden also faces competition from the billionaire Tom Steyer, whose ad spending in the state dwarfs that of any other candidate.

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Mr. Biden is expressing a much sunnier outlook about how he will fare in Nevada compared with New Hampshire, where he predicted four days before the primary that he would “probably take a hit.” At a fund-raiser in New York City last week, he said he expected to finish first or second in Nevada.

At campaign stops over the past few days, Mr. Biden has not overhauled his message or unleashed sharpened attacks on his rivals, though he has put a fresh emphasis on certain key issues. He has highlighted his record on gun control, an important issue to many Democrats in a state where the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history took place. He has also assailed a 2005 law that shields gun manufacturers from liability lawsuits — an implicit shot at Mr. Sanders, who voted in favor of it as a House member.

In addition, Mr. Biden has stressed that his health care plan would allow union members to keep their current insurance — a major contrast with Mr. Sanders, who advocates “Medicare for all.” But he suffered a setback last week when the powerful Culinary Workers Union Local 226 announced it would not make an endorsement in the race, though the union’s secretary-treasurer cited him by name at a news conference and said, “We know he’s been our friend.”

At a campaign event over the weekend, Mr. Biden, apparently undeterred by the union’s decision, cited his support from labor unions and then added, “I know in their hearts the Culinary Workers are there — in their hearts.”

Democrats Storm Nevada Ahead of High-Stakes Caucuses

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a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Supporters of Mr. Biden at a Democratic Party dinner in Las Vegas on Saturday. Mr. Biden’s campaign is focusing on appealing to diverse voters.© Bridget Bennett for The New York Times Supporters of Mr. Biden at a Democratic Party dinner in Las Vegas on Saturday. Mr. Biden’s campaign is focusing on appealing to diverse voters.

Mr. Biden can still be unfocused at times, a problem that has hindered him throughout the race. During a rally in the Las Vegas suburb of Henderson on Friday evening, he declared that he did not want to use the teleprompters that had been set up for him, and later wound up talking to the crowd about Chinese land that is polluted with the metal cadmium. A minute later, he brought up an obscure government agency, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA. And a minute after that, his speech was over.

In those closing moments, he never mentioned the caucuses or explicitly asked attendees to support him.

But his time on the campaign trail in Nevada has also shown the promise of more diverse states. During a visit to a Black History Month festival on Saturday, he was greeted with enthusiasm by attendees as he made his way through the crowd. Before he spoke onstage, the M.C. referred to him as President Biden and offered to serve as the host at his victory party.

Mr. Biden was introduced by one of his newest endorsers, Mr. Horsford, who told the crowd that Mr. Biden “has our back” and added, “I know it because he had Barack Obama’s back as vice president for eight years.”

And so far, there is simply not the same kind of widespread criticism of his Nevada caucus organization that dogged him in Iowa. He has been aided by Yvanna Cancela, a state senator who is working as a senior adviser to the campaign, and Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, a former Obama campaign official who ran former Representative Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign and is assisting in a volunteer capacity.

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But the cloud of doubt resulting from his poor showing in the first two contests still lingers. Billy Vassiliadis, the chief executive of the marketing and advocacy firm R&R Partners, described a highly fluid race, with many voters still assessing which candidate stands the best chance of defeating President Trump. Mr. Biden’s fourth-place finish in Iowa and fifth-place result in New Hampshire was jarring even to some independent-minded Nevadans, he said.

“For the great majority of the voters, they don’t dig deep and really consider the fact that Iowa and New Hampshire probably weren’t the vice president’s best playing field, and that the vice president needs a more sort of diverse voter base,” he said. “There was an expectation that the vice president was going to finish higher. When they saw that finish, it kind of shook what they were confident in.”

Mr. Biden’s allies have played down the significance of Iowa and New Hampshire, and insist that Mr. Biden remains poised to perform strongly in more diverse states like Nevada.

“I love repositioning Joe Biden as the underdog,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, a national co-chair of Mr. Biden’s campaign, offering a glass-half-full assessment of Mr. Biden’s place in the race. “Democrats love underdogs. Americans love underdogs.”

And on the Friday call with supporters, Mr. Schultz pointed to changes the campaign was making, including engaging in more national news media interviews — something a number of top supporters had encouraged post-Iowa — and redirecting resources to Nevada and South Carolina.

“I think we did not adequately prepare for the chaos that was going to be at the various caucus locations, and, you know, there’s one candidate, in particular, whose supporters do not make things easy because of the antics they pull,” he said, a reference to the supporters of Mr. Sanders. “So we have intensified our precinct captain training for the Nevada caucus. We also have increased our legal presence.”

'We’re going to take this back': Joe Biden spins Nevada finish ahead of must-win South Carolina

  'We’re going to take this back': Joe Biden spins Nevada finish ahead of must-win South Carolina Joe Biden seems to have temporarily stemmed the bloodletting of his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign in Nevada, but it's unclear what will happen in South Carolina next week and beyond. © Provided by Washington Examiner Biden, 77, received 19% of Nevada's county convention delegates in Saturday's afternoon caucuses, with 4% of precincts reporting. Though the final vote tally and national delegate count are yet to be finalized, that performance puts him in second place well behind Nevada winner and 2020 front-runner Bernie Sanders, 78, with 45%.

Still, the poor early showings have created skepticism among some voters here. When Mr. Biden took questions from the audience at a campaign event in Reno on Monday, a supporter lavished praise on him, but then asked, pointedly: “What the heck is going on with your campaign?” Mr. Biden responded that it was “a good question” and “a legitimate question,” before noting Iowa’s lack of racial diversity.

Barbara Bell, 64, a retired county employee who came to the rally Mr. Biden held in Henderson, said the contests in Iowa and New Hampshire had left her concerned about his chances — even as she struggled to discern what went wrong for him.

“To me, they’re little white states,” she said. “I don’t know what gets to them or what turned them on. I can’t figure it out.”

Ms. Bell worried aloud about moderate Democrats splitting their votes among multiple candidates while Mr. Sanders thrives. She and her husband were a perfect example: She planned to support Mr. Biden, with Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota as her second choice, while he preferred Ms. Klobuchar over Mr. Biden.

Asked her level of confidence that Mr. Biden would win the nomination, she responded, “Well, it was a lot higher a month ago.”

a group of people looking at a phone: At campaign stops in Nevada over the past few days, Mr. Biden has not overhauled his message or unleashed sharpened attacks on his rivals.© Bridget Bennett for The New York Times At campaign stops in Nevada over the past few days, Mr. Biden has not overhauled his message or unleashed sharpened attacks on his rivals.

Thomas Kaplan reported from Las Vegas, and Katie Glueck from New York.

'We’re going to take this back': Joe Biden spins Nevada finish ahead of must-win South Carolina .
Joe Biden seems to have temporarily stemmed the bloodletting of his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign in Nevada, but it's unclear what will happen in South Carolina next week and beyond. © Provided by Washington Examiner Biden, 77, received 19% of Nevada's county convention delegates in Saturday's afternoon caucuses, with 4% of precincts reporting. Though the final vote tally and national delegate count are yet to be finalized, that performance puts him in second place well behind Nevada winner and 2020 front-runner Bernie Sanders, 78, with 45%.

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