Skidding Joe sweeps across Iowa
DES MOINES — Joe Biden’s eight-day bus tour across Iowa comes with a message: Reports of his demise in the nation’s first presidential caucus state have been greatly exaggerated. Biden’s aides acknowledge he must sharpen his pitch before the Feb. 3 caucuses that launch Democrats’ 2020 voting. Yet the former vice president’s advisers reject any characterization of the 18-county swing that ends Saturday as a campaign reset, even with polls showing that Biden’s standing in Iowa has slipped in recent months.
They frame the trip as an effort to demonstrate wide appeal and harden support across a Democratic electorate whose top priority is defeating President Trump. Conversations with advisers and supporters reveal a quiet confidence that the 77-year-old candidate retains broad support and is well-situated to recover lost ground.
“As people get closer and closer to February, they become more and more practical about this,” said former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who recently gave Biden his most high-profile Iowa endorsement yet. “He can make the strongest case, among all the candidates, that he is in a position to get things done, and he is in a position to win.”