Skid­ding Joe sweeps across Iowa

New York Daily News - - NEWS -

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.”

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