There’s some really odd coverage of the Biden campaign at The Hill today. They provide an analysis of Biden’s upcoming “surge” in staffing in Iowa and a few details of the strategy they’re employing, trying to replicate what both Barack Obama and John Kerry managed in the state. None of that is terribly surprising and it’s certainly a valid topic to cover, but what’s odd is the tone of the piece and how Biden is portrayed as being in serious potential trouble there.
Check out this short portion of the analysis. It almost sounds as if Biden is on the verge of a massive collapse in support.
Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to mount an ambitious on-the-ground team in the months before Iowa caucus-goers choose a candidate, even as some skeptical Democratic activists raise questions over his centrist policies and pledge to return to an earlier age of civility.
Though Biden leads in public polls in Iowa, he is a most precarious front-runner. He is universally well-known among Democrats who will attend February’s caucuses, but his support has fallen by one-third in a benchmark survey, suggesting voters are looking elsewhere among the crowded field of White House hopefuls.
It is rare, in a crowded field of candidates, that a top contender whose support slips is able to win back voters suddenly enamored of someone else.
We’re still more than six months away from the date when Iowa caucus-goers head out to vote, so obviously a lot can happen between now and then. But at least for the moment, I’m not sure that I’d call his position “precarious.” Looking at the RCP average, Biden remains ahead of Sanders 25 to 18.5. In the most recent survey we have, he’s up 30-22. There was one Gravis poll back in April that had the two tied at 19, but that seems to have been an outlier.
These aren’t the sort of numbers you see for someone in a “precarious” position. He could certainly lose ground with a few more major gaffes or if opposition begins consolidating around one of his opponents, but there’s no sign of that happening yet.
To further bolster their case, The Hill trots out some quotes from seemingly random Democrats who don’t like Biden or at least don’t want him as the nominee. They drop in comments about Biden being “insufficiently progressive” and that “his time has passed.” Of course, we’re hearing this on CNN roundtables on a daily basis, generally from supporters of Sanders, Harris, Warren or one of the others. But jeez Louise… somebody must be saying something nice about the guy because he leads in virtually every survey we see.
The other thing that’s not being mentioned as much is the amount of cash that Biden has already raised. We haven’t seen his second-quarter figures yet, but he was already sitting on a big ole pile of campaign money. He can launch the kind of blitz in the early states that the rest of the hopefuls can only dream of. I don’t know how much of this doom and gloom we’re reading about Biden is real and how much is just wishful thinking. Yes, there’s going to be some disappointment on the furthest left reaches of the party if the insufficiently woke man becomes the nominee, but it’s not like it will be the end of the world for them.