- Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is said to be distraught over its fourth-place standing in the Iowa caucuses this week.
- Biden has conceded underperforming his expectations, calling his showing in Iowa a “gut punch.”
- The centrist former vice president is also at risk of a poor showing next week in New Hampshire, where he’s trailing Sen. Bernie Sanders.
- While Biden has an edge in Nevada polls, he might have to wait until the fourth voting contest, at the end of the month in South Carolina, to score a solid win.
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Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is said to be distraught over its stunningly poor showing in the Iowa caucuses this week.
While Biden either led or ranked among the top Democratic presidential candidates in recent Iowa polls, he was trailing in fourth place behind Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 97% of the state’s precincts reporting.
Several of Biden’s key supporters and donors in Iowa disparaged the campaign efforts in the state in a Wednesday New York Times report.
Susan Judkins, a member of the Clive City Council, likened Biden’s Iowa organization to the Titanic.
And Biden himself conceded he deeply underperformed his expectations.
“I am not going to sugarcoat it,” Biden told supporters in New Hampshire on Wednesday. “We took a gut punch in Iowa.”
He also lashed out at Sanders and Buttigieg, who appeared virtually tied for first place in Iowa on Thursday as the Democratic National Committee called for a recount.
The centrist former vice president is also at risk of a poor showing next week in New Hampshire. While recent polls have Biden in the lead in Nevada, the third voting contest, he’s trailing Sanders in New Hampshire, a state with similar demographics as Iowa.
Biden is also running behind his competitors in cash on hand. He’s had to take time off of the campaign trail this week to court fundraisers to support his efforts in those states.
The former vice president’s supporters argue he was always at a disadvantage in the very white states of Iowa and New Hampshire because his strength is with voters of color.
The campaign is banking on a big win in South Carolina, where black voters are expected to play a key role.
“We believe South Carolina is our firewall and it is,” a Biden adviser told Politico this week. “But if we lose three straight in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, the fire can jump the wall.”
The Democratic strategist Christine Pelosi warned that Biden shouldn’t focus his energy on criticizing his competitors or talking political strategy.
“Biden’s opportunity is in responding to all of these pressures with empathy and the happy warrior we have come to know and love as a country and not as the campaigner who’s talking politics,” she told Insider.