And though he trails his two would-be rivals — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — in the polls, there is one slightly promising statistic that indicates a path for him to the nomination.
According to a new CNN poll published on Wednesday, Biden is by far the majority of Democratic voters’ second choice, with 37% of Democrats or Democratic-leaning voters responding they prefer him as a second option.
That means he’s either the first or second choice of half of Democratic voters, well above Sanders (33%) but still behind Clinton (74%).
Many analysts and Biden sceptics have pointed out that it will be tough to carve out a new space within the Democratic Party — Sanders has energised the progressive wing, while Clinton is consistently polling very well among female and minority voters. But according to CNN’s poll, the majority of Democratic voters (53%) say he should run.
The new suggests that Biden could gain ground if one of the other candidates begins to lose steam.
Some Democrats have quietly begun worrying about the growing controversy surrounding Clinton’s use of email while at the State Department. Sanders, meanwhile, isn’t viewed as a legitimate threat for the Democratic nomination.
And Biden is reportedly crafting a potential campaign strategy that could help boost the appearance of strength. He’s reportedly focusing his potential strategy on South Carolina — a key early-primary state — where supporters, including the former chair of the state Democratic Party, have been setting up a ground game for Biden should he decide to enter the race.
“As soon as he announces, he’ll immediately have the most formidable organisation in the state,” state Rep. James Smith told Bloomberg. “We will have a longstanding organisation ready when he gives the go, when he and Jill say they’re ready.”
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