If you just read the polling headlines, you would think that Joe Biden is effectively out of the presidential race. However, for those who read beyond the top line to look at the nuts and bolts of the polling and follow polling trends, the picture is much different. In today’s polling update, there is both good news and bad for Team Biden.
First, the bad news. As we reported last week, Biden is slumping in Iowa. In the current Real Clear Politics average of polls, Biden is in a statistical tie for third with Bernie Sanders. The pair trails Elizabeth Warren by seven points and the second-place Pete Buttigieg by two. The rankings are far from set in stone with both Warren and Biden trending down.
As a result of the vice president’s disappointing performance with Hawkeye State Democrats, the Biden campaign is working to lower expectations for the first-in-the-nation caucuses. Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz recently told the Wall Street Journal, “I think we’re the only ones who don’t have to win Iowa, honestly, because our strength is the fact that we have a broad and diverse coalition.”
Schultz went on to point out that, if the current polling trend holds, the results would be a muddled finish with no clear winner as the four candidates all earn delegates.
“Does anybody win? Technically, yes, maybe,” Schultz added. “But does that give you clarity on where the heart of the Democratic Party is? I would say, ‘no,’”
Schultz’s claim is backed up by national polling where Biden remains the clear frontrunner. Real Clear Politics currently shows Biden with an average lead of nine points as Elizabeth Warren, who had previously tied Biden for first in the national average, fades like the colors of a cheap shirt. Nationally, Sanders runs third with an average of 16 percent and Buttigieg is still stuck in single-digits. No one else comes close.
There is also good news for Biden in two new polls from Nevada, where the last polling was done in September and showed a near three-way tie between Biden, Sanders, and Warren. The new polls, from the Nevada Independent and Emerson, show Biden jumping ahead in the state, which will be the third state to vote next year. Both polls give Biden an 8-10-point lead with about 30 percent support. Warren and Sanders are running a close race for second at approximately 20 percent each.
For all of the predictions of doom for Joe Biden, he is hanging in there. Despite his age, his gaffes, and his connection to the ongoing Ukraine scandal, Biden is polling today at 29 percent in the national average, exactly the same level from a year ago and prior to his presidential announcement on April 25. He lost much of the bump from his announcement with a poor first debate performance, but his support has been remarkably steady since then. With Warren in decline, it seems that Biden’s most dangerous competitor for the nomination may have missed her chance.
Originally published on The Resurgent