Local Democrats Warn Joe Biden over Iowa Absence: ‘Resting on His Laurels’

NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE - MAY 14: Former Vice President and Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks to voters on May 14, 2019 in Nashua, New Hampshire. The Former Vice President made a number of public appearances over two days in New Hampshire, his first visit to the state as a …
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JOSHUA CAPLAN

Several Democrat county officials in Iowa say former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign must pick up his game in the nation’s first primary state or risk losing to one of his 23 other presidential rivals, according to a report.

While Biden leads the most recent Des Moines Register/CNN poll with 24 percent, his support in the Hawkeye State has tumbled 8 points from a 32 percent high. As Biden begins to sag in the polls, rivals Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN) are on the upswing with 15 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

“Biden may be polling a little ahead at this point, but other candidates are working harder and engaging the voters,” Cerro Gordo County Democrat Party head JoAnn Hardy told The Hill.

“Biden is in danger of being lapped,” he added.

Not only are some fretting about Biden thus far lackluster presence in Iowa, but say his robust campaign has barely done any outreach to powerbrokers it will need to win the state.

In an interview with The Hill, Polk County Democratic Party head Sean Bagniewski said the Biden camp reached out to him just 24 hours before the former vice president’s planned appearance in Davenport, Iowa on Tuesday.

“I’ve seen no signs of his presence in our county,” Daniel Callahan, who leads the Buchanan County Democratic Party, said. “Most campaigns have reached out to me but not his.”

According to the Des Moines Register, state Democrats have reason to worry about Biden’s strategy (or lack thereof) in Iowa. The state’s biggest and most influential newspaper counts that Biden has only eight events in Iowa in four days, the smallest amount of all top White House contenders.

He was also absent from this weekend’s Iowa Democrat Party’s Hall of Fame dinner and instead attended his granddaughter’s high school graduation ceremony.

“Many of the campaigns are having recruitment and focus meetings, phone calling, texting, sending emails, grassroots fundraising, and participating in local county organizations and events,” Boone County Democrat Party Tim Winter said in a statement to The Hill. Biden’s campaign has yet to reach out to him, he says.

“I get the feeling that much of his strategy so far is resting on his laurels, which can only go so far in the face of exciting candidates who are actually putting in the face time,” Brian Bruening, who chairs the Clayton County Democrat Party, said.

“Warren and Buttigieg are stripping away supporters from Biden on a daily basis. Sanders supporters are committed and I don’t see them changing to another candidate,” he added. “Biden’s support is the softest because so much of those big polling numbers were based on Obama nostalgia.”

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