Joe Biden's bold bid to take down US President Donald Trump

Joe Biden mocked for 'no malarkey' campaign pledge

Joe Biden mocked for 'no malarkey' campaign pledge

The former vice-president pledged first to win the Feb 3 Iowa caucuses, despite recent polls suggesting his standing there has slipped in recent months.

Biden's aides acknowledge that he must sharpen his pitch before the February 3 caucuses that launch Democrats' 2020 voting. But his advisers also insist he has wide support and remains well-positioned to recover any lost ground.

His chief argument - his perceived strength against Mr Trump - was on clear display last Saturday. Sidestepping his philosophical tussle with progressive Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders over the party's direction, Biden struck a general- election posture. He added an emphasis on small town and rural America, an electoral swath where Democrats have struggled in recent elections but that could prove critical in both the nominating fight and November battlegrounds.

"And there's a long way to go in this campaign and we talk about the polls, at this point, I don't think they mean a great deal", Biden told reporters during his Iowa trip before Thanksgiving.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 37, of South Bend, Indiana, appears to hold a narrow edge over Mr Biden, 77, Ms Warren, 70, and Mr Sanders, 78. The senators have animated the party's left flank, while Buttigieg joins Biden in Democrats' center-left wing but is calling for generational change.

Thus far, Mr Buttigieg, Ms Warren and Mr Sanders have drawn consistently larger Iowa crowds than Mr Biden, while some party activists criticised his campaign as insufficiently aggressive.

Fairly or not, Biden's national staff has fuelled skeptical assessments with pronouncements that he doesn't have to win Iowa to win the nomination. "And there is no way, and no reason that the nominee of this party should be decided before Nevada and SC vote", a senior Biden official told reporters on a call in September.But while the campaign has downplayed the importance of the state for overall victory, they haven't shied away from investing time or money there.Biden has spent more time in Iowa than any other state during his presidential run, holding more than 50 events during his 14 trips to the state.

Joe Biden's eight-day bus tour across Iowa comes with a message: Reports of his demise in the nation's first presidential caucus state have been greatly exaggerated. They pointed to rural areas and Iowa's growing minority population that, while small, could prove important with many candidates dividing the overall caucus vote.

"One of things that I am absolutely, one thousand percent confident of, is that Joe Biden has the heart to be a good president". Biden's team believes he'll be viable in every one of the 1,679 precincts on caucus night, a reach even other leading candidates may not match.

The Biden team is laser-focused on the viability threshold requiring candidates to get 15 per cent support in a given precinct to have votes counted toward delegates. Biden advisers confirmed they already are mapping out realignment ballot strategy.

Biden won the endorsement of the International Association of Fire Fighters at the outset of his campaign, and the organization already has tapped its locals across the state to canvass.

A second suggested on the social network that the arcane language showed Mr Biden was "tired and old". His preferred model is 2004, when Howard Dean wowed progressives for much of 2003, only to watch John Kerry come from behind as voters embraced the establishment favorite as the ideal to take on Republican President George W. Bush.

Schaitberger smiled as he recalled a newspaper headline in late fall of 2003: "Kerry dead in the water".

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