After polling as the Democratic Party presidential frontrunner for nearly a year, former Vice President Joe Biden collapsed in Iowa, finishing fourth. He came in fifth in New Hampshire, and lost Nevada to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who won the state in a landslide.
Biden now seems to be hoping for a blowout in South Carolina, seemingly looking to breathe life into his campaign by winning the Palmetto State by a huge margin, which would potentially set him up to do well on Super Tuesday. Per Mediaite, the issue was discussed this Friday on CNN.
CNN anchor John Berman began the discussion by pointing out that Biden is being outspent by a number of his competitors. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the self-funding billionaire, is spending $161 million on Super Tuesday states. Sanders, the national frontrunner, is spending $15 million. Biden — as Berman pointed out before letting commentator Van Jones weigh in — has only spent around $450,000.
Jones said that “there was an assumption” that Biden would be the clear frontrunner at this point in the race, and that many had expected him to win the early contests and then sweep the South, essentially dominating across the country and winning the nomination convincingly. That is not panning out, Jones noted, before addressing the “weakness” in Biden’s campaign.
“It’s not just a weakness of the candidate. People will say, ‘Oh, he’s maybe a little bit slower, little bit this, little bit that,'” he began.
“No. The problem is a former Vice President… Obama’s guy, should be just sucking in money. He’s broke,” the commentator added.
According to Jones, the fact that Biden’s campaign appears to be struggling to compete “shows a lack of enthusiasm” among voters, and among big money donors.
“He doesn’t have the grassroots enthusiasm. He’s not filling stadiums like Bernie Sanders. He’s not vacuuming in money from the top, he doesn’t have a grassroots operation.”
“It just felt like a dead man walking campaign for a long time,” Jones concluded, leaving open the possibility that “maybe something” will reverse once and if Biden wins South Carolina, but nevertheless describing the former vice president’s campaign strategy as “weird.”
According to reports, some Democratic Party insiders and donors believe a commanding Biden victory in South Carolina could, at the very least, blunt Sanders’ momentum ahead of Super Tuesday. If Bloomberg drops out after the March 3 contest, they claim, Biden will have a clearer path to the nomination since Bloomberg not being in the race would allow him to consolidate the centrist vote.