Joe Biden campaign on upswing following series of victories


Joe Biden speaks at a community event on Jan. 21 at the Gateway Conference Center in Ames.

Kylee Haueter

Prior to the Feb. 22 Nevada caucus, former Vice President Joe Biden had a poor showing in Iowa and New Hampshire, finishing fourth and fifth respectively. 

Dirk Deam, associate teaching professor of political science, said Biden’s campaign will continue to grow. 

“Unless something weird happens […] Biden is going to be hard to beat,” Deam said. “He clearly has a predictable appeal to a large chunk of Democratic voters, especially in the South where he’s going to win big in delegates.”

Biden finished second in Nevada, still trailing Sen. Bernie Sanders by 26.6 percent in county delegates. Despite the deficit, this second place finish was a surprise, given the disappointing results in the previous two contests. 

In South Carolina, things began to turn around for the former vice president. Biden finished first in the state’s primary, leaving Sanders behind by 28.3 percent.

Shortly after the South Carolina primary and two days before Super Tuesday, former Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out and shortly thereafter endorsed Biden. 

According to Biden’s campaign, these endorsements were instrumental in the strong Super Tuesday performance that Biden produced on March 3. 

Super Tuesday results saw Biden beating Sanders in 10 out of the 14 states that hosted primaries, notably in Texas where Sanders had led in most polls.

The largest demographic Biden has been successful in reaching out to is black voters. This especially propelled Biden to victory in the South, where he won the support of 71 percent of black voters, according to exit polls conducted by NPR

According to the same exit polls, Biden also had fairly strong support from older members of the Latino community, the younger Latinos choosing to vote instead for Sanders.

Julia Krieger, regional communications director for Biden’s presidential campaign, said the diversity of his support is also key to his victories. 

“Joe Biden has the broad coalition of support that is reflected in diverse states like South Carolina, Virginia and Texas, which reflect the face of our party and our country,” Krieger said.

All three states were won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primaries, who eventually became the party’s nominee.

“[Biden] proved on Super Tuesday that Americans from all backgrounds and regions are passionate about uniting our party and our country to save the soul of this nation,” Krieger said.

Biden expanded on his Super Tuesday wins with victories in Michigan, Idaho, Missouri and Mississippi, according to Associated Press projections. These results further grew the delegate gap between him and Sanders.

The former vice president leads Sanders by 20 percent, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average of likely Democratic primary voters nationally.

Biden’s campaign also said they are confident the former vice president’s support will gain momentum in the coming weeks, propelling him towards the Democratic nomination.