Former Vice President Joe Biden has begun telling some supporters that he’ll jump into the 2020 Democratic race, which he’d enter as the instant front-runner in a diverse field of candidates vying to challenge President Donald Trump, a person familiar with the conversations said.
Biden, 76, has led in early-state and national polls of primary voters, and could capture significant support from major Democratic donors, many of whom held off from backing other candidates while awaiting his decision.
Biden’s early advantage is driven by his high name recognition and his close association with former President Barack Obama. There’s also a sense among some Democrats that Biden’s appeal with working-class white voters in the Rust Belt would make up for weaknesses that cost Hillary Clinton the White House in 2016.
He would enter the campaign with plenty of liabilities, including his age -- four years older than Trump -- and that he’s more moderate than many Democratic primary voters. He has a longer political record than any other potential 2020 candidate and it includes scores of positions that are unpopular with Democratic voters, including some from which he’s since sought to distance himself or for which he’s apologized.
There already are 15 other Democrats seeking the party’s presidential nomination. The field includes Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who lost to Clinton in 2016, and first-time contenders Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota -- all sitting senators -- as well as former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke, who launched his campaign last week.
Biden is laying some groundwork to build up a strong first-day fundraising total, according to the Wall Street Journal, which earlier reported Biden’s outreach. O’Rourke captured headlines Monday with his whopping $6.1 million fundraising haul in the first 24 hours of his candidacy.
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