Joe Biden loses his lead, just in time for Iowa
Joe Biden's been losing momentum for a while, and in early-state Iowa, his numbers finally crossed with second-place contender, Elizabeth Warren.
According to the Des Moines Register:
Elizabeth Warren has surged in Iowa, narrowly overtaking Joe Biden and distancing herself from fellow progressive Bernie Sanders, the latest Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows.
Warren, the U.S. senator from Massachusetts, now holds a 2-percentage-point lead, with 22% of likely Democratic caucusgoers saying she is their first choice for president. It is the first time she has led in the Register’s poll.
Former Vice President Biden, who had led each of the Register’s three previous 2020 cycle polls, follows her at 20%. Sanders, the U.S. senator from Vermont, has fallen to third place with 11%.
No other candidate reaches double digits.
“This is the first major shakeup” in what had been a fairly steady race, said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll. “It’s the first time we’ve had someone other than Joe Biden at the top of the leader board.”
The Register's poll was taken from Sept. 14-18, reflecting the views of 602 likely Democratic caucus-goers who are the key people to watch. Fox News has more here.
Not mentioned in the report, its beginning followed by one day the third debate of the Democrats, which featured Biden flailing around and having some problems with his teeth, Warren looking pretty good by default for not being asked that many questions, Bernie Sanders shouting himself hoarse like an angry old man at the television set, Harris being the same old Harris (which is why she remains stuck at that 6% mark) and Buttigieg annoying people with his sanctimony. Julian Castro, as we noted, collapsed to a miserable 1%, with then-non-participant Tulsi Gabbard commanding twice his lead (the Democrats punished her for taking out Harris in debate two by keeping her out). And not only did Castro drop to the bottom of he barrel, his negatives skyrocketed threefold to 36%, and that's among lefties alone.
Many pundits did think Warren won the debate, which would probably explain the bulk of the crossover, given that the Register points out that most likely Democratic caucus goers are still kind of mushy on who they support for president, with many switching their orientation to who can beat Trump rather than who has the best platform from their lefty points of view. If Warren came off just not looking like a fool and the others did, it would explain a shift to Warren.
But something else started wafting around that gets my attention - emerging news about Joe Biden's corrupt pocket-lining and nepotistic cronyism via his troubled son, Hunter.
On Sept. 19, one day after the Iowa poll was concluded, news broke from the Washington Post about the so-called whistleblower who was upset at President Trump's phone call about a then-unnamed foreign leader. A couple days later, it emerged that the disputed phone call was with the president of Ukraine, over Biden's son's suspicious business dealings, his ties to his dad, and his gigantic payday, something the Trump administration was apparently encouraging the Ukrainians to investigate.
These precise details didn't leak out exactly when the poll was done, but the New York Times, in its rundown of the matter, noted that the leaks were wafting around at least a week earlier. Could the politically engaged Iowa caucus-goers have heard them? It's kind of possible.
Why would I think that matters? Because it was precisely news of this kind of collusion and corruption that shifted Donald Trump's poll numbers with Hillary Clinton's in the final days to the 2016 general election. It's my sense that then-FBI director James Comey's exoneration of Clinton, not his investigation itself, was what signaled to voters that some kind of fix was in, given the magnitude of Clinton's 'extremely careless' security violations, given that a Navy small fry got jailtime for a far less serious violation.
Now there's this news of Joe Biden coordinating with his kid Hunter over giant sums of money coming from Ukraine and Biden's yelling that Trump is the bad guy, same as Hillary yelled that Comey was the bad guy, yet the original sin remains the bigger story.
It may not be responsible for the entire voting crossover in Iowa as reported by the poll, but it's hard to not think this kind of raw corruption at a minimum might just keep the momentum moving downward for Biden and upward for Warren. It's a really appalling story of pocket-lining and corruption, and Warren, by contrast is running on a supposed anti-corruption platform, exactly the right weapon to use to take out old Joe at his vulnerable point.
I think a bridge has been crossed with this Biden scandal and now Warren is consolidating her lead. It certainly would explain why Biden was going crazy to a reporter in this Twitter video clip, telling the reporter what he's allowed to ask. Democrats are likely just as hungry for an end to the swamp life as Republicans are, though Republicans reached that Rubicon first in 2016. For that reason, it's well worth watching how Biden behaves in this Ukraine scandal, given that in all likelihood, it's the big dragon most likely to take him down.
Image credit: Twitter screen shot