Iowa poll finds Biden third in Democratic presidential field


DOVER — Is the idea of a Joe Biden presidency gaining steam?

A new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics Iowa poll has the vice president third among voters in the Democratic field.

The poll, conducted late last month, finds Vice President Biden is the first choice for 14 percent of Democratic voters and the second choice for 24 percent.

Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise appearance at the Sussex Jamboree Saturday . (Special to The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise appearance at the Sussex Jamboree Saturday . (Special to The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to lead, garnering 37 percent of the first-choice vote and 23 percent of the second-choice.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, is the top choice for 30 percent of participants and the second option for 20 percent.

While the poll finds Vice President Biden, 72, sits firmly in third, there’s one key difference between him and the other candidates ahead of him: he hasn’t declared. Mr. Biden is still considering his options and is said to be planning to make a decision this month.

His office has insisted no plans have been finalized and said the vice president is focused on his current job.

Draft Biden, a Super PAC attempting to convince the vice president to enter the race, took the poll as an indicator that he is on the upswing.

“These results are the latest sign that voters respect and trust the vice president and are looking for a candidate who speaks authentically and openly about the issues important to them,” the group said in a weekend statement. “They make clear the vice president would have the support needed to mount a strong, competitive campaign.”

Mr. Biden, who has fallen well short in two previous presidential campaigns, would face a number of obstacles if he does decide to enter the race. Despite questions about Ms. Clinton’s likability and alleged improper storage of classified emails, she remains the frontrunner and already has a much more developed team than the vice president.

CNN reported last week that in a closed conference call between top Democrats, Vice President Biden debated whether or not he was up to the challenge of a grueling campaign, indirectly referencing the death of his son, Beau. Beau Biden, the former attorney general of Delaware, passed away in May from brain cancer at age 46.

Vice President Biden was not at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting last week. He did, however, make a surprise appearance at the Sussex Democratic Jamboree in Lewes on Saturday, delighting the hundreds of Delawareans present.

The visit came as a surprise to even Gov. Jack Markell, who said he found out about the vice president’s plans just five minutes before a small fleet of SUVs pulled up outside the pavilion where the event was being held.

The vice president spoke to the crowd for about 10 minutes, thanking audience members for supporting him and his family since his son’s death.

He did not address the topic of a presidential run and shook off a reporter’s question on the subject.

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