After a dismal showing in Iowa, former Vice President Joe Biden believes he can still win the Democratic presidential nomination but faces an uphill struggle in New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Feb. 11, according to a new interview.
Biden said that his political fortunes could be reversed when he campaigns in South Carolina and Nevada.
“Nothing’s going to happen until we get down to a place and around the country where there’s much more diversity. And, you know, you’re always behind the eight ball when you’re running in New Hampshire and you have two people from the neighboring states,” he told CBS News on Feb. 10, referring to other candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
When the contest shifts to South Carolina and Nevada, he said, his campaign will have an advantage because the demographics are more representative of the American population as a whole.
“Because the other voters out there represent a significant portion of the American people, and they look like America,” Biden said on the program. “That’s the reason why.”
“So I don’t see any diminution in national support,” he said. “I’m still leading nationally. And so the idea that this is a—if you come in third or fourth in the first two primaries, or caucus and a primary, that that knocks you out of the box. We’re just getting going.”
After launching his campaign in 2019, Biden was viewed as the presumed front-runner to take on President Donald Trump in 2020, and for most of 2019, he led in the polls nationally. But he suffered a “gut punch,” as he described it, in Iowa last week when he came in fourth place behind former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, as well as Sanders and Warren. Recent polling data show that he’s also behind in New Hampshire.
“I took a hit in Iowa, and I’ll probably take a hit here,” Biden said on Feb. 7 during a Democratic debate in New Hampshire. He also told a crowd on Feb. 10 that “we’re going to have a tough time here” in New Hampshire.
Also in the past week, Biden has increasingly targeted Buttigieg to garner more support among centrist Democrats.
“Pete Buttigieg has been nothing more—and he’s a good guy, I like him, he’s a smart guy—but he’s been the mayor of a city smaller than the city we’re in now,” he told ABC News on Feb. 9. “And so what has he done? Who has he pulled together? Does he know any of the foreign leaders?”