The formal proclamation comes after months of speculation that Biden would run in 2020 for the Democratic nomination. Biden himself had a slip of the tongue last month where he almost announced running as he gave a speech to a dinner gathering of Democrats in Delaware.
Biden’s announcement video will reportedly include footage shot two weeks ago outside the house where Biden grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the Atlantic reported. He served 36 years in the U.S. Senate representing Delaware and eight years as vice president under former President Barack Obama.
Biden’s candidacy would bring the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls to 19. Political observers in recent weeks have wondered if Biden delayed his decision due to recent allegations from women that Biden made them feel uncomfortable when he touched them at political events in the past.
In the days after four women came forward with allegations, sources close to Biden told Reuters that campaign preparations had not been slowed by the controversy.
Despite not having announced his candidacy yet, Biden has for weeks been the clear front-runner in all major polls tracking actual and possible 2020 Democratic presidential contenders including Morning Consult, Monmouth, Harvard-Harris, and Emerson. According to a RealClearPolitics average, Biden leads at 30 percent, as self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) trails behind at 22.5 percent.
In his two previous presidential runs, Biden failed to develop a strong base of political support, dropping out of the race both times. If he were to be elected this time, he would be 78 years old when taking office, which would make him the oldest president-elect in U.S. history.
On April 3 Biden responded with a two-minute video to allegations he inappropriately touched a number of women, most recently stemming from two accusers who came forward.
While he never explicitly apologized for his actions, Biden did address the growing criticisms of his past behavior in a video, saying he would pay more attention to not invading people’s personal space. He also defended his behavior, describing it as “just who I am” while adding that times have changed.
“Social norms are changing,” Biden said in a Twitter post accompanying the video. “I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying.”
“Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it,” he added.
President Donald Trump said recently he believes Biden and Sanders will be the final candidates vying for the party’s nomination in 2020.
In characteristic style, the president assigned nicknames to both candidates.
“I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country (and MANY other great things)!” Trump wrote on Twitter on the evening of April 16.
In an interview last year, Trump said that he’d especially hoped to run against Biden in 2020.
“I dream about Biden. That’s a dream,” Trump said. “Look, Joe Biden ran three times. He never got more than 1 percent and President Obama took him out of the garbage heap, and everybody was shocked that he did. I’d love to have it be Biden.”
The president, who has kept a keen eye on the crowded and growing field of 2020 Democrat contenders, also criticized Biden’s verbal slip last month.
“Joe Biden got tongue-tied over the weekend when he was unable to properly deliver a very simple line about his decision to run for President,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Get used to it, another low I.Q. individual!”
Reuters contributed to this report