Former Vice President Joe Biden’s senior adviser answered his own question when speaking with reporters, asking, “Do I think we have to win Iowa? No.”
The adviser went on to say that the Iowa contest will be “critical” but “we [the Biden campaign] think there are several candidates in this field, there are probably three or four, that are going to go awhile.”
Politico continued to report on Biden’s campaign claiming they have the “broadest reach” of all the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders with communities of diversity.
In one article, Politico highlighted how and why Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) continue to capture the support of black voters.
As of last year, Iowa is not the most diverse state, and is one of the most crucial to any campaign’s momentum in moving into primary election season. According to the US Census Bureau, of the 3.1 million hawkeye state residents, 90.7 percent are caucasian/white, and only 4 percent are black. Although Biden continues to reach for black support, those supporters do not dominate in the state that takes to the political process first.
Also, Politico didn’t mention that starting in 2020, the Democrat Iowa caucus will allow for Iowa Democrats to stay home, and still have their vote counted during the caucus. The plan to “caucus virtually” on February 3 was called “the most significant alteration to the Iowa caucuses since their inception in 1972” by the State party Chairman. Because of this significant change, more democrats will be able to participate than in previous years, such as when Obama won them in 2008 and 2012.
Lastly, Politico also didn’t highlight the most critical and historical importance of winning the democrat Iowa caucus. Since 1996 caucus history shows the Democratic challenger must win the Iowa caucus in order to be considered as the nominee for President of the United States.
President Bill Clinton won the Iowa caucus in 1996; Al Gore and John Kerry won theirs in 2000 and 2004 and became the Democratic challengers to Republican President George W. Bush.
Most recently, President Barack Obama captured the support in Iowa during voting season in 2008, and 2012. Lastly, Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee after claiming the caucus by a 0.2 percent margin to Sanders in 2016.
Although Biden’s campaign advisers don’t believe they need to win Iowa, in order to become Trump’s opponent in 2020, history, lack of diversity, and a new virtual way to caucus shows otherwise.