End of Year Update

As the year comes to a close, we wanted to provide an update on our work over the last eight weeks and share some thoughts on where we hope we can go into the New Year.

Let’s start by looking at the current state of play.  The story of the race during the fall has been the resurgence of Vice President Biden’s strength.  Since October 11th, when the Vice President re-took the national lead from Elizabeth Warren in the Real Clear Politics average of public polls, he has only trailed in 4 of 57 polls, and of those polls Warren was leading. Joe Biden now holds a commanding lead in subsequent surveys done by the same pollster. In fact, Biden has not trailed in a national poll since the 12th of November. 

Polling time and time again shows Democrats favor a candidate who can beat Trump over everything else.  In the most recent national poll, conducted by The Economist, 66% of Democrats say it is more important to nominate a candidate who can beat Trump over one who shares all of their issue positions. In the same poll, 62% of Democrats thought Biden would beat Trump – significantly more than the measures for Sanders, Warren, or Buttigieg.

One other relevant point from The Economist’s polling:  while Biden has a one-point lead over a crowded field among white voters, he has an 8-point lead among Hispanics, and has a 42% lead with Black voters.  The white polling number shows why Iowa and New Hampshire remain so close, while the Biden leads among Black and Hispanic voters explains his healthy leads in Nevada, South Carolina, and the bulk of states on Super Tuesday, where early public polling exists.

All this takes us back to Iowa.  It is our opinion that while Biden doesn’t have to win Iowa to be the nominee, he is almost certainly going to be the nominee if he wins Iowa, and there is no question the official campaign is taking the state seriously.  In fact, Vice President Biden spent more days in Iowa than any other major candidate during the month of December, a total of eleven days, and according to public releases. He is also planning a five-day Iowa trip beginning on January 2nd.

We have also leaned into Iowa in a significant fashion, investing nearly $2.2 million in Iowa television and digital advertising since the of 7th of December, releasing ads highlighting the VP’s courage and leadership on issues such as the Violence Against Women Act, the Assault Weapons Ban, and the leadership he showed on LGBT marriage equality.  Further, given that Biden’s real strength in Iowa rests among rural voters, we have begun a targeted effort towards likely and potential Biden supporters who live in the rural communities outside of the major media markets, where we feel we can help not only drive up his support, but also help increase the delegate total.  

In addition, we’ve also completed significant research projects in South Carolina and Nevada in preparation for beginning communicating with voters in those states, and we are preparing to undertake a comprehensive Super Tuesday research project as well.  But none of these goals are possible without our donor’s support.   As one would expect, inventory for advertising in the early states is limited, and expensive – and Bloomberg’s spending spree on Super Tuesday will drive up the costs for everyone else.  We feel very confident in our role – telling the VP’s story, and our path – a strong finish in the early two states, with the goal of a win in Iowa, followed up by wins the more diverse states that follow, can help Biden be in a strong position to claim the nomination, and eventually, to beat Donald Trump.  So, thank you for all you have helped us do – and thank you for all your help over the next weeks and months