The race for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 Presidential election is tightening ahead of next Wednesday’s first Democratic debate, and Elizabeth Warren has been gaining ground steadily as front-runner Joe Biden continues to lose momentum.
Former Vice President Biden, who entered the race at the end of April, hit the heights of 41 percent in the Democratic Nomination opinion polls at the beginning of May, with his nearest challenger Bernie Sanders way behind on 15. But Biden has been steadily falling ever since and is now down in the low thirties, while Elizabeth Warren has been pulling clear of the pack to rival Sanders as the main challenger, a trend that has prompted bookmakers to cut her odds.
Although Warren trails Sanders by up to four points in the latest polls, she is making a strong impression with a campaign that has grabbed attention, and her appeal to a number of important sections of the Democratic base is enabling her to peel off some Sanders supporters.
Warren is now generally available at 11/2 with most UK bookmakers, a little shorter than Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, who can both be backed at 6/1. Biden remains the 9/4 favourite, but with eight months to go to the first Democratic Primary, he is in danger of being caught by his more energetic rivals. Biden’s campaign has failed to catch the imagination of Democratic supporters, and he has spent most of the time defending previous statements or actions.
The latest controversy surrounds Biden’s comments about the civility of white segregationists with whom he previously worked in Congress, comments that were called out by rival Cory Booker, and which Biden has since doubled down on. This follows criticism of Biden’s previous policy positions on abortion and taxation, as well as his sometimes-over-familiar way of interacting with women.
Biden still has the advantage of considerable name recognition, and the ability to connect with white working class voters in crucial swing states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan, but it is likely that he will need to do more to appeal to Democratic voters, who may be wary of nominating another establishment figure after Hilary Clinton’s failed campaign in 2016.