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Could Biden Lose IA and NH — and Still Win the Primary?


Ready for the long haul?
Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Joe Biden has already sustained a lot of damage to his candidacy – and he’s still trucking along. But what if he actually starts losing in early states? I spoke with Intelligencer writers Ed Kilgore and Eric Levitz about whether his “electability” argument would go out the window, or whether he has a strong enough base to support him during truly tough times.

Ben: With a million predictions of his demise not having come to pass, Joe Biden is still doing very well in national and state polls at this late date, with a couple of very important exceptions. He has struggled of late in Iowa, where multiple recent polls have him in fourth place, behind Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg (not respectively in all polls). And he has recently trailed Warren in New Hampshire. These two states are, of course, the first two to vote in the primary calendar. They’re also heavily white, and Biden is expected to do far better in South Carolina and Nevada, states that more accurately reflect the diversity of the Democratic Party. But I wonder: If he fails to win either Iowa or New Hampshire, will he even be in a position to capitalize?


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