Former Vice President Joe Biden must not be worried about his polling numbers, after all, he's considered the frontrunner in the 2020 Democratic race to the White House. But it appears Joe is a no show in Iowa, where 19 of the 23 Democrats running for president are currently campaigning up-and-down the state.
This weekend is considered the event-of-the-year for those who are serious about their White House bid. Candidates focused on smaller-events on Saturday but on Sunday night, they're headed to the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame dinner. It's at that time that they'll make 5-minute pitches to influential local party officials and explain the ground game they've established in the flyover state. The room is expected to hold 1,400 people. And it's a great opportunity for candidates to try and sway undecided voters. After all, the Iowa caucuses are in February.
“All these folks want to have the chance of trying to create favorable optics,” Dennis Goldford, professor of political science at Drake University, told Bloomberg. “How can they best use the enthusiasm of their supporters to propel them to be the focus of attention?”
Although Biden isn't there this weekend, he is set to campaign in Iowa on Tuesday.
It's interesting that Biden decided to skip events this weekend. Those who are going to be in attendance at Sunday night's dinner are clearly influential in Iowa's Democratic circles. Tickets range from $75 an individual to $10,000 for a VIP table. Not making an appearance, alongside everyone else, can make voters feel alienated, or like they're not good enough to receive Biden's time.
The next big campaign moment for Democrats is on June 21 and 22 when 20 candidates, including Biden, will appear at Rep. Jim Clyburn's (D-SC) fish fry. It's followed by two nights of debates on June 26 and 27 in Miami. Let's see if any of Biden's contenders mention that Joe was an Iowa no-show. It's one way for those who are lower in the polls to knock Biden down a few points...and maybe even raise theirs as well.