CEDAR RAPIDS — With 75 days until Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, former Vice President Joe Biden is planning an eight-day, 18-county “No Malarkey” bus tour of the state that includes a stop in Cedar Rapids.
It’s part of his effort to “work harder than anyone else to earn the support of Iowans,” according to Biden for President campaign manager Greg Schultz.
“When Joe Biden first announced he was running, he told Iowans they’d be seeing a lot of him — and he meant it,” Schultz said Wednesday. “Being honest, upfront and authentic is core to who Joe Biden is and why Iowans love him.”
The tour will kick off Nov. 30 and make stops in Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Mason City, Elkader, Decorah and Oelwein.
The message on the tour will be that “when it comes to protecting health care, rebuilding the middle class, and defeating Donald Trump, Joe will continue laying out a clear vision about how he will deliver results for working families,” Schultz said.
Biden, who entered the race as the favorite in the Iowa caucuses largely based on name recognition and his many visits to Iowa as vice president to campaign for other Democrats, has seen his numbers slide. Although he remains in the top tier, several polls show him in third or fourth place.
Biden “might be a little stronger than the polls lately have indicated,” University of Iowa political scientist Tim Hagle said. Although he likely appeals to older voters, Hagle said, they might not be as vocal or well-represented as supporters of other candidates who are seen as having stronger campaign organization in Iowa.
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“So even if he has decent support, a lesser ability to turn out that support on caucus night will hurt him,” Hagle said.
Biden’s bus tour appears to be well-timed to bolster support ahead of the Christmas holiday when people’s attention might be elsewhere, Hagle added.
In addition, with poll-leading South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren getting a lot of attention — not all positive, “it would seem a good time for Biden to hit the campaign trail to solidify his support,” Hagle said.
The “No Malarkey” bus tour schedule includes Mason City on Dec. 3, Waterloo on Dec. 5, Elkader and Decorah on Dec. 6, and Oelwein and Cedar Rapids on Dec. 7.
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