Biden's final Iowa drive sweeps through rival territory
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[January 28, 2020]
By Trevor Hunnicutt
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (Reuters) - When U.S.
presidential candidate Joe Biden went to an Iowa university to campaign
this week, one thing was in short supply: students who support him.
"What's an old guy like you going to do to get the young people to come
out and vote," a person at a University of Northern Iowa (UNI) town hall
asked Biden on Monday, noting "there's not very many here."
Biden, 77, joked that it can be difficult to get college students to
show up before 4 p.m. and, indeed, a few more young people appeared at a
later campaign event at the University of Iowa.
He then pivoted to a core argument of his campaign - Biden is the only
candidate bringing many kinds of people together.
"I'm the only one that gets a significant portion of the young vote, as
well as the old vote, in-between vote, black vote, Hispanic vote, all
the vote," Biden said. "An old guy like me is pretty good."
Biden is rallying support in the final days before the Democrats' first
presidential nominating contest is held in Iowa next Monday. He is going
to larger cities, including Cedar Rapids, and college towns like Cedar
Falls, where some of his competitors have pronounced strengths.
Polls show the former vice president, who leads nationally among
Democrats, in a closer fight with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and
Pete Buttigieg in Iowa.
Biden leads among Iowans 65 years and older, with 41%, and Warren is
second at 11%, according to a recent Suffolk/USA Today poll that
also showed Biden leading overall. He has also done well with rural
Where Biden's previous long bus tour in Iowa was focused more rural
areas, with an average population of 9,000, he is expected in population
centers averaging 50,000 people in the near 10-day tour underway ahead
of Iowa's caucus.
With many Iowans still undecided about the close race, Biden and his
rivals are seeking supporters everywhere.
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Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice
President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event in Iowa City,
Iowa, U.S., January 27, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Democrats eager to oust Republican President Donald Trump are
expected to caucus in higher-than-normal numbers.
That extends to young Iowans as well, an area where Sanders enjoys a
more than five-to-one advantage compared with Biden, according to a
CIRCLE-Tisch College/Suffolk University Iowa youth poll https://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/exclusive-polling-iowa-youth-poised-historic-caucus-turnout.
Days before Biden came to UNI and spoke to about 125 largely older
people, Sanders supporter and freshman lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
drew a passionate younger crowd there. Sanders himself attracted
several hundred people when he spoke at the university last year,
local media reported.
Most young Sanders supporters said they would support Biden if he is
the Democrats' nominee but not enthusiastically.
Alladin Dafalla, a UNI junior who supports Biden, said many of his
classmates were liberal and in favor of more extensive funding for
college education than Biden advocates.
"Joe speaks about how he works across the aisle, and students don't
like that," said Dafalla. "He can get the swing votes, the
independents. That's something I'm not sure Bernie and Warren would
be able to get."
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Additional reporting by Simon Lewis
in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Chris Kahn in New York; Editing by
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