Former Vice President Joe Biden will make his first visit to Iowa State as a presidential candidate Wednesday.
The Democratic presidential frontrunner is undertaking an eight-day, 18-county “No Malarkey” bus tour of Iowa. His wife, the former second lady, is also embarking on a tour of the state, hosting some solo and some joint events with her husband in the Hawkeye state. She is not scheduled to visit Ames on Wednesday.
Biden’s event is set for 11:15 a.m. in the South Ballroom of the Memorial Union.
Greg Schultz, Biden’s campaign manager, told Iowans in a press release when Biden first announced he was running for president, “they’d be seeing a lot of him — and he meant it” because being upfront and authentic “is core” to who Biden is.
“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 in the press release. “With less than 75 days to the caucus, Joe is going to work harder than anyone else to earn the support of Iowans across the entire Hawkeye State.”
Biden’s bus tour comes amid lagging poll numbers in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. While he leads most national polls of likely Democratic primary voters, Biden is in fourth place in the RealClearPolitics average of likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers with 16.3 percent support, behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 17.7 percent support, Sen. Bernie Sanders with 18.3 percent support and Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 24 percent support.
The former vice president struggles to garner the same levels of support among student-aged voters as his opponents, earning just 2 percent support among likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers ages 18-34, according to a poll conducted by Iowa State in November.
Biden has already qualified for the next Democratic presidential debate scheduled for Dec. 19. He is expected to be joined by Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and businessman Tom Steyer. Sen. Kamala Harris had qualified for the debate but dropped out of the presidential race Tuesday.