As he continues to weigh both the advantages and the downsides facing his potential presidential campaign, here’s a look at five factors that just might make Biden jump into the 2016 race.
1. Democrats Want the Option of Biden
Some Democratic voters want Biden on the ballot, even if they’re not ready to commit to voting for him just yet. A CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday found 53 percent of Democratic registered voters wanted the vice president to enter the 2016 race, and half of those who support Clinton think Biden should run.
That number doesn’t necessarily mean those people would vote for Biden over Clinton. In fact, the same poll found that 35 percent of Democratic voters think he would do a worse job. But it shows voters are interested in variety –- a sentiment echoed by a recent South Carolina Post and Courier editorial entitled “Run, Joe Biden, Run."
“Mr. Biden would be a welcome 2015 addition to the 2016 White House fray,” the editorial read. “After all he’s not the only American weighing his presidential-race options. Voters are weighing their options, too. The more choices they have, the better.”
2. Clinton Is Slipping in the Horse Race
Could Clinton’s slipping poll numbers mean there’s an opening in the race for Biden? That’s something Biden and his team could be analyzing as Clinton’s lead over her Democratic challengers shrinks.
3. And Clinton’s Taking a Hit in Favorability and Trustworthiness
Biden may be watching whether the continuing questions about Clinton’s e-mail server are affecting what voters think of her, and new polls suggest Biden may have an edge on Clinton when it comes to voter’s trust.
Three new Quinnipiac polls conducted in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania showed Biden’s favorability and trustworthiness ratings were higher than Clinton’s.
In Florida, 44 percent of registered voters had a favorable view of Biden while only 37 percent said the same of Clinton. In Ohio 45 percent had a favorable view of the VP while only 36 percent said the same of the former Secretary of State. And in Pennsylvania, 46 percent had a favorable view of Biden while 38 percent said the same of Clinton.
Registered voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania found Biden to be more trustworthy than Clinton by 20, 25, and 29 points, respectively.
4. It May Be His Last Chance to Run
At the age of 72, this is likely the vice president’s last chance to run for the White House after two previous failed attempts.
Biden ran unsuccessful bids for the White House in 1988 and again in 2008. He was eventually tapped as President Obama’s running mate and has served two terms as vice president.
"No, I don't think so," he said smiling and setting off 2016 speculation before the last race had even finished.
5. Beau Wanted It
That last request from his oldest son could push Biden closer to a presidential bid. But the Biden family is still grieving the loss of Beau, and Biden will have to assess whether the family is ready endure the grueling presidential campaign.