'This is no time to take a risk': Biden ad leans into electability as caucuses approach

The new ad launches in Iowa Friday, with 10 days to go until the caucuses.

January 24, 2020, 4:08 AM

DES MOINES, IA -- With the Iowa Caucuses just 10 days away, Former Vice President Joe Biden is hitting the airwaves with a new campaign ad that claims he’s the safest choice when it comes to defeating President Donald Trump in November.

The campaign’s latest ad, obtained first by ABC News, focuses on a potential general election match-up between Trump and the former vice president, and makes the starkest argument to date about Biden’s electability.

“Every day he is president, Donald Trump poses a threat to America and the world. We have to beat him. Joe Biden is the strongest candidate to do it,” says the 30-second ad, touting Biden’s lead in polls both nationally and in important states likely needed to win the election in November.

“This is no time to take a risk. We need our strongest candidate. So let’s nominate the Democrat Trump fears the most. Vote Biden. Beat Trump,” the narration concludes.

The ad suggesting Biden is the Democrats' safest choice in 2020 comes as Iowa caucus-goers are making their final decisions about who to support in the "first in the nation" contest on February 3, and as the Senate impeachment trial is underway in Washington, D.C.

While Biden has largely avoided discussing the issue of impeachment while campaigning, the former vice president’s name was invoked often as Democrats made their case that President Trump allegedly withheld aid from Ukraine in order to get President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into Biden and his son to help Trump politically.

While several of his 2020 rivals have been forced off the campaign trail to take part in the Senate trial, the former vice president has spent 11 days in Iowa since the beginning of the year and will return to the Hawkeye state Saturday.

Biden will spend the final nine days before the caucuses begin holding events in “every corner of the state” as he tries to close the deal with those Iowans still unsure about who they plan to support, according to the campaign.

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event on foreign policy at a VFW post Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Osage, Iowa.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event on foreign policy at a VFW post Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, in Osage, Iowa.
John Locher/AP

From the start of his third presidential bid, electability has been a key component of Biden’s argument to voters, with him saying he could bring the country together and win back disillusioned Democrats who left the party in 2016.

As the caucuses near, other candidates have also sought to argue their electability, like Senator Elizabeth Warren, who originally focused on bold ideas and enthusiasm in her sell to voters, but has recently pivoted to billing herself as a unity candidate.

The latest polling in Iowa has largely shown a four-way contest with Biden, Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg all vying for the top spot. Fivethirtyeight’s primary forecast currently shows Biden with a 2 in 5 chance of winning the most delegates in Iowa, followed by Bernie Sanders with a 1 in 4 chance.

Biden’s team is also launching a pair of 15-second ads on YouTube -- “Worried” and “Strength” -- featuring testimonials from Iowa voters about why they feel Biden is the strongest Democratic candidate to defeat the president. Biden's campaign says the ads are targeting Iowa's undecided voters.

The new ad, which is part of a previously announced $4 million ad-buy leading up to the Iowa caucuses, will be broadcast in five TV markets, including Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Sioux City, and across the state on Hulu.

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