Joe Biden has maintained a strong lead among Democratic 2020 hopefuls for months, but he is now starting to slip. Elizabeth Warren is inching up, and as she does, Biden is losing ground in key early states.

Marc Caputo reports at Politico:

Biden nosedives in early-state polls

Joe Biden’s poll numbers are crumbling in the early nominating states that matter most.

Once the dominant front-runner in the Democratic primary, Biden is now marginally trailing Elizabeth Warren in the first caucus state of Iowa and the first primary state of New Hampshire. His South Carolina firewall shows signs of cracking and he’s losing his once-overwhelming lead in Florida, according to a raft of recent polling.

Biden’s descent has been months in the making, the result of continuous fire from progressives, questions about his age and stamina, a drumbeat of negative coverage over lackluster debate performances and frequent misstatements, according to pollsters and party insiders. They also point to a campaign message that at times overemphasized attacking President Donald Trump and his claim to be the “most electable” Democrat in the field.

But perhaps the biggest factor has been the rise of Warren, the Massachusetts senator who has served up a steady diet of grassroots outreach and in-depth policy proposals that have endeared her to progressives.

According to the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Warren now has a 2.7 point lead in Iowa and is gaining on Biden in New Hampshire, where he is clinging to a 3 point lead.

Warren has also surpassed Biden in a new national poll from Quinnipiac.

Rachel Frazin writes at The Hill:

Warren edges past Biden in new national poll

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) edged past former Vice President Joe Biden in a new poll gauging support in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Warren has the support of 27 percent of Democratic voters and independent voters who lean Democratic while Biden had 25 percent in the Quinnipiac survey released Wednesday.

Warren gained 8 points from August, while Biden fell 7 points, pollsters found.

In the new survey, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had the support of 16 percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning respondents, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg had 7 percent and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) had 3 percent.

Some people are suggesting this Ukraine business could also hurt Biden, going forward.

Kaylee McGhee writes at the Washington Examiner:

There’s no evidence Biden’s interactions with Ukrainian leaders were illegal or that his son’s business dealings were overtly corrupt. Regardless, this is a serious stain on Biden’s reputation and campaign, and he should be doing all he can to rectify a scandal that threatens sink his candidacy completely.

Instead, Biden’s campaign is doubling down and pointing the finger back at Trump, who has already agreed to release the full transcript of his call with Ukrainian officials.

It makes you wonder if this is all part of the plan:

 
 
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