Joe Biden continues to make daily headlines as he explores a potential 2016 presidential run, and the vice president looks increasingly likely to jump into the race.
Gathered below are 10 signs Biden will likely challenge frontrunner Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
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1. Meeting with Democratic National Committee
— According to an October report by The New Yorker
, Biden's aides met recently with representatives of the DNC, where they received a briefing on the rules of entering the race. The DNC reportedly had the briefing meeting scheduled in June, but it was canceled. Now that his team has taken the meeting, "I think it means he’s running," a DNC official told the magazine.
2. Clinton has given him an opening
— In breaking with the White House on the Trans-Pacific Partnership earlier this month, Hillary Clinton continues to put daylight between her and Obama. The leftward move aligns her with rival Bernie Sanders, as well as Martin O'Malley, and ensures she's not outflanked on her left as she was in 2008. As The Wall Street Journal put it recently
, "Hillary Clinton’s moves to distance herself from key White House policies creates an opening, if he wants one, for Vice President Joe Biden to run for president as the natural heir to the Obama legacy."
3. Clinton is an untrusted flip-flopper
— In addition to providing an opening for Biden with her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Clinton also drew criticism from her own base, which pointed out that she's previously spoken positively of the TPP on 45 occasions, and even once called it the "the gold standard" of trade deals. Poltifact.com rated
the move a "Full Flop," and even liberal journalists — "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd, Vox, etc. — said the new positioning made Clinton look disingenuous.
4. With an Obama endorsement, he gets the bully pulpit
— Before the presidential race had even kicked off earlier this year, Clinton was frequently cited as the "inevitable" Democratic nominee, as she had in place an intimidating campaign infrastructure she'd carried over and improved since her 2008 run. This perceived inevitability discouraged many politicians with less name recognition and resources from even entering the race. Joe Biden, however, currently holds the vice presidency, and — assuming he gets an endorsement from Obama — would seize the power of the bully pulpit, which is decidedly more powerful than any campaign infrastructure.
5. He's got a super PAC
— Without any coordination from the vice president, supporters who want to see him run have already started the Draft Biden super PAC, laying the groundwork for ad buys and other crucial elements of support he'll need to run.
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6. Clinton donors are placing bets on Biden
— As Politico reported
earlier this month, LGBT rights activist Scott Miller (who's married to mega-donor Tim Gill), stepped down from the board of Correct the Record, a pro-Hillary Clinton PAC, after funneling $50,000 to the Ready for Hillary PAC last year. He and Gill have now given $50,000 to the Draft Biden campaign as well.
7. Polling looks positive
— According to a new Quinnipiac poll, Biden is "the most trusted candidate of those surveyed — far more than Hillary Clinton, who's the least trusted," The Washington Post reported
. This bodes well for his potential run, and will likely contribute to his current rise in national polling, which has swung upward since July. Clinton's polling, on the other hand, has dropped from 64 percent in May down to 40 percent in October.
8. He's beating out many potential Republican nominees
— In the crucial swing-states of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Biden beats most Republicans in head-to-head match-ups, according to polling averages.
9. Clinton's campaign is stumbling
— The former first lady continues to see her polling slip away to Sanders and the as-of-yet undeclared Biden, mostly due to the scandal surrounding the private email server she used as Secretary of State. With the FBI reportedly continuing to seize copies and backups of both her volunteered and deleted emails in October, and the State Department continuing to disclose the emails through the end of the year, it does not appear the scandal is going away anytime soon.
10. He has a compelling reason to run
— Clinton has positioned her campaign as the chance for voters to elect the first woman president. While this has shored up her support among liberal female voters, it has cost her the support of many men. Biden, on the other hand, can not only run as Obama's heir apparent, he can also continue to tell the compelling story about how is late son Beau told him to run before he died — as Beau knew his father was an honest man. The story, reportedly leaked by Biden's own team, has resonated with all voters, not just one demographic like Clinton's.
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