Speculation has been growing this week about two vice presidents, Joe Biden and Al Gore jumping into the race for the Democratic nomination as Hillary Clinton's poll numbers have taken a dip, but so far neither has taken the usual steps toward launching a campaign, including forming an exploratory committee or traveling around in Iowa or New Hampshire.
A Draft Biden group continues to push for the vice president to jump into the race and he is taking supporters' calls and considering another run for the White House, NBC reports
While Gore has not ruled out a 2016 campaign, it's not clear that he's been talking to supporters and his name came into play only recently.
The speculation is that both men have come into consideration as potential candidates only because presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton's poll ratings have been falling.
There have been other potential candidates, such as Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand who have considered campaigning if they thought there was a chance they could win, NBC reports, but once it became clear Clinton was running, they backed out.
Even now, despite the growing scandal over Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, her party's fellow officials continue to back her, a sign that she'll likely win the nomination, according to the data journalism website FiveThirtyEight
. To date, Clinton has collected 307 points for endorsements, compared to one for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and none for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Gore, Biden, or Secretary of State John Kerry, though would be easy choices to run if Clinton's support dwindle, as they are already well-known figures the public recognizes. Both Kerry and Gore became Democratic nominees in their elections, and Biden has served two terms with Obama. All could likely defeat Sanders, who while popular with some of the populace is considered unelectable by the Democratic Party because of his far-left policies.
"The question that some of us have 'is can someone who has said, 'I'm not a Democrat,' has chosen the title of socialist, is that person really electable?" Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill told CNN Tuesday about Sanders. She is one of 30 Democrats in the Senate who already support Clinton.
And without party establishment support, Sanders would have difficulty being nominated, NBC reports, let alone win in a general election.
Between Biden, Kerry, and Gore, Biden is the most likely to mount a campaign, as Obama's second term in office is coming to an end and he'll soon be out of office himself. Kerry, though, would have to step down as secretary of state, and Gore is out of politics and hyper-focused on environmental issues, including planning and promoting his September appearance at workshop at the Climate Reality Leadership Corps
All three have some time to decide their intentions. New Hampshire's filing deadline is Nov. 27, and most others have deadlines in December and January.
Meanwhile, CNN-sponsored "Pivot,"
an interactive game that combines public opinion and news with data to predict election outcomes says the odds of Biden running for office are up to around 60 percent, a rise from 45 percent earlier this month.
Also, reports Politico
, Biden's confidants are beginning to develop strategy about trips to early primary states and to identify possible donors, reports Politico, both signs that he's taking some steps to declare his candidacy for the White House.
Focus is already being placed on wealthy supporters who could start building funds through a super PAC, including Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who has donated heavily to both Biden and his late son, Beau, and has not yet donated to Clinton's super PAC, Priorities USA Action.
South Carolina State Rep. James Smith told Politico if Biden decides to run, he'll win in the early-voting southern state.
"We’ve got very, very strong support from all across South Carolina, from all communities — faith, business, elected and community leaders who have been long-standing Biden supporters and are ready when he and [wife] Jill decide they’re ready to make a run for it," said Smith. He thinks the vice president is "getting closer to saying yes, I really do" after being in touch with Biden's inner circle this week.
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