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Biden plans more TV appearances after losses in Iowa and New Hampshire

Biden plans more TV appearances after losses in Iowa and New Hampshire
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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden addresses the crowd during a South Carolina campaign launch party on February 11, 2020 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Sean Rayford | Getty Images

Joe Biden is hoping a blitz of TV appearances will help him bounce back from disappointing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Biden campaign officials told donors in a call Wednesday they plan to have the former vice president appear on more TV news and talk shows, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the briefing was deemed private. The call came a day after Biden failed to capture a single delegate in the New Hampshire primary.

Biden, who had been considered the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination for much of the cycle, is looking to bounce back with stronger showings in the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 22 and the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29.

Biden himself spoke on the call with donors and expressed confidence he would do better in Nevada and South Carolina, the people added. The former vice president landed in fourth place in the Iowa caucuses, while he came in fifth in New Hampshire.

A spokesman for Biden declined to comment.

One of the donors on Wednesday’s call noted that they had seen deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield on CNN and MSNBC earlier in the day and asked whether Biden himself would be going on TV more often.

An advisor chimed in to say Biden has been getting on TV and that donors will be seeing him even more on air in the weeks ahead, these people added. The former vice president and his wife, Jill, are scheduled appear on ABC’s “The View” on Thursday.

Biden’s attempt to reassure donors comes as some of his loyal bundlers are becoming increasingly concerned that the campaign won’t survive another loss like New Hampshire. Biden has two big-money fundraising events scheduled for Thursday in New York. Despite his recent struggles, the gatherings are expected to be at capacity, according to a person familiar with the matter. The campaign needs the money. Coming into 2020, Biden had only $8.9 million on hand and was behind Sen. Bernie Sanders, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the money race.

Since he entered the campaign in April, Biden kept his TV appearances to a minimum. Yet he showed up on more cable news shows as the New Hampshire vote approached and unfolded.

The TV blitz shows that the Biden campaign is determined to keep the former vice president on voters’ minds as he gears up for South Carolina. The primary in the Palmetto State is a must-win for him prior to Super Tuesday, March 3, when more than a dozen states head to the polls.

This is at least the second briefing during the past two weeks during which the Biden campaign told donors that it expects major success in Nevada and South Carolina. Biden’s donors were briefed last week after the Iowa caucuses.

Biden, vice president under President Barack Obama, has been a consistent favorite to win the Democratic primary in South Carolina, which has a large base of African American voters. Yet billionaire candidate Tom Steyer is looking to pull an upset as his campaign aggressively canvases there.

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