Joe Biden's first TV ad of the 2020 race highlights his strong poll numbers and ties to Barack Obama

"We all know in our bones that this election is different," a narrator says at the opening of the ad titled "Bones"

By Matthew Rozsa
August 20, 2019 5:49PM (UTC)
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Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks on stage during a forum on gun safety at the Iowa Events Center on August 10, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Getty/Stephen Maturen)

Former Vice President Joe Biden released his campaign's first TV ad of the 2020 race Tuesday in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa.

Titled "Bones," the ad which CNN reported was part of a six-figure television and digital ad purchase for Iowa, is expected to run in the following markets: Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Quad Cities and Sioux City.


It focuses on the two major themes which Biden has stressed throughout his party's presidential nominating contest: He has close ties to former President Barack Obama, who remains popular among Democratic primary voters, and polls consistently show he could defeat current President Donald Trump in a general election.

"We all know in our bones that this election is different," the narrator says at the beginning of the ad. "The stakes are higher. The threat is more serious. We have to beat Donald Trump. We have to beat Donald Trump. And all the polls agree: Joe Biden is the strongest Democrat to do the job."

"No one is more qualified. For eight years, President Obama and Vice President Biden were an administration America could be proud of, our allies could trust and our kids could look up to," the voice continues. "Together, they worked to save the American economy, to pass the historic Affordable Care Act protecting more than 100 million Americans with pre-existing conditions."


The ad concludes, "Now Joe Biden is running for president with a plan for America's future: to build on Obamacare, not scrap it; to make a record investment in America's schools; to lead the world on climate; to rebuild our alliances; and most of all, he'll restore the soul of a nation battered by an erratic, vicious, bullying president. Strong, steady, stable leadership. Biden. President."

When it comes to polls, Biden is indeed the frontrunner among both the Democratic candidates vying for their party's nomination and in general election match-ups against Trump. According to the current RealClearPolitics averages of major polls in the early caucus and primary states, Biden is ahead in Iowa with 26 percent of voters' support, compared to 18 percent for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and 14 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. In New Hampshire, Biden has 21 percent of voters' support, compared to 19.3 percent for Sanders and 14.7 percent for Warren. In Nevada, Biden is ahead with 30 percent of voters' support, compared to 15.3 percent for Warren and 15.3 percent for Sanders. In South Carolina, Biden has 38 percent of voters' support, compared to 14.3 percent for Sanders and 12.7 percent for Warren.

Biden is even ahead of his fellow Democrats in states where another candidates would be presumed to have a home field advantage. In California, he is in the lead with 23.3 percent of voters' support, while home state Sen. Kamala Harris has 21 percent, followed by Warren at 18.7 percent and Sanders with 17.3 percent. In Texas, Biden is ahead with 27 percent of voters' support, compared to native former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who has 16.8 percent, followed by Sanders and Warren, who are tied at 13.8 percent. Finally, Biden is ahead of Warren in Massachusetts with 22.5 percent to her 12 percent, with Sanders also ahead of Warren there with 16 percent.


Biden is also in the lead among his fellow Democrats nationally with 29 percent of voters' support, compared to 15.8 for Warren and 15.4 for Sanders.

General election polls also show Biden doing better against Trump than his challengers. In a Fox News poll released earlier this week, with which Trump publicly expressed his dissatisfaction, the president lagged behind Biden by a margin of 50 percent to 38 percent. By contrast, Sanders beat Trump by 48 percent to 39 percent, Harris beat Trump by 45 percent to 39 percent and Warren beat Trump by 46 percent to 39 percent.


You can watch Biden's ad below via CBS News:

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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