Top campaign aides for former vice president Joe Biden reportedly suggested allying with Senator Amy Klobuchar for the Iowa caucuses next week and pitched the idea to the rival presidential campaign.
The alliance would involve the two Democrats encouraging voters to vote for the other in precincts where they themselves do not have the support to win delegates, the 15 percent required to advance to the second round of voting. Iowans are allowed to recast their ballot for another candidate if their preferred candidate does not meet the 15 percent threshold.
An adviser for the Klobuchar campaign shot down the idea from the Biden campaign’s Iowa director, Jake Braun, and other Biden campaign officials as unserious, the New York Times reported.
The Biden campaign hopes to avoid clashing with other moderate candidates like Klobuchar during the caucuses on Feburary 3 and has expressed optimism that Klobuchar’s supporters in Iowa will cross over to the former vice president. However, Biden officials worry voters will not do so without Klobuchar’s express encouragement to support Biden over herself.
Klobuchar’s campaign declined to team up, however, expressing confidence that the Minnesota senator is picking up support.
“Our campaign is on the rise,” said Tim Hogan, communications director for the Klobuchar campaign. “We’ve never made caucus deals with other campaigns and don’t intend to.”
Klobuchar has recently picked up steam in Iowa but her support remains in the single digits nationally. Meanwhile, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has caught up to Biden, the front runner, in Iowa, with several polls showing him in first place.
During the 2016 election, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and former Ohio Governor John Kasich formed a similar alliance to the one floated by the Biden campaign as they competed for the Republican presidential nomination. Cruz and Kasich agreed not to campaign in certain states in order to defeat then-candidate Donald Trump, but that pact did not hold up well.