Jimmy Carter is back in the hospital with a urinary tract infection

Former Vice President Joe Biden might not be the Democratic presidential candidate of choice in the upcoming Iowa caucus. Or in the New Hampshire primary, for that matter. But that doesn’t mean he should be sweating it, The New York Times reports.

That’s because Iowa and New Hampshire, while crucial early voting states that can help swing momentum, aren’t very racially diverse, and don’t actually carry many delegates. Biden’s campaign, instead, is banking on the possibility that he’ll maintain his lead among black voters. As the Times notes, racially diverse areas like those in California, Texas, and the South result in a larger share of delegates needed to win the nomination. And Biden remains the candidate to beat in a lot of those places.

Observers have noted that Biden is in a similar position to Hillary Clinton in 2008 before former President Barack Obama surged. But Cornell Belcher, the pollster who helped conduct Obama’s South Carolina research, said he doesn’t see any of the other candidates replicating Obama’s efforts to reach out to black voters there. If they were, he said, “they would already have the resources and infrastructure on the ground in South Carolina,” which is the first Southern state to vote.

Nothing is a given, but Biden may be able to circumvent a disappointing showing in Iowa or New Hampshire by looking ahead. “It’s not that he’s weaker than people think,” Birmingham, Alabama, Mayor Randall Woodfin said of Biden. “He’s much stronger.” Read more at The New York Times. Tim O’Donnell

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