'Trump wants to choose the nominee': Biden super PAC issues early state warning

By Natasha Korecki

A super PAC supporting Joe Biden warned Saturday that the Trump campaign is seeking to take down the former vice president in early state contests with a barrage of negative ads.

“Trump is spending considerable sums in the early states, particularly Iowa, in a hope to stop Biden’s momentum before he can get to the states where his coalition works to his benefit,” Democratic strategist Steve Schale wrote in a memo obtained by POLITICO.

“Trump’s digital advantage has been well documented, and just this week alone, the Trump campaign spent $250,000 in negative ads in Iowa and Nevada. He wants to choose the nominee, and we aren’t willing to let that happen,” the memo states.

The memo from Unite the Country super PAC, recently formed to boost Biden’s lagging fundraising, lays out the candidate's consistent strength in national Democratic primary polls and in matchups with President Donald Trump in battleground states.

It also points to Biden’s steady lead in South Carolina and Nevada, the latter two of the four early nominating state, which have a far more diverse electorate than Iowa and New Hampshire. Wins there would give Biden momentum heading into the 14 Super Tuesday primaries, the memo states.

“Much like Secretary Clinton did after Iowa and New Hampshire, there is a very real path for Biden to get on a run to roll up delegates in the contests that come in the 6 weeks following New Hampshire,” the memo reads.

Even before Trump began airing ads targeting Biden in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Biden campaign has sought to manage expectations, saying that unlike other candidates, the former vice president doesn't need to win Iowa to maintain a formidable position in the primary field.

While the campaign has called Iowa "critical" and maintains Biden can win it, it has long stressed that Biden performs best in states with a more diverse electorate.

Three recent polls have shown Biden lagging in Iowa, dropping to fourth place behind Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.

POLITICO reported this week that the super PAC aims to air TV ads in Iowa by Thanksgiving and has already seen a healthy flow of donations.

Marc Caputo contributed to this report.