As Democratic field expands, Biden waits on the sidelines

FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2018 file photo, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Biden has been conspicuously absent from early voting states as he weighs a 2020 presidential campaign. That makes him an outlier among Democrats eying the White House. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden has been conspicuously absent from early voting states as he weighs a 2020 presidential campaign.

That makes him an outlier among Democrats eying the White House. Nine Democrats have announced full-fledged campaigns, two have launched exploratory committees, and several others are also blanketing Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

In a wide-open race, Biden's take-it-slow approach has given other candidates a head-start in fundraising, scooping up top tier staff and perfecting their pitch to voters. It's also given them a chance to chip away at what would be a central argument of a Biden campaign: that he is the only candidate who can defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.

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