NEWTON, Iowa – Joseph R. Biden Jr. has built an early leadership this month since entering the presidential campaign and confronting himself as the democratic runner and candidate best placed to defeat President Trump.
But beneath the surface of a seemingly stylish race is a much more volatile competition, as a number of primary primary peaks unfold along lines reflecting some of the most animating powers of the Trump era: race, gender, age and ideology .
With a historically large field of 23 candidates apparently now set, Senators compete Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, both African-American, with Mr. Biden and other candidates in support of black voters; Pete Buttigieg and Beto O & # 39; Rourke, who are both under 50, are struggling for generational change; Senator Elizabeth Warren is involved in Senator Bernie Sander's support from the party's left; and six women make it a long time for a female president.
"It's easy for us who are deeply involved in the process of being so wrapped up in that we just forget how many people will tune in for this very late in the calendar year," says Mr. Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind., Who would like other candidates to spend the Memorial Day weekend campaign.
Reference to Mr. Sanders, he said, other than "the more ideological candidates" no one is "support is consolidated at this time."
Mr. Biden hopes to remain above the primary faction, has succeeded in ignoring his rival candidates and putting Mr Trump in the middle of his campaign. He keeps a particularly light schedule and carefully avoids political risks. In a moment when many in his party are shaped by the post-traumatic stress that goes on in 2016, Mr. Biden's implicit message, which he can win, a significant appeal.
However, interviews with dozens of party leaders and strategists revealed a much more fluid race than Mr. Bid's double-sided voting advantage would indicate, especially in the early nominating states, where so many democratic races had risen over the years.
"My party does not like front runners," said Paul Begala, former senior advisor to former President Bill Clinton and noted that almost any democratic favorite in the recent history lost either the appointment or a scare along the way. "It will tighten whatever."
Democrats say it partly because much of the party's energy comes from younger, female and progressive activists, making it unlikely that a 76-year-old establishment-oriented white man will simply march to the nomination. And while Mr. Biden has so far benefited from the scattered field, which has split the opposition, there are already signs that he could face tougher competition.
During becoming the progressive alternative to Mr. Biden, indicates several polls that Mrs. Warren wins at Mr Sanders, the second septuararian in the race that is next in most studies. And while she has so far refused to take the Vermont Senator by name, Mrs Warren has repeatedly been with representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a galvanizing force among the progressors, who sends an unmistakable signal that she intends to pursue Mr. Sanders left wing.
There are also signs that many in the party prefer a woman to be their standard bearer: 31 percent of Democrats examined in said a new Pew poll that they would be "more enthusiastic" about a female candidate , a figure that rose to 45 percent among democratic women under the age of 50. And in a new poll from Monmouth University taken after a number of state abortion bans, three women – Ms. Warren, Mrs Harris and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota – are building support.
Claire Celsi, a state senator in Iowa, said she had narrowed her choices to the women in the race.
"I see the brilliance of all female candidates, and I want to shine some light on it," said celsi. "Because of what happened to Hillary Clinton, I feel guilty."
She has already met privately with five of the six female candidates, had phone calls with Mrs Harris's husband and influential sister, and next month they will sit at Mrs. Harris's table during a large fundraising dinner for the Iowa Democratic Party.
No other states better illustrate the volatility of the primary than Iowa, where the outlines of the last three democratic burdens have changed late in the race, especially when Barack Obama forged Mrs Clinton in 2008, and started her rise to the nomination.
Explained Friday at a house party in Newton, just east of Des Moines, Mr. Booker warned Iowa Democrats not to seek "a rescuer in this election" and said 2020 should be about something bigger than just sailing. Trump – unmistakable references to Mr. The bite and his message.
In a short interview after the event Mr. Booker about this Trump himself had said he could only cope with the challenges of the country. "We have to resist the temptation to solve all our problems on a candidate," said Mr Booker.
Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders is linked across the rest of the field right now according to public and private polls, but by this time in 2015, Mrs Clinton had led Mr. Sanders with 41 points in a Des Moines Register poll. She would fight victory in less than a single point.
"There is a long way to go, and at this point no one believed that a peanut farmers from Georgia should be president or that a governor from Arkansas should win or that a guy named Barack Obama should be able to catch it. White House, "Klobuchar said.
Votes like Linda Wormley make it clear that it is foolish to assume that the two current Iowa leaders will remain as such next February.
Ms. Wormley, a pensioner who attended Mr. Booker's house party said she had a list of six potential candidates to support, but instead of identifying them, she mentioned the two participants she had excluded: Biden and Mr. Sanders.
"I am open to the women and a few men," said Mrs Wormley, who claimed the house speaker to claim that a woman would have the best chance of cheating Mr. Trump. "Look at what Pelosi has done for him," she said.
While Mr. Biden enjoys substantial goodwill in Iowa, the organization is critical to the success of the caucuses, and he is now building only one operation, while some of his rivals have already established a more comprehensive infrastructure.
"He'll have to pick up the organization," said former Governor Tom Vilsack in Iowa. "It requires a lot of people, and Warren has many people on earth and they are good."
The most committed Iowa activists see a wider open run than polls indicate with the female candidates as well as Mr
"It looks like the press and maybe the party has landed on Biden as a top competitor when Harris, Buttigieg and others are very popular with the Democrats, I know, "said party chairman Marjie Foster in Decatur County. "We dress our heads a little on the polling information because it really doesn't seem to reflect how the majority of my sphere of influence feels."
Sean Bagniewski, president of Polk County, which includes Des Moines and represents about 20 percent of state democrats, said the great field prompted many Democrats to take their time.
"Instead of having a favorite or two favorites, people have three to five favorites," Bagniewski said. "Apart from people working for the candidates, I know less than 10 people who have made their opinion."
Perhaps no issues are more heavy in democratic competition than the two attendees. It comes up repeatedly, if politely, in conversations with voters. And the question was on the screen in the new Pew poll that made voters the ideal age for their nominees: only three percent said anyone in their 70s and only six percent said a candidate in their 30s (Mr Buttigieg is 37).  Currently Mr. Biden, who has promised to restore dignity to the government and create consensus in Washington, dominates the field among older voters.
"It is a reaction that people of my age do not like the tone and content of this president," said Mr Vilsack, who is 69. "They want stability, they want an adult in the room who is difficult enough to beat President Trump. "
But younger voters, said Bryce Smith, the Democratic President of Dallas County," says the wheel is completely disassembled and we must reinvent and rebuild the wheel. "
The generational, Mr. Smith predicted would be "the greatest division in my eyes leading into the caucus and primary season."
Terry Kocher's arty president in Humboldt County in northwest Iowa said he donated to Mr. Buttigieg's campaign after being impressed by his "calm, intelligence, poise and joke during interviews."
"It's time for the torch to pass" said. "To get someone more like you, you speak more like you and understand better how you feel is what will drive us to victory in the years to come."
This mood was evident when Mr. Booker left Fritz's home and Carol Kramer on Friday afternoon. Mrs Kramer said she was thrilled with him and Mrs. Harris.
"Many of my older friends really like Joe because they think he can beat Trump and they like him because they knew him," she said. "And he's a good person – but I still want some young people and people in color."