IOWA CITY, Iowa — The fight between Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren stands to turn off Iowa Democrats long averse to negativity in politics, offering a fresh chance for rival 2020 Democrats to nab some of their support.
The Sanders campaign, in particular, is concerned the spat over a more than year-old conversation about the viability of a female presidential candidate could dampen support on both sides.
At this point, former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg figure to be the biggest beneficiaries. Buttigieg, who had been feuding with Warren for weeks over his past work at the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. and his ritzy campaign fundraisers, has announced an aggressive campaign schedule through the central and western part of the state.
Meanwhile, Biden’s team believes the potential collapse of a unified progressive front against its candidate is exactly what it predicted and the key to an ultimate primary victory. Those close to Biden have told the Washington Examiner that they never viewed Buttigieg as a threat but maintained concerns about placing below Warren or Sanders in Iowa.