Answering perhaps the most significant question of the early 2020 election season, former Vice President Joe Biden will launch his presidential campaign on Thursday, the AP reports. The move, confirmed by a person familiar with his plans, sets up the 76-year-old lifelong politician as a front-runner in the crowded Democratic contest as the party fights to determine who's best positioned to defeat President Donald Trump next year. Biden, who spent the last five decades in Washington but never lost touch with his working-class background, is scheduled to face union workers in Pittsburgh on Monday as part of the rollout tour, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to disclose private conversations. The former VP, who has run for president twice before with little success, will look to organized labor for support early on.
While he may be popular with the white working-class in the Midwest, it's unclear if Biden will appeal to the more liberal voters who tend to have outsized sway in Democratic primary contests. His decision largely settles the crowded and diverse Democratic presidential field at around 20 candidates, including six women, five people of color and one member of the LGBTQ community. Biden would be the most experienced politician in the race, and the second-oldest, after 77-year-old Bernie Sanders. A handful of lesser-known Democrats, including Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, could join the race in the coming weeks or months, but Biden's decision is considered the final major piece as voters, donors and elected officials alike begin to pick their favorites. (Biden is reportedly the candidate Trump is most worried about.)