Politics

Nevada may be Biden's 'last shot,' says former US ambassador

Key Points
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden will be "back in the game" if he manages to finish second in the upcoming Nevada caucuses, says former U.S. ambassador Frank Lavin.
  • "I think this is his last shot, potentially," Lavin said. "The stakes are very high for Nevada."
  • Once considered a front-runner, Biden's presidential campaign stumbled in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire Democratic primary.
Democratic presidential hopeful former Vice President Joe Biden looks to the crowd after participating in the ninth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season co-hosted by NBC News, MSNBC, Noticias Telemundo and The Nevada Independent at the Paris Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 19, 2020.
MARK RALSTON | AFP | Getty Images

Former Vice President will be "back in the game" if he can finish second in the upcoming Nevada caucuses, a former U.S. ambassador said.

"I think this is his last shot, potentially," said Frank Lavin, who is currently chief executive of business consultancy Export Now.

"The stakes are very high for Nevada," he told CNBC's "Capital Connection" Thursday. "The leadership is moving away from him."

His comments follow the latest Democratic debate and come days before Nevada's caucuses.

Once considered a front-runner, Biden's presidential campaign stumbled in the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire Democratic primary, where he placed fourth and fifth respectively. In New Hampshire, he failed to meet the 15% mark needed to win delegates.

Lavin said Biden was in "good form, he was feisty, he was on his game" at the debate on Wednesday stateside, but acknowledged that a lot of the attention was on former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders attacked newcomer Bloomberg over issues including the stop-and-frisk policy he oversaw as mayor.

"I think people were saying we've got to take the wind out of Bloomberg, we've got to rough Bernie up a bit too since they're the sort of the two big threats," said Lavin.

"But the point is, if Biden comes in second in Nevada this weekend on Saturday, I think he's back in the game."

A NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that Sanders is leading the pack, with support from 27% of Democratic primary voters. Biden came in second with 15%, down 11 points from a January poll, while Bloomberg was in third place with 14%, up five points.

– CNBC's Christina Wilkie and Tucker Higgins contributed to this report.