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Big week for O’Rourke and Yang on the campaign trail — what about Biden?

A crowded field of Democratic 2020 presidential candidates now includes former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who campaigned in Iowa this week, trying to appeal across party lines. Also in Iowa was entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who just became eligible to participate in Democratic debates. Still, a major question remains unanswered: will popular former Vice President Joe Biden run? Lisa Desjardins reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    It may seem early, but the race to take on President Trump is coming into focus.

    Lisa Desjardins has the latest.

  • Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas:

    I'm running to serve you as president of the United States of America.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Another week, another candidate. Beto O'Rourke is two days into his presidential campaign, and has spent both of those days, as one does, in Iowa.

    A backbench Democratic congressman from El Paso, Texas, O'Rourke gained fame for his unorthodox and social-media friendly campaigning, speaking directly on Facebook and skateboarding on the trail. He is also a fund-raising juggernaut, raising $80 million in his Texas Senate race last year, mostly from small donors.

    That wasn't enough, and he lost a close three-point race to Republican Ted Cruz. A moderate and himself a multimillionaire, critics question if O'Rourke can appeal to enough core Democratic voters. He is specifically aiming for voters in both parties.

  • Beto O’Rurke:

    I want to show up everywhere for everyone.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Also in Iowa, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who this week met the requirement to be included in Democratic debates by raising money from 65,000 different donors.

    Meanwhile, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders focused south, on South Carolina, with an event in Charleston last night.

  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT:

    Our job is to complete what we started, and we are going to turn our vision and our progressive agenda into reality. We are going to bring justice to America.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    And while the race is taking shape, what may be the biggest name remains on the sideline.

  • Audience:

    Run, Joe, run!

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Former Vice President Joe Biden indicated this week in a speech to a firefighters union that he's inclined to take on President Trump.

  • Joe Biden:

    In America, everyone gets a shot. That's what the next president of the United States needs to understand, and that what I don't think this current president understands at all.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    In a race with no clear front-runner, the former V.P. leads the wide-open pack in these early days. A Monmouth University poll this week found 28 percent of Democratic voters back Biden, with 25 percent for Sanders. Both are also the two who have run national races before.

    The top newcomer to presidential politics is Kamala Harris, at 10 percent in this poll, which gave voters a long list of some 23 candidates or potential candidates to choose from.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lisa Desjardins.

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