Biden to launch campaign on Thursday

Biden to launch campaign on Thursday
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Romney: Republicans don't criticize Trump because they fear it will help Warren MORE will officially enter the presidential race on Thursday, according to a source close to his campaign.

Biden has been flirting with entering the race for months and will begin his campaign in the lead in several surveys nationally and in early-voting states. 

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Biden will announce his candidacy with a video released on Thursday and then will travel to Pittsburgh for a more formal event on Monday, the source said. 

Biden, who would be 78 when entering the Oval Office if he wins the presidency, faces a crowded field and a number of questions about his candidacy. 

A new poll from Monmouth University released Tuesday found Biden leading Democratic candidates and winning 27 percent support nationally, 7 points higher than the 20 percent won by Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' Warren says she will unveil plan to finance 'Medicare for All' Ocasio-Cortez says endorsing Sanders early is 'the most authentic decision' she could make MORE (I-Vt.).

Sanders may be the top competition in the race for Biden initially. A series of polls have had the two bunched together at the top, with some distance from other candidates.

Biden will face questions about whether he is liberal enough to win his party's nomination.

There have been questions already about his support for a Clinton-era crime bill and his backing for the Iraq War.

Biden also is dealing with a lingering controversy involving his touching and kissing of a number of women, several of whom said it was inappropriate.

Biden's campaign is expected to argue he is the Democrat most likely to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE in the general election.