Biden: 'We took a gut punch in Iowa'

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE acknowledged on Wednesday that he “took a gut punch” in the Iowa caucuses this week, after partial results showed him placing fourth.

“I’m not going to sugar coat it: We took a gut punch in Iowa,” Biden said at a rally in New Hampshire. “The whole process took a gut punch. But look, this isn’t the first time in my life I’ve been knocked down.”

The final outcome from the Iowa caucuses on Monday is still unknown after technical difficulties with an app used to report tallies forced results to be delayed.

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So far, totals from about 71 percent of precincts have been reported and show Biden standing in fourth place behind former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders most searched, most tweeted about candidate during Democratic debate MORE (D-Mass.). 

In recent days, Biden and his aides have predicted that he would ultimately get a boost as more results trickle in from Iowa. His campaign has also sought to cast doubt on the caucus results, and has urged the Iowa Democratic Party to withhold final tallies until the campaigns are fully briefed on the issues surrounding the reporting process.

Biden’s remarks on Wednesday were his first concession that his campaign took a hit in the first-in-the-nation caucus state. 

The former vice president is banking on a stronger finish in New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Tuesday, as well as in Nevada and South Carolina, to carry his campaign beyond Iowa. Polls currently show him trailing Sanders in the Granite State, while he’s maintained a lead in surveys in Nevada and South Carolina. 

Unite the Country, a super PAC supporting Biden’s presidential bid, also announced on Tuesday that it was preparing to launch a six-figure ad campaign in New Hampshire ahead of the state’s Democratic primary next week, and is planning to expand its efforts in Nevada and South Carolina.