A "vacuum" in the Democratic Party exists, CNN's Inside Politics panel said Sunday, as it discussed the news over the weekend that Vice President Joe Biden had met privately with progressive darling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.).
With Hillary Clinton struggling in recent polls amid the private email scandal dogging her campaign, the news that Biden and Warren spoke for two hours fueled more speculation he may jump into the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
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The Atlantic‘s Molly Ball called the leaked news an unsubtle "trial balloon."
"Much of this is about Hillary's weakness and her skyrocketing negative ratings, her inability to completely consolidate the Democratic Party in the way that she foresaw," Ball said. "Whatever Joe Biden ends up deciding, it's a real statement of the sort-of vacuum that seems to exist in the Democratic race right now."
A set of swing state Quinnipiac polls this week cemented the political reality for Clinton that her private email scandal will not go away any time soon. Only about one in three respondents viewed her as honest and trustworthy in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, and Biden polled equal to or better than her in those states against hypothetical Republican challengers.
One panelist also viewed it as a sign of how much influence the left-wing Warren had in the party.
"As much as this is about the vacuum in the Democratic Party and some of Hillary's weaknesses, it's also about Elizabeth Warren's strength," said New York Times reporter Ashley Parker.