Joe Biden finally expected to enter 2020 race Thursday

After months of reflection, Joe Biden was set to launch his US presidential bid Thursday, positioning the veteran Democrat as a frontrunner among the many candidates seeking to challenge Donald Trump in 2020.

The party’s 76-year-old senior statesman, whose announcement was expected to arrive via online video post, would become the most experienced and recognized Democrat in the race, a popular former vice president dominating early polls following months — even years — of campaign planning.

Biden, whose working-class appeal remains intact despite nearly half a century in Washington politics, is seen as a comforting, known quantity for American voters who will be vetting some 20 Democrats now officially in the presidential field.

But recent controversy over his tactile style, particularly with women, could dampen a rollout that he envisioned as the final main entry to the Democratic primary battle.

Biden aides remained tight-lipped this week about the early campaign.

But people familiar with the Democrat’s plans told US media that after launching on Thursday, he will head to Pittsburgh, in the swing state of Pennsylvania that Trump won in 2016, to address a labor union gathering Monday, in his first public appearance after throwing his hat in the ring.

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