October 7, 2015 / 1:17 PM / 4 years ago

Draft Biden launches first ad in 2016 presidential race

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Solar Power International trade show in Anaheim, California September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Draft Biden, the political action committee created to urge Joe Biden to jump into the 2016 presidential race, has released its first national television ad in the latest sign the vice president is moving closer to a decision to run.

The ad urges the vice president to run for the Democratic party’s nomination for the 2016 election, although Biden has said that he has not yet decided on a run and is weighing the matter with his family.

The ad focuses on Biden’s personal history, including the deaths of his first wife and a daughter in 1972, and uses a recording of the vice president’s commencement address earlier this year at Yale, in which he talked about how that changed his life.

The 90-second ad comes as a growing number of Democrats are expecting Biden to declare his bid for the White House, with Hillary Clinton, once expected to be nearly undisputed for the nomination, faltering in the polls.

Her biggest challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, has eroded Clinton’s support on the left, making some establishment Democrats nervous that the fiery, self-described socialist could win the party’s nomination.

The PAC has committed to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to run the ad on U.S. cable networks. Draft Biden has also asked supporters to contribute to keeping the ad on the air.

“The more eyes we get on this ad, the more people will learn something new about Joe Biden - that he has enormous empathy for people and a hopeful vision for what our country can be,” according to an email sent to donors.

Draft Biden officials are now weighing the future of the organization, which could become a Super PAC supporting a Biden run should the vice president declare his candidacy.

With the first Democratic debate on Oct. 13 in Las Vegas, speculation has risen that Biden could declare his intentions soon.

Reporting by Luciana Lopez; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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