Joe Biden is gearing up for a trip to the heartland next week, and the vice president's planned swing into Iowa is feeding speculation about whether he will run for the nation’s top job in 2016. Technically, his visit to Des Moines is to talk about economic policies and the priority placed on community colleges by this administration -- but the media can’t help but view it as a hint at what may come next.  

Biden has two scheduled events during his time there: a speech at Drake University on Thursday about economic policies and a discussion about higher education at Des Moines Area Community College. So far, the vice president has only said that “there's a chance” that he will run for president, during an interview on "Good Morning America" last month. “The person who is going to be the next president of the United States is the one who is going to be able to articulate the clearest vision to the American people where they’re going to take the country,” he said. 

The last time Biden visited Iowa was in October on a campaign stop for two Congressional candidates, according to the Des Moines Register.  The newspaper called Biden “an underdog” for the Democratic nomination, since a recent poll showed that both Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren proved more popular with Iowa voters as potential candidates for the 2016 race.

Biden will have plenty of company in the Hawkeye state -- as Martin O’Malley, a Democrat and the former governor of Maryland also plans to visit in March, according to the New York Times. For the Republicans, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, have both scheduled visits