Des Moines Register endorses Clinton
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Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonHouse Democrats expand 2018 targets The Hill's 12:30 Report Podesta: Trump 'unfit' for office MORE has won the Democratic presidential primary endorsement of the Des Moines Register, the largest news source in Iowa.
 
The support is a big boost at a pivotal time, with polls tightening just 9 days before the Hawkeye State’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.
 
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Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenate votes to confirm US ambassador to China If you want to identify as 'pro-life,' then support pro-abortion rights Spike Lee on Trump: Bad dancer, 'not my president' MORE and Clinton have jostled for control of Iowa in recent weeks.  Clinton had been in the driver’s seat, pulling in double-digit polling leads as late as December. 
 
But Sanders has edged her out in one-third of the polls conducted in 2016, throwing the state into the the toss-up category. Clinton currently leads by six percentage points in RealClearPolitics’ average of recent polls.
 
The Register wrote that Clinton is the only Democrat with the requisite experience to lead the nation through a tumultuous road ahead.
 
The newspaper said her body of record as first lady, senator and secretary of State give Clinton the edge over Sanders.
 
"Whoever is sworn into office next January must demonstrate not only a deep understanding of the issues facing America, but also possess the diplomatic skills that enable presidents to forge alliances to get things done," the editorial reads.
 
"By that measure, Democrats have one outstanding candidate desering of their support: Hillary Clinton. No other candidate can match the depth or breadth of her knowledge and experience."
 
While the Register praises Clinton's accomplishments, it also acknowledges her shortcomings, pointing to the scandal over the private email server she held while secretary of State.
 
"She is not a perfect candidate, as evidenced the way she has handled the furor over her private email server," the editorial said.
 
It also points to her changing stances on gay marriage and immigration, but concludes that Clinton has argued "persuasively" that a willingness to change is actually "a virtue" that is "lacking in most politicians."
  
Clinton has blanketed the state with high-profile surrogates down the stretch, including her husband former President Bill Clinton, actor Lena Dunham, singer Demi Lovato, as well as Democratic Sens. Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Mazie Hironi (Hawaii), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.).
 
But Sanders has ramped up his television spending as he continues to gain traction in the state, and the two have upped their rhetoric against each other during recent speeches in Iowa and presidential debates.
 
While the Des Moines Register is the paper of record in Iowa, it has never endorsed the eventual Democratic caucus winner since it began picking sides in 1988. 
 
In 2008, the paper endorsed Clinton, who lost to Barack Obama. In 2004, it endorsed John Edwards, who lost to John Kerry. And in 2000, it endorsed Bill Bradley, who was clobbered by Al Gore.
 
- Updated at 6:24 p.m.