Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements

Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWarren highlights work with Obama, Harry Reid in new Nevada ad Biden on Univision: Deporting 3 million 'was a big mistake' Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE is leading the 2020 pack in congressional endorsements with just over a week to go before the nomination race officially kicks off with the Iowa caucuses.

Biden currently has 42 endorsements from House and Senate Democrats, more than twice as many as his closest presidential primary competitors, including Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren highlights work with Obama, Harry Reid in new Nevada ad Biden on Univision: Deporting 3 million 'was a big mistake' Democratic rivals sharpen attacks as Bloomberg rises MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren highlights work with Obama, Harry Reid in new Nevada ad Union leader: Bloomberg can go all the way Biden on Univision: Deporting 3 million 'was a big mistake' MORE (I-Vt.).

Biden's popularity in the congressional endorsement contest allows him to underscore his electability argument by touting his longstanding relationships and experience on Capitol Hill, where he served six terms as a senator from Delaware. 

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Congressional endorsements are seen as an important measure in presidential elections, allowing candidates to lean on lawmakers to act as campaign surrogates, especially if they hail from key primary or caucus states. 

They can also shore up a candidate's standing with key Democratic constituencies. Biden and his allies are touting how his endorsements hail from various corners of the Democratic caucuses on Capitol Hill, presenting that as evidence that he's backed by a diverse coalition that can win nationally. 

Fifteen of Biden’s 41 endorsements are from members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), along with five members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and nine from competitive swing districts.

Biden rolled out four new endorsements from lawmakers in the CBC last week after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, including two who had previously endorsed Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThe Hill's Campaign Report: New challenges for 2020 Dems in Nevada, South Carolina Beleaguered Biden turns to must-win South Carolina Harris, Castro introduce resolution condemning Trump aide Stephen Miller MORE (D-Calif.) before she dropped out of the race in early December.

Polls have shown Biden leading consistently among African-American Democratic voters, including in South Carolina, where the former vice president is leading in the polls. 

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Rep. Frederica WilsonFrederica Patricia WilsonDemocrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' Clinton advises checking your voter registration during Trump's State of the Union Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley to boycott State of the Union MORE (D-Fla.), a CBC member who had backed Harris, said she shifted her support to Biden because she considers him the most viable and experienced candidate to take on President TrumpDonald John TrumpChanges in policies, not personalities, will improve perception of corruption in the US Union leader: Bloomberg can go all the way Pelosi: 'I'm not counting Joe Biden out' MORE.

“While former Vice President Biden initially stumbled on the campaign trail, his debate performances have steadily improved and he has consistently been at the top of the polls,” Wilson told The Hill. “In addition, he has the respect of world leaders with whom he engaged as vice president and, if elected, could bypass the whole getting-to-know you phase and immediately begin rebuilding our nation’s global standing.”

“The only person I believe in this lineup of candidates who can stop [Trump] from getting a second term is Biden,” Wilson also said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), who chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s political arm, said that Biden’s more moderate stances compared to Sanders or Warren and his record on issues like gun safety and health care resonate with lawmakers.

Latino voters are set to play a critical role in early-state Nevada in late February as well as in Texas and California, two Super Tuesday primary states. 

“His record dwarfs everybody else's,” Cárdenas said. “He's not an extremist. And I think the average American is not an extremist.”

And while most senators have declined to endorse anyone, Biden has secured five endorsements from the chamber -- more than any other Democratic presidential candidate.

Meanwhile, Warren has 13 congressional endorsements, drawing heavily from progressive lawmakers as well as from her home state.

Warren locked down endorsements from six members of her Massachusetts delegation, including Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyTlaib says she held Omar's hand during 'triggering' moments at Trump's State of the Union speech Pressley slams trolls over alopecia comments Pramila Jayapal endorses Democrat Henry Cuellar's primary challenger MORE, except for three who have yet to endorse anyone and a fourth, Rep. Stephen LynchStephen Francis LynchBiden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Election security, ransomware dominate cyber concerns for 2020 Hillicon Valley: Groups file appeal over net neutrality ruling | Lawmakers raise concerns over foreign apps | Payroll data stolen from Facebook MORE, who has backed Biden.

She also secured an endorsement this past week from Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinBarr to testify before House Judiciary panel The Hill's Morning Report - Sanders, Buttigieg do battle in New Hampshire Democrats to plow ahead with Trump probes post-acquittal MORE (D-Md.), a progressive and constitutional expert who has been front and center in House Democrats’ investigations of the Trump administration.

“Elizabeth Warren has the chance to recapture the moral center of America and make it the political center of our party,” Raskin said in a video posted to his Twitter account.

Only one Democrat representing a swing district, freshman Rep. Katie Porter (Calif.), has endorsed Warren.

Sanders has 8 congressional endorsements, including three members of the so-called "squad" -- Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezJulián Castro endorses Rep. Cuellar's primary opponent in Texas Overnight Energy: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Intercept Bureau Chief: Culinary Union concerns over "Medicare for All" are faulty MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTlaib says she held Omar's hand during 'triggering' moments at Trump's State of the Union speech Key House Democrat says Perez must go: 'He doesn't lead on anything' Democrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' MORE (Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibWill Bernie have to turn on his bros? Rashida Tlaib detained by police during protest against low wages at Detroit airport Trump, like most presidents, takes credit for American workers' effort MORE (Mich.).

The endorsements were considered a coup for the Vermont senator, as other candidates had also been courting the three first-term lawmakers.

Ocasio-Cortez, who has emerged as a progressive star, is set to play a key role in campaigning for Sanders in Iowa at a time when the senator is stuck in Washington because of Trump's impeachment trial, including rallying for him on Friday. 

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Sanders has also locked down support from many of the top progressive leaders in Congress who don’t believe Biden’s positions go far enough. The Progressive Caucus co-chairs, Reps. Mark PocanMark William PocanUSDA takes heat as Democrats seek probe into trade aid 2020 Democratic hopefuls focus on Iowa while making final pitches Sanders endorses 9 progressive House candidates MORE (Wis.) and Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalBloomberg builds momentum on Capitol Hill with new endorsements House Democrats' immigration bill would use tax dollars to import crime to America House panel advances bipartisan surprise billing legislation despite divisions MORE (Wash.), each endorsed Sanders within the last ten days.  

Jayapal told CBS News after endorsing Sanders last weekend that the U.S. risked “another Donald Trump down the road” if the U.S. doesn’t elect a more progressive candidate.

"Even if it is a Democratic president, if we don't address these issues we will end up with another Donald Trump down the road," Jayapal said. "Because people are suffering. And our job has to be to fix that suffering."

Sanders also has endorsements from the other two members of the Vermont congressional delegation: Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Defense: Senate votes to rein in Trump war powers on Iran | Pentagon shifting .8B to border wall | US, Taliban negotiate seven-day 'reduction in violence' Pentagon transferring .8 billion to border wall 'Birds of Prey' movie reveals Harley Quinn voted for Sanders MORE and Rep. Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchA disaster for diplomacy and the Zionist dream Sanders endorses 9 progressive House candidates Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements MORE.

Among other presidential contenders, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegWill Bernie have to turn on his bros? Democratic rivals sharpen attacks as Bloomberg rises Now's a time to take a look at who's 'blooming' among Democrats MORE has six congressional endorsements, including one from Rep. Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterBiden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements House to vote Wednesday on sending articles of impeachment to Senate Cast and crew of 'Unbelievable' join lawmakers to advocate for reducing DNA, rape kit backlog MORE (D-N.H.), who is serving as a national campaign co-chair.

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He also secured an endorsement from Rep. Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownButtigieg, Klobuchar face uphill battle in pivot to diverse states Rep. Andy Kim to endorse Buttigieg Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements MORE (D-Md.), a CBC member, a critical one given persistent concerns about Buttigieg's lack of support among African American voters.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharWill Bernie have to turn on his bros? Democratic rivals sharpen attacks as Bloomberg rises Klobuchar says English should not be US national language, reversing from prior vote MORE (Minn.), who like Biden has run on a more moderate platform, so far has five endorsements, all hailing from her Minnesota delegation: Sen. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithDemocratic senators ask FDA to ban device used to shock disabled students Trump pick for Fed seat takes bipartisan fire Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements MORE and Reps. Betty McCollumBetty Louise McCollumBiden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements Let's prevent irreparable harm to an irreplaceable wilderness area Democrats secure fast-track to the floor for Canada-Mexico trade deal MORE, Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonSenate votes to acquit Trump on articles of impeachment Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements The Hill's Morning Report - Dems to lay out impeachment case to senators next week MORE, Angie Craig and Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsBloomberg builds momentum on Capitol Hill with new endorsements Vulnerable Democrats fret over surging Sanders Democrats tear into Trump's speech: It was a 'MAGA rally' MORE.

Former New York City mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergUnion leader: Bloomberg can go all the way Democratic rivals sharpen attacks as Bloomberg rises A Trump supporter's defense of Michael Bloomberg MORE has also picked up endorsements from four House Democrats in recent days, and former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyLobbying world The Hill's Campaign Report: Four-way sprint to Iowa finish line John Delaney drops out of presidential race, Krystal and Saagar react MORE (Md.) has two endorsements despite his consistently low standing in the polls.

But four Democratic presidential candidates -- Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSanders calls James Carville 'a political hack' As many as eight GOP senators expected to vote to curb Trump's power to attack Iran The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE (Colo.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSanders leads Biden in latest Nevada poll Yang: NYC should implement universal basic income The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE (Hawaii), Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerA Trump supporter's defense of Michael Bloomberg The Hill's Campaign Report: New challenges for 2020 Dems in Nevada, South Carolina Biden's lead shrinks in South Carolina as Sanders climbs to second: poll MORE and Andrew YangAndrew YangMore accusers come forward after Evelyn Yang breaks silence on alleged assault by OBGYN Sanders leads Biden in latest Nevada poll Moderate Democrats now in a race against the clock MORE -- have yet to earn a congressional endorsement.