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Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements

Biden leads 2020 pack in congressional endorsements
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Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Senate approves two energy regulators, completing panel Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race 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 WarrenBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Warren, Brown voice support for controversial Biden budget office pick Biden's economic team gets mixed reviews from Senate Republicans MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden budget pick sparks battle with GOP Senate Overnight Defense: Defense bill among Congress's year-end scramble | Iranian scientist's assassination adds hurdles to Biden's plan on nuclear deal | Navy scrapping USS Bonhomme Richard after fire Biden faces new Iran challenges after nuclear scientist killed 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 HarrisWho will replace Harris in Senate? 'Rising' discusses Wisconsin formally declares Biden won election following recount Moderate Democrats: Everyone's older siblings 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 WilsonFive House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Lobbying world Harris calls it 'outrageous' Trump downplayed coronavirus 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 TrumpGeraldo Rivera on Trump sowing election result doubts: 'Enough is enough now' Murkowski: Trump should concede White House race Scott Atlas resigns as coronavirus adviser to Trump 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 PressleyGOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' Pelosi faces caucus divisions in Biden era Record number of Black women elected to Congress in 2020 MORE, except for three who have yet to endorse anyone and a fourth, Rep. Stephen LynchStephen Francis LynchOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Top general negative for coronavirus, Pentagon chief to get tested after Trump result l Top House lawmakers launch investigation into Pentagon redirecting COVID-19 funds Top House lawmakers launch investigation into Pentagon redirecting COVID-19 funds Overnight Defense: Pentagon redirects pandemic funding to defense contractors | US planning for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May | Anti-Trump GOP group puts ads in military papers MORE, who has backed Biden.

She also secured an endorsement this past week from Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinDemocrats debate fate of Trump probes if Biden wins Congress must repeal tax breaks for the wealthy passed in CARES Act COVID-19 and the problem of presidential succession 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-CortezModerate Democrats: Everyone's older siblings Ocasio-Cortez raises 0K to fight food and housing insecurity during video game battle Club for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarMeet the three Democrats who could lead foreign affairs in the House Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' MORE (Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks GOP congresswoman-elect wants to form Republican 'Squad' called 'The Force' 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 PocanCapitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview Katherine Clark secures No. 4 leadership spot for House Democrats Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election MORE (Wis.) and Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalInequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift Biden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Democrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks 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 LeahyIncoming Congress looks more like America The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump OKs transition; Biden taps Treasury, State experience Durbin seeks to become top-ranking Democrat on Judiciary panel MORE and Rep. Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchDemocrats to determine leaders after disappointing election Shakespeare Theatre Company goes virtual for 'Will on the Hill...or Won't They?' Vermont Rep. Peter Welch easily wins primary MORE.

Among other presidential contenders, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegJuan Williams: Clyburn is my choice as politician of the year 'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' MORE has six congressional endorsements, including one from Rep. Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterDemocrats to determine leaders after disappointing election Pelosi seeks to put pressure on GOP in COVID-19 relief battle Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race 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 BrownHouse Democrats back slower timeline for changing Confederate base names OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Esper reportedly working with lawmakers to strip Confederate names from bases | Enemy attacks in Afghanistan jump by 50 percent, watchdog says | Fort Hood soldier arrested, charged in Chelsea Cheatham killing Esper, amid resignation talk, reportedly working with lawmakers to strip Confederate names from bases 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 KlobucharHillicon Valley: YouTube suspends OANN amid lawmaker pressure | Dems probe Facebook, Twitter over Georgia runoff | FCC reaffirms ZTE's national security risk Democrats urge YouTube to remove election misinformation, step up efforts ahead of Georgia runoff YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation 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 SmithSenate majority battle snags Biden Cabinet hopefuls Smith wins reelection in Minnesota Democrats expand Senate map, putting GOP on defense MORE and Reps. Betty McCollumBetty Louise McCollumOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden eyes new leadership at troubled public lands agency | House progressives tout their growing numbers in the chamber at climate rally | Trump administration pushes for rollback of Arctic offshore drilling regulations Disagreements are a part of our process OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump extends Florida offshore drilling pause, expands it to Georgia, South Carolina | Democrats probe Park Service involvement in GOP convention | Sanders attacks 'corporate welfare' to coal industry included in relief package MORE, Collin PetersonCollin Clark PetersonDemocrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? A louder voice for women everywhere Former Minnesota Democratic leader quits party MORE, Angie Craig and Dean PhillipsDean PhillipsChamber-endorsed Dems struggle on election night If we want change, young people have to do more than protest Pelosi and Trump go a full year without speaking MORE.

Former New York City mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergBiden's great challenge: Build an economy for long-term prosperity and security The secret weapon in Biden's fight against climate change Sanders celebrates Biden-Harris victory: 'Thank God democracy won out' MORE has also picked up endorsements from four House Democrats in recent days, and former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE (Md.) has two endorsements despite his consistently low standing in the polls.

But four Democratic presidential candidates -- Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetOvernight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases Bipartisan Senate group holding coronavirus relief talks amid stalemate Democratic senators urge Facebook to take action on anti-Muslim bigotry MORE (Colo.), Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardSix people whose election wins made history Next Congress expected to have record diversity Native Americans elected to Congress in record numbers this year MORE (Hawaii), Tom SteyerTom SteyerBiden Cabinet picks largely unify Democrats — so far Late donor surges push election spending projections to new heights New voters surge to the polls MORE and Andrew YangAndrew YangGroups seek to get Black vote out for Democrats in Georgia runoffs Media and Hollywood should stop their marching-to-Georgia talk Andrew Yang: Democrats need to adopt message that government is 'working for them' MORE -- have yet to earn a congressional endorsement.