Biden nabs endorsement from Iowa Democrat in swing district

Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa) is backing Joe Biden's White House bid, giving the former vice president a sought-after endorsement and becoming the second member of Iowa's congressional delegation to back him ahead of the state's caucuses.

Axne is a moderate freshman lawmaker who flipped a GOP-held district in the 2018 midterms, helping Democrats retake the House. She said she is backing Biden because she believes he can unify the country and defeat President Trump in November.

"As a former businesswoman who represents a swing district in Iowa, I believe we need a Democratic nominee who not only has the vision to rebuild our alliances and strengthen our middle class, but who can win in November - which is why I'm proud to endorse Joe Biden for President," Axne said in a statement released by Biden's campaign.

"Joe is a man of honor and dignity, who has the strength and courage to bring people together and deliver results for working families across Iowa and the country. He is someone who appeals not only to Democrats, but to independents and Republicans as well," she added. 

The endorsement comes just more than a week before the crucial Iowa caucuses, where Biden is hoping to win over the same moderate voters who sent Axne to Washington in 2018.

Axne joins Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), another freshman who flipped a Republican district in the midterms, in backing Biden.

Both women represent swing districts that are rated toss-ups by The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper.

Biden's campaign has worked hard to win the endorsements of high-profile Iowa figures, including Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor and onetime U.S. secretary of Agriculture, his wife, Christie Vilsack, and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller (D), among others. 

Biden is making his final pitch to Iowa voters in the days leading up to the caucuses, barnstorming the Hawkeye State this weekend with Finkenauer and freshman Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (Pa.) and Colin Allred (Texas), two other front-line lawmakers who also flipped Republican districts in 2018.

Polling shows a tightly packed top tier in Iowa, with the RealClearPolitics average showing Biden with a slim lead over Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.