Klobuchar to drop out, endorse Biden

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Minn.) will end her presidential campaign on Monday and endorse Joe BidenJoe BidenFighting a virus with the wrong tools Trump bucks business on Defense Production Act Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing MORE, according to three people familiar with the plans, the latest sign that the Democratic primary field’s moderate hopefuls are beginning to coalesce behind the former vice president.

The Minnesota senator will join Biden at a rally in Dallas on Monday night where she is expected to suspend her campaign and throw her support behind the former vice president.

Klobuchar’s decision came two days after she finished in a distant sixth place in the South Carolina primary and less than 24 hours after another moderate hopeful, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE dropped out of the race.

Buttigieg is also expected to endorse Biden, according to a source close to the former vice president’s campaign, signaling that moderates are coalescing behind Biden at a time when Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Overnight Energy: Court upholds Trump repeal of Obama fracking rule | Oil price drop threatens fracking boom | EPA eases rules on gasoline sales amid coronavirus The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders pushes on in 2020 race MORE (I-Vt.) is emerging as the front-runner in the race after wins in New Hampshire and Nevada and a virtual tie in Iowa.

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Her decision to drop out came just a day before Super Tuesday, when her home state of Minnesota will hold its primary.

Despite garnering national attention and praise for her primary debate performances, the Minnesota senator never managed to break into the top tier of candidates in polls and often lagged behind the race’s front-runners in fundraising. Her best showing in the nominating contest was in New Hampshire, where she scored a third-place finish.

Klobuchar’s decision to end her campaign comes amid mounting anxiety among some Democrats, who fear that the primary field’s crowded centrist lane would split the support of moderate voters, paving the way for Sanders to clinch the nomination.

But Biden’s outsize victory in the South Carolina primary on Saturday is turning into a clarifying moment in the Democratic nominating contest. Klobuchar and Buttigieg both saw weak support from black voters in the state, raising questions about their ability to build the kind of diverse coalition a candidate would need, not only to win the nomination, but to defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE in November.

Another candidate, billionaire activist Tom SteyerTom SteyerProgressive advocates propose T 'green stimulus' plan Candidates want data privacy rules, except for their own campaigns Budowsky: Biden should pull together a 'dream team of rivals' MORE, also ended his campaign on Saturday after a distant third-place finish in South Carolina where he spent heavily in advertisements.

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Neither Buttigieg nor Klobuchar were particularly well positioned heading into Super Tuesday, though Klobuchar had hoped to notch at least one win in her home state of Minnesota — a state Sanders carried in his 2016 primary bid against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton on US leading in coronavirus cases: Trump 'did promise "America First"' Democratic fears rise again as coronavirus pushes Biden to sidelines Clintons send pizza to NY hospital staff treating coronavirus MORE.

But her fate in Minnesota was not as clear-cut as she had hoped. Recent polls showed her with a single-digit lead over Sanders, and the Vermont senator is slated to travel to St. Paul on Monday night for a rally in a sign that he is hoping to compete on Klobuchar’s home turf.

With Klobuchar’s exit, the moderate lane of the primary field is down to two major candidates, Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFormer Bloomberg staffer seeks class-action lawsuit over layoffs Bloomberg spent over 0M on presidential campaign The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE, who declined to compete in the first four nominating contests and will appear on the ballot for the first time on Tuesday.

— Julia Manchester and Al Weaver contributed to this report.

— Updated at 2:14 p.m.