Klobuchar to drop out, endorse Biden

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: Stagwell President Mark Penn says Trump is losing on fighting the virus; Fauci says U.S. 'going in the wrong direction' in fight against virus Hillicon Valley: Facebook takes down 'boogaloo' network after pressure | Election security measure pulled from Senate bill | FCC officially designating Huawei, ZTE as threats Democrats, voting rights groups pressure Senate to approve mail-in voting resources MORE (D-Minn.) will end her presidential campaign on Monday and endorse Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign raised M more than Trump in the month of June RNC, Trump campaign raised 1M in June Michigan shuts down most indoor bar service in bid to prevent virus resurgence 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 ButtigiegDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights Democrats debate Biden effort to expand map against Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems, GOP dig in on police reform ahead of House vote 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 SandersHickenlooper beats back progressive challenge in Colorado primary Progressive groups urge Biden to tap Warren as running mate Young Turks host says Elizabeth Warren should be Biden's VP pick 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 TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE in November.

Another candidate, billionaire activist Tom SteyerTom SteyerThe Hill's Campaign Report: Jacksonville mandates face coverings as GOP convention approaches Steyer endorses Markey in Massachusetts Senate primary Celebrities fundraise for Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary 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 ClintonRepublican Nicole Malliotakis wins New York primary to challenge Max Rose Trump's evangelical approval dips, but remains high How Obama can win back millions of Trump voters for Biden 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 BloombergWake up, America — see what's coming Bloomberg urges court to throw out lawsuit by former campaign staffers Former Obama Ebola czar Ron Klain says White House's bad decisions have put US behind many other nations on COVID-19; Fears of virus reemergence intensify 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.