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Top liberal group endorses Sanders for president

Top liberal group endorses Sanders for president
© Greg Nash

The progressive group Democracy for America (DFA) endorsed Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice' On The Money: Biden .5T budget proposes major hike in social programs | GOP bashes border, policing provisions Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists MORE for president on Monday, giving the Vermont senator a key ally in the fight for the Democratic presidential nomination.

DFA had been on the sidelines, saying it was supportive of both Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOn The Money: Biden .5T budget proposes major hike in social programs | GOP bashes border, policing provisions Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists POW/MIA flag moved back atop White House MORE (D-Mass.), the two candidates in the Democratic primary most closely associated with the progressive left.

But DFA surveyed its members during an 11-day voting period in February and found that nearly 80 percent of its members support Sanders, easily surpassing the 67 percent threshold the group uses to determine whether it will endorse. Warren received 13 percent of the vote.

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“Bernie Sanders has built a powerful multi-racial, multi-generational movement and we’re excited to join the campaign at this critical moment in the Democratic race,” said DFA Chairman Charles Chamberlain. “From Super Tuesday to the Democratic Convention in Milwaukee, we’ll be working every day to make sure Bernie wins the most votes, the most delegates, and the most states nationwide to become the Democratic nominee and defeat Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHarry Reid reacts to Boehner book excerpt: 'We didn't mince words' Man arrested for allegedly threatening to stab undercover Asian officer in NYC Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech MORE in November.”

This is only the second time DFA has endorsed in a presidential primary.

The group also backed Sanders in 2016, helping him raise more than $2 million, organizing 119,000 volunteer shifts that contributed to the campaign knocking on 5 million doors and making 11 million phone calls.

DFA staffers also worked out of the Sanders campaign headquarters, helping to train volunteers or appearing as surrogates in the media.

The endorsement this year comes as Sanders has galvanized the left and topped Warren in each of the first four states to vote.

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Sanders is the favorite to win the Democratic nomination at the moment, but he faces a new challenge from former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden eyes bigger US role in global vaccination efforts Trump says GOP will take White House in 2024 in prepared speech Kemp: Pulling All-Star game out of Atlanta will hurt business owners of color MORE, who electrified moderate Democrats over the weekend with a thunderous victory in the South Carolina primary.

The money and endorsements are flowing into the Biden campaign as voters in 14 states prepare to head to the polls for this cycle’s Super Tuesday.

Sanders is in a strong position, leading in California and Texas, the two biggest states to vote on Tuesday.

When a fight broke out among progressives earlier this year after Warren accused Sanders of telling her that a woman could not win the White House, DFA worked to keep the left unified, spearheading an agreement among liberal groups that they’d back either Sanders or Warren over the candidates from the “corporate wing” of the party.

DFA said it’s still committed to “focusing its fire in the fight for the Democratic nomination on candidates supported by the corporate wing.”

“The overwhelming support for Bernie we saw in our member vote should be a wake-up call to the broken, visionless, corporate Democratic establishment,” Chamberlain said. “Americans want fundamental change in Washington, not a return to the status quo.”