Biden picks up teachers union endorsement

Biden picks up teachers union endorsement
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The American Federation of Teachers endorsed former Vice President 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 in the Democratic presidential race, the union announced Sunday. 

“From the beginning, our endorsement process and ultimate decision was guided by three principles: finding a candidate who shares our values, who has a clear path to victory, and who enjoys the support of a clear majority of our members,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in an announcement. “That time has come, and that candidate is Joe Biden.”

Internal polling conducted by Hart Research on behalf of AFT shows a majority of Democratic members of AFT said they support Biden over his rival 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.). 

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The poll found 61 percent of Democratic members said they support Biden, compared to 29 percent that said they support Sanders. Among independents who said they vote in Democratic primaries, Biden had 50 percent support from members and Sanders had 37 percent support, based on the same poll. 

Biden shares AFT values on issues including investing in public education, college affordability, fixing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, fixing the healthcare system, and prioritizing clean energy and environmental justice, Weingarten said. 

“Before the COVID-19 epidemic, the 2020 election was about the soul of our country. Now it’s about our soul, our safety, our health, our security and our economic well-being. Joe Biden is the experienced and empathic leader our country needs right now,” Weingarten said. 

“His character was forged getting up and going to work every day and trying to make life better for his family, facing the ups and downs so many of us face; it was tested by unspeakable loss and grief in life; and it was nurtured through public service, a love of people and the belief in the dignity of every human,” she added. 

The union represents 1.7 million educators, healthcare professionals and public employees across more than 3,000 localities. 

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Weingarten had previously announced her personal endorsement for Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon 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-Mass.) who has since dropped out of the race. 

Biden has a commanding lead in the race, building on wins since his South Carolina primary win at the end of February. 

Sanders’s campaign manager said Wednesday the campaign would reassess in the coming weeks after Biden won sweeping victories Tuesday in Arizona, Florida and Illinois primaries.