Politics

Joe Biden has racked up some big endorsements since he dominated in South Carolina

Key Points
  • More than a dozen politicians and other public figures have endorsed Biden in the days leading up to the 14-state primary election extravaganza, where more than 1,300 delegates are at stake.
  • The sudden swell of support from the Democratic establishment comes on the heels of Biden's blowout victory in South Carolina.
  • Biden, a prime target of President Donald Trump's ire, is expected to gain more endorsements, including from Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden is joined on stage by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) during a campaign event on March 2, 2020 in Dallas, Texas.
Ron Jenkins | Getty Images

How's this for Joe-mentum?

On the eve of Super Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign is rolling out a lengthy — and growing — list of new Democratic endorsements.

More than a dozen politicians and other public figures have endorsed Biden, 77, in the days leading up to the 14-state primary election extravaganza, where more than 1,300 delegates are at stake.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will endorse Biden on Monday, a spokesman confirmed to CNBC, just hours after she dropped out of the 2020 race. Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who ended his campaign a day earlier, was also reportedly preparing to endorse Biden before Super Tuesday.

Klobuchar and Buttigieg had been expected to join Biden at a rally in Dallas on Monday night. However, a Buttigieg campaign spokeswoman said he would not attend the rally, although the Democratic rising star did appear with Biden at another event. Texas is among the states holding primaries Tuesday.

Here are several of the big endorsements Biden locked up:

  • Harry Reid, former Nevada senator
  • Darrio Melton, mayor of Selma, Alabama
  • Bobby Scott, Virginia representative
  • Jennifer Wexton, Virginia representative
  • Don Beyer, Virginia representative
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida representative and former DNC chair
  • Greg Stanton, Arizona representative
  • Terry McAuliffe, former Virginia governor
  • Barbara Boxer, former California senator
  • Blanche Lincoln, former Arkansas senator
  • Jesse White, Illinois secretary of state
  • Betty Yee, California state controller
  • Walter Burnett, Chicago alderman
  • Carol Alvarado, Texas state senator
  • Billy Richardson, North Carolina state representative
  • Fred Guttenberg, Florida gun safety activist

The sudden swell of support from the Democratic establishment comes on the heels of Biden's blowout victory in South Carolina, which looks to have delivered the shot in the arm his campaign needed to remain competitive against current front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist.

"I think there's some momentum here," Biden told NBC News on Monday. "I think what people were waiting to see is, 'Well, Joe didn't do well in the first two [primary elections], I wonder whether the second two he could do well and what's going to happen now.'"

"I think that the win in South Carolina was consequential," Biden said. The former vice president and senator finished fourth in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire and second in Nevada.

Biden, who has been a prime target of President Donald Trump's ire throughout the primary campaign, is expected to gain more endorsements before polling centers open Tuesday.

Earlier this month, national polling aggregates showed Biden's once-steady lead deflating as rapidly as Sanders' popularity was rising. Biden's at-times fumbling debate performances, and his poor showings in the first two elections in Iowa and New Hampshire, contrasted with Sanders' wins in New Hampshire and Nevada.

Many Democratic strategists are quick to call Sanders a risky pick to become the Democratic nominee. His narrow base of support, they argue, may not extend to more moderate or conservative voters, and his candidacy could harm other Democrats down the ballot in November.

Sanders has even taken aim at the so-called Democratic establishment — a sure sign to his critics that he has less interest in coalition-building than in maintaining an ideologically pure political movement.

Biden's decades of Washington experience, including at the White House under President Barack Obama, and strong support with African American voters make him — on paper — a candidate with broader appeal.

But Biden carries risks, too. His opponents are quick to highlight his gaffes on the campaign trail, and he and his son have a central connection to Trump's impeachment in the Senate that is sure to be weaponized in a general election.

Rep. James Clyburn's endorsement last week was widely seen as a difference-making pickup for Biden, giving him an added boost among the high proportion of black voters in South Carolina.

"I know Joe. We know Joe. But most importantly, Joe knows us," said Clyburn, the House majority whip and top-ranking African American in that chamber. 

By the time nearly 100% of results were in, Biden had clinched about 48% of the vote in South Carolina.

VIDEO1:2901:29
Amy Klobuchar to end presidential bid, endorse Biden