WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A popular Democratic congresswoman from Iowa endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential bid on Thursday, a move that could help him gain backing in the state weeks before voters there hold the first nominating contest.
U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer became one of the first women elected to Congress from Iowa when she won a seat in the state during the 2018 midterm elections. Elected at 29 years old, she is also one of the youngest women in Congress.
Iowa holds caucuses in about a month, the first test before voters for the remaining field of 15 Democratic presidential hopefuls vying to become their party’s nominee to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in November 2020.
Biden is currently in third place in public opinion polls in Iowa, trailing former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, according to an average of polls by Real Clear Politics.
“Joe Biden’s character, record, and commitment to rebuilding the backbone of the country — the middle class — is what Iowa and this country needs,” Finkenhauer said in a statement announcing the endorsement. “Across the country, and especially in Iowa, too many families are being left behind by our current president.”
Endorsements in the past have proven to carry considerable weight in Iowa, although in recent national elections they have frequently proven to be less consequential. But for any candidate, finishing in the top three in Iowa is likely to provided a needed boost as attention then turns to the early states of New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
Reporting by Ginger Gibson, Editing by William Maclean