Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary race Monday and will reportedly endorse former Vice President Joe Biden as the party's centrist establishment consolidates against Sen. Bernie Sanders, the progressive front-runner who has won three of the four contests in the race thus far and appears set to perform well in the 14 states that vote on March 3, Super Tuesday.
"They're desperate to stop Bernie," tweeted The Young Turks reporter Emma Vigeland.
As Common Dreams reported, Klobuchar was forced to cancel a rally in the Minneapolis area Sunday night after Black Lives Matter activists and other demonstrators flooded the stage to demand justice for Myon Burrell, whose conviction in a case overseen by Klobuchar is today widely seen as in error after the Associated Press in January published an investigation into the case.
Despite receiving a split endorsement, along with Warren, from the New York Times and the backing of other institutions, Klobuchar struggled to gain traction in the race outside of better-than-expected performances in Iowa and New Hampshire.
As AP reported:
Klobuchar couldn't match her top competitors in fundraising. She raised about $11 million in the last quarter of 2019—roughly half of what Sanders and Buttigieg received. The lack of finances early on in the campaign meant Klobuchar wasn't able to expand her operation on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire until months after her rivals. She then scrambled to put an operation in place in Nevada, South Carolina and the 14 states that will vote on Super Tuesday.
The senator plans to fly to Dallas tonight to officially endorse Biden at a campaign event. While she is there, Sanders will hold a "large-scale rally" in St. Paul. Sanders and Klobuchar were close in polling in the state but the Minnesota senator's departure from the race could ensure a Sanders win.
Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigiegwho dropped out of the race this weeekend, also reportedly plans to endorse Biden.
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In a tweet, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir cast doubt on the assumption Biden would do better against President Donald Trump in a general election than Sanders.
"Biden doesn't have the record, vision, excitement, coalition that Bernie does," said Shakir. "We need to do more than just defeat Trump. We need progressive change."
Progressives have called on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whose campaign has emphasized her progressive positions, to drop out and endorse Sanders.
With Amy Klobuchar out, the progressives are now officially more divided (by the numbers of candidates!) than the moderates. https://t.co/zIHBkCAfIg— Holly Otterbein (@hollyotterbein) March 2, 2020
Warren has underperformed in the race, placing no higher than third in the four contests thus far, and appears set to lose her home state to Sanders by double digits.
"At this point Warren remaining in the race splits the progressive vote and hurts Sanders," said journalist Rania Khalek. "If she stays in the race with no viable path, she will be remembered for this."
The Intercept's Mehdi Hasan wondered if Warren would get behind Sanders if the numbers held in the same way that Klobuchar and Buttigieg plan to for Biden.
"Key question: will Warren eventually do the same for the progressive side, to block Biden, if it is indeed a two-horse race come Wednesday morning?" said Hasan.