Former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, the leader of Nevada's Democratic political machine, has endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president.
Reid announced the endorsement this morning, marking the first time in the 2020 election cycle that he'd publicly favored a candidate. The former Senate majority leader had demurred on an endorsement during the lead-up to the Feb. 22 Nevada caucuses, and publicly cast an uncommitted ballot in the state's early voting cycle.
The endorsement comes as Biden is experiencing a bump in stature in the race following his victory this past weekend in the South Carolina primary. Many of Biden's moderate rivals have dropped out of the race, such as former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, leaving Biden a clearer pathway to emerge as the alternative to the more progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
In a statement, Reid said Biden possessed the ability to form the most diverse coalition of voters in the Democratic field, which Reid said would be necessary to defeat President Donald Trump.
"Joe Biden’s strength of character and deep experience stand in the starkest contrast to Trump’s amorality, corruption and utter incompetence," Reid said in a statement. "Biden will be a much-needed stabilizing force following Trump’s disastrous term, offering a positive and progressive alternative to Trump’s dark vision of racism, xenophobia and policies built on cruelty and exclusion. I believe Biden is best able to defeat Donald Trump and enact the policies we all care about."
Biden performed poorly in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, and he came in second in the Nevada caucuses with around 20% of the vote compared to Sanders’s almost 47%. Biden had identified South Carolina, the first state with a majority of African American voters in the Democratic electorate, as his campaign’s firewall, and it held. Biden came in a strong first, finishing with over 48% of the vote.
Reid, in his statement, touted the state of the 2020 Democratic field.
“I have the deepest respect and admiration for Sens. Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar and Mayor Bloomberg,” Reid said. “They’re among the brightest leaders in our party, and they’ve made invaluable contributions to this race and our country.”