Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg will endorse former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday night in a bid to give Biden’s campaign a boost ahead of an all-important “Super Tuesday,” several outlets reported Monday.
Ballots cast on Tuesday will determine how more than a third of delegates vote at the Democratic National Convention in July. CNN first reported on Buttigieg’s forthcoming endorsement, followed by Reuters and the Associated Press. Like Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the reports indicate Buttigieg will endorse Biden at Biden’s rally in Dallas Monday evening.
The Buttigieg endorsement comes at a crucial time for Biden. After disappointing finishes in the first three states to vote and the surge of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Biden’s landslide win in South Carolina Saturday reset the scorecard.
Now, with Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s help, Biden will seek to make the case Tuesday that he’s the sole viable opposition to Sanders. That could increase pressure on other candidates — namely Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg — to drop out.
Almost all of Buttigieg’s support came from one demographic group: White voters.
“Biden needs to expand his support amongst white voters, and Buttigieg’s vote was almost entirely white,” Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, told TPM. “So that does open up another block of voters, potentially, to Biden.”
“Places that are largely white where Biden’s struggling, this could really help him, because there are just fewer options for voters,” he added.
The Buttigieg endorsement may not help Biden much in decreasing Sanders’ vote count on Tuesday — a small but not inconsiderable number of Buttigieg voters had Sanders as their second choice.
But Buttigieg could help boost Biden in coastal Super Tuesday states, where voters may have been split between Buttigieg and, for example, Elizabeth Warren.
A large cohort of Buttigieg’s support came from these “Gen X and older, college-educated moderates and progressives,” the polling director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics, John Della Volpe, told TPM.
The Buttigieg endorsement of Biden could help the former vice president “with that Massachusetts-California Warren voter, the 45-55 year old college-educated professional,” Della Volpe said.