Biden picks up another high profile endorsement in Iowa as voting nears

DES MOINES, Iowa: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden picked up another high profile endorsement on Saturday in Iowa, where the partys nominating contest kicks off in nine days, after US congresswoman Cindy Axne said she was backing the former vice president.

Axne, a freshman US lawmaker and moderate, is the latest in a slew of big-name endorsements for Biden in Iowa which could have an impact on undecided voters as caucus day nears on Feb 3. Two former Iowa Democratic governors, Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver, have backed Biden, as has another US House member, congresswoman Abby Finkenauer.

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Biden has risen in the polls in Iowa in the past fortnight, and is now ahead in the state or statistically tied with US Senator Bernie Sanders, a liberal from Vermont, according to polls. The race is still unpredictable and Iowa is well known for late shifts in voter sentiment.

Axne, a businesswoman who represents Iowas 3rd congressional district, which includes rural areas and the state capital Des Moines, said the priority in Novembers general election was defeating Republican President Donald Trump and Biden was best equipped to do that.

“Joe is a man of honour and dignity. He is someone who appeals not only to Democrats, but to independents and Republicans as well. Iowans know that he will be ready on day one to lead this country,” Axne said in a statement released by Bidens campaign.

The Iowa caucuses will be the first test between moderates and progressives in the Democratic battle to pick a nominee to take on Trump.

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