Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP/ Getty Images

Former President Obama has refrained from endorsing any of the Democratic primary candidates, but that hasn't stopped a slew of the 2020 contenders from invoking the president's image in their campaign ads, Politico reports.

Why it matters: “It’s the perfect visual validation. Voters can recognize Barack Obama in a nano-second,” Eric Jaye, Democratic political consultant told Politico. “Obama might as well be on Mt. Rushmore for Democrats. It’s so powerful and instantaneous.”

The state of play: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, billionaires Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer have all aired ads depicting Obama.

  • Five new ads featuring Obama aired the week of the Iowa caucus in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, per Politico.
  • Most of the ads show Obama mentioning the candidates by name, while others just flash a photo of the 44th president.
  • Biden was the first candidate to highlight his relationship with Obama. One ad uses audio from when Obama awarded Biden the Medal of Freedom.
  • Bloomberg paid more than $1.2 million to have his Obama TV ad air in over 70 markets — more than any other candidate, Politico notes.

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Campaigning for Joe Biden at a car rally in Miami on Saturday, Barack Obama railed against President Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying "the rest of us have to live with the consequences of what he's done."

Driving the news: With less than two weeks before the election, the Biden campaign is drawing on the former president's popularity with Democrats to drive turnout and motivate voters.

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said Saturday that she'll vote to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on Monday, despite her opposition to the process that's recently transpired.

The big picture: Murkowski's decision leaves Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) as the only Republican expected to vote against Barrett.