Mar 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Rev. Jesse Jackson endorses Bernie Sanders

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Civil rights activist and former Democratic presidential candidate Rev. Jesse Jackson endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday.

Why it matters: Jackson's endorsement is the kind of boost Sanders needs as he looks to slow the momentum of Joe Biden, whose surge in South Carolina and on Super Tuesday was driven largely by black voters.

What he's saying: In a statement Sunday, Jackson listed 13 reasons why he's supporting Sanders, including the senator's support for national voting rights, a civil rights commission, a wealth tax, funding for HBCUs, a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel, and a single-payer health care system.

  • Jackson, who clashed with Biden when the two Democrats ran for president in 1988, said that the former vice president's campaign did not reach out to him or ask for his support.

Between the lines: Jackson will appear with Sanders at an event in Grand Rapids on Sunday, two days before Michigan holds its Democratic primary, where 125 delegates are up for grabs.

  • A Biden win in Michigan, where Sanders won a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016, could be the knockout blow for the Vermont senator's campaign.
  • Of note: Sanders endorsed Jackson's campaign during the 1988 presidential election, saying the civil rights leader "has done more than any other candidate in living memory to bring together the disenfranchised."

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The big question for Bernie Sanders after Tuesday night's losses: Is there a path back to the Democratic nomination, or is Joe Biden's trajectory unstoppable?

The state of play: Notably, Sanders did not comment on the results. Pressure ramped up on him to concede and Biden carefully began to turn his remarks to the general election after extending his delegate lead in "Super Tuesday 2," with wins in Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri and Idaho.

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Joe Biden projected to win Michigan Democratic primary

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Former Vice President Joe Biden is the projected winner of the Democratic presidential primary in Michigan, the biggest contest of the night, according to multiple media outlets.

Why it matters: Bernie Sanders' loss in a state that chose him over Hillary Clinton four years ago goes beyond a symbolic blow — with the potential to hand Biden a significant delegate lead.

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Bernie Sanders said at a press conference Wednesday that he will not suspend his presidential campaign after a second consecutive week of bruising primary losses to Joe Biden, telling reporters that he looks forward to Sunday's one-on-one debate.

Why it matters: Sanders' path to the nomination narrowed significantly after Biden built up his delegate lead in most of the states that voted Tuesday — including the key prize of Michigan, where Sanders' surprise win over Hillary Clinton in 2016 gave him a needed boost of momentum.