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Biden addresses voters in Iowa. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign is sending Hispanic, black, and Asia-Pacific-American members of Congress to Iowa next week as surrogates to help him make his closing argument to voters before the February caucuses.

The state of play: One of those surrogates, Rep. Ami Bera of California, tells Axios he'll focus on two points: Reminding voters how Biden campaigned in 2018 for several freshman Democrats who flipped GOP seats, and making the case that Biden's health care plan is better than rivals'.

  • Bera is a doctor, Congress' longest-serving Indian-American member and co-chair of a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee program to help the party keep competitive seats.

In a telephone interview, Bera suggested Biden is the best poised to help down-ballot Democrats in competitive districts. "When we think about who’d be the [2020] candidate that would give them the biggest boost, far and away it’s Joe Biden," he said.

Why it matters: Nine in 10 Iowans are white, but the campaign believes that showing the broad diversity of Biden's coalition can help to lock down support from voters before the caucuses — and cement the idea that Biden has the best shot at beating President Trump.

  • Biden is at 23% in Iowa, per a recent CBS/YouGov poll. That puts him in a three-way tie with Sen. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.
  • "We all represent different aspects of the Democratic caucus and the broad diversity of our caucus," Bera said. "Iowa is white, but there are pockets of Asian Americans in Des Moines, and it’s important not to take any voter for granted."
  • Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, the former Congressional Black Caucus chairman, and Rep. Lou Correa, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, are campaigning for Biden, too.

These surrogates are traveling around Iowa as part of the Biden campaign's broader "We Know Joe" bus tour.

  • Former Secretary of State John Kerry will highlight Biden's decades of experience with foreign policy, contrasting that with Trump amid the conflict with Iran.
  • State representatives from Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Florida also will be in Iowa on Biden's behalf, as well as Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta.

Go deeper

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18 mins ago - Economy & Business

Pandemic concerns change economic growth forecast

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Business economists have tempered their 2021 growth expectations, cutting nearly a point off their annual GDP forecast since earlier this year, according to the NABE outlook survey released today.

Why it matters: This reflects increased concerns over the pandemic's impact on the economy, particularly due to the spread of Delta and other variants. Panelists said that a faster vaccine rollout could improve their outlooks.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

German election: Social Democrats narrowly beat Angela Merkel's bloc

SPD leader Olaf Scholz. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

BERLIN — The center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP) clinched a narrow victory in Germany's historic federal elections on Sunday, just four years after suffering its worst loss since World War II.

Why it matters: It's a stunning political comeback for the SPD, paving the way for its chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz to form a new governing coalition and lead Europe's largest economy into the post-Merkel era.

NTSB investigating deadly Amtrak derailment in Montana

Photo: Jacob Cordeiro/Twitter

National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived on Sunday evening at the site of an Amtrak train derailment near Joplin, Montana, which authorities said killed three people and wounded some 50 others.

The big picture: 141 passengers and 16 crew members were on the Empire Builder train, traveling from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, Oregon, when eight of the 10 cars derailed about 4p.m. Saturday, per an Amtrak statement.