Mar 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Kirsten Gillibrand endorses Joe Biden

Photo: Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand endorsed former Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: She's the 13th former Democratic candidate to endorse Biden, who has a large delegate lead and only one remaining opponent in Sen. Bernie Sanders. Gillibrand dropped out in August after struggling to gain traction in the crowded primary field.

  • Gillibrand told the Post: "He’s the absolute best candidate to defeat President Trump, and I think he is the person who has gained the trust and the respect of the American people in a way that no one else has."

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Joe Biden wins the endorsement of the National Education Association

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a March 8 campaign event in Tougaloo, Mississippi. Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was endorsed by the National Education Association Saturday night.

Why it matters: The endorsement by the largest labor union in the United States comes the night before the former vice president's Democratic presidential debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders in CNN's Washington studio, which will take place with no live audience as a preventative measure against the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Debate night: Sanders and Biden go head-to-head

Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images.

Sunday's Democratic debate was the primary season's first one-on-one match, with former Vice President Joe Biden taking on Sen. Bernie Sanders on the coronavirus, the "political revolution," women's health, climate, the rise of authoritarianism around the world and minority voter support.

Why it matters: It could be the last primary debate of the 2020 election. Biden is significantly leading in delegates and poised to do well in upcoming nominating contests. He's also adopted more progressive policies from Sanders and former 2020 contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren to draw in their supporters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 16, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Biden: "Not the time" to call for Sanders to drop out

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders at the March Democratic debate. Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden was asked by an attendee at a virtual fundraiser tonight whether he had any updates on Bernie Sanders' campaign and if he's going to drop out.

  • What they're saying: "Now’s not the time for me or anyone to call for him to drop out," Biden said. "I know firsthand what a personal decision that is."

Why it matters: If Biden becomes the nominee, he'll need Sanders to do everything he can to help him win — and that'll be a lot easier if he's hands-off about whether and how Sanders exits the race.