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Photos: Joe Raedle/Getty Images; Scott Olson/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg endorsed Joe Biden in Dallas Monday night, further narrowing the Democratic field's group of moderates in the former vice president's favor.

The state of play: The two spoke on the phone Sunday evening after the former South Bend mayor announced his departure from the race. With Amy Klobuchar also dropping out and planning to endorse Biden at Monday's rally in Dallas, the race is now down to four major candidates — Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg.

Between the lines: The optics of Klobuchar and Buttigieg on the same stage — after the two candidates relentlessly attacked each other at debates — helps turn the moderates' unifying message into a real narrative.

  • That being said, earning endorsements was never Biden's weakness. He's racked up more Democratic Party endorsements than any other candidate, including one from former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid earlier on Monday.

The big picture: Biden's team also wants to use its own momentum via a post-South Carolina fundraising boost to score significant victories on Super Tuesday.

  • The Biden team feels like "a clear choice" is emerging between him and Bernie Sanders, according to a campaign aide.
  • His closing argument ahead of Super Tuesday will focus on the idea that voters don't desire a political revolution — a key refrain of the Sanders campaign — and instead want results.
  • People close to Biden's team think he should keep pushing a message that "progressive" means progress, centering the campaign's argument ahead of Super Tuesday on the idea that Biden can get things done while Bernie can't.

The bottom line: This development isn't a total surprise, as Buttigieg's speech after dropping out sounded a lot like what Biden has been saying — and signaled a desire for the party to coalesce around a more moderate candidate.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

5 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.