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Buttigieg picks up Iowa congressman’s endorsement ahead of caucuses

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg picked up an endorsement from long-time Iowa Rep. Dave Loebsack (D) on Sunday, less than a month ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. 

The seven-term congressman touted Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., as a Washington outsider who can help unite the nation. 

“Pete offers a new kind of leadership that we desperately need –– he’s a midwestern mayor, a veteran, and is from a new generation,” Loebsack said in a statement.

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“Iowans and our country face great challenges like climate change, increasing health care costs, and an economy that isn’t working for the majority of Americans. They can’t be solved with the same political warfare that is on display in Washington,” he added. “Pete is the candidate that can heal our divides, restore decency to the presidency, and bring this country together. “

 

Buttigieg is in the top four candidates in Iowa, based on a recent Des Moines Register/CNN poll, which is widely considered the most authoritative survey in the state. Friday’s poll showed Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the lead with 20 percent support from likely Democratic caucusgoers, but the top candidates are closely bunched together with. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) trails Sanders at 17 percent, former Vice President Joe Biden is in the third spot at 16 percent, and Buttigieg is fourth at 15 percent based on the poll of 701 likely Democratic caucusgoers. The poll has a margin of error of 3.67 percentage points. 

The four top candidates will be on the stage Tuesday in Iowa for the last debate ahead of the Feb. 3 caucuses. They will be joined by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Tom Steyer.

Loebsack’s endorsement comes after fellow Iowa House Democrat, Rep. Abby Finkenauer, announced she would be backing Biden in the presidential race. Finkenauer, a freshman lawmaker who flipped a GOP seat in 2018, was the first lawmaker from Iowa’s congressional delegation to back a 2020 candidate

Iowa’s third House Democrat, Rep. Cindy Axne, has not endorsed a candidate in the race. 

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