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WATCH: Former 2020 Democrat Throws His Endorsement Behind Joe Biden, Explains Why He’s Got Best Shot

By  Molly Prince
Joe Biden gestures as he speaks during a town hall devoted to LGBTQ issues
Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) revealed on Wednesday that he is officially endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination to the presidency in 2020 after dropping out of the primary race only weeks earlier.

“I think this election for many, many Democrats, regardless of where you live, is about who can beat [President] Donald Trump,” Ryan said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And the key to that is who can beat Donald Trump in Michigan and Wisconsin and western Pennsylvania, in Ohio. And I am convinced that is Joe Biden.”

“I just think he is the person who has the sensibilities,” he continued. “We’ve got a lot of great candidates, but the touch with those blue collared workers that we have to have if we are going to beat Donald Trump, which is the goal here.”

Ryan ended his own long-shot bid for the Democratic nomination in late-October after months of struggling to gain traction with voters in the crowded primary field.

“I got into this race in April to really give voice to the forgotten people of our country: the workers who have been left behind, the businesses who have been left behind, the people who need health care or are not getting a quality education, or are saddled by tremendous debt,” Ryan said in a video announcing the end of his campaign. “I am proud of this campaign because I believe we have done that. We have given voice to the forgotten communities and the forgotten people in the United States.”

The nine-term congressman was one of the few Democratic presidential candidates who hails from the Rust Belt, the region which largely helped to elect Trump in the 2016 election — Trump ultimately won Ohio by 8 points against former Secretary of State and twice-failed presidential contender Hillary Clinton.

Ryan primarily focused his presidential campaign on the economic issues facing America’s heartland, pledging to “re-empower workers and revive the American middle class.” He further touted himself as “a progressive who knows how to talk to working class people” and tried to make the argument that “the progressive agenda is what is best for working families.”

The Ohio congressman positioned himself as an alternative to Biden, who has been vying for the more centrist lane of the Democratic primary. During his campaign, he even rolled out a list of endorsements from former Biden supporters in South Carolina.

Biden has maintained his status as the Democratic frontrunner since he first entered the race in late-April. As of publication, he sits at 26% support among Democratic primary voters nationwide, according to the Real Clear Politics national polling average. He also performs better than his Democratic rivals in a hypothetical head-to-head match up against Trump.

However, Biden has been largely trailing other 2020 Democrats in early-state polling, with the exception of South Carolina. Biden’s lead in New Hampshire began fading late in the summer and his lead in Iowa dropped after the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) August debate.

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