Washington — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer endorsed Joe Biden ahead of the state's Democratic primary on Tuesday, a boost for the former vice president as he seeks to prove his ability to win states that President Trump carried in 2016. The primary will also be another test of Biden's strength against Bernie Sanders, who landed a surprise win in Michigan in the 2016 Democratic primaries.
"Working families in Michigan need a president who will show up and fight for them, and Joe Biden has proven time and again that he has our backs," Whitmer said in a statement. "Joe Biden has been right there with us in the tough fights. He showed up for the people of Michigan when our health care and our auto industry were on the line. He helped us pick ourselves up and get back to work. I know he'll do the same as president."
She joins Congressman Cedric Richmond, Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti as campaign co-chairs.
Mr. Trump narrowly carried Michigan in the 2016 general election. Biden is seeking to prove he can win back Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania due to his strength among white working class voters and black voters. A decisive victory in Michigan on Tuesday would help to bolster that argument.
Whitmer's endorsement comes after Biden secured victory in several states on Super Tuesday. He has also been endorsed by former presidential candidates Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O'Rourke.
A Detroit News/WDIV-TV poll conducted in the days leading up to Super Tuesday showed Biden leading Sanders by seven points in Michigan.
Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington are also holding primaries on Tuesday.