In a huge boost for the Sanders campaign, Bill de Blasio has endorsed the Vermont Senator and will campaign with him in Nevada.
In a statement released Friday night announcing the endorsement, de Blasio said “New Yorkers know all too well the damage caused by Donald Trump’s xenophobia, bigotry and recklessness, and Bernie is the candidate to take him on and take him down. I have called for a bold, progressive agenda, and that’s exactly what Senator Sanders has championed for decades. I am proud to endorse a true progressive leader who will fight for working New Yorkers and families across the country.”
The Mayor will join Sanders at a number of events in the Silver State, including a major rally in Carson City on Sunday.
As mayor of the nation’s largest city, the endorsement is a huge symbolic win for Sanders, but could also be of significant practical benefit to the Sanders campaign, giving him a boost in what is easily the biggest city in a state that yields 274 pledged delegates, second only to California.
According to reports, Mayor de Blasio has long considered the prospect of endorsing Sanders, and is eager to build on his own progressive credentials as he nears the end of his second term as NYC Mayor. He will bring a number of assets to the campaign, including his links to unions, and his support with black voters, who are becoming increasingly receptive to Sanders but based on polling still are more likely to support Joe Biden.
As a prominent critic of Michael Bloomberg’s tenure as previous New York mayor, he will also be beneficial in seeking to blunt Bloomberg’s big spending attempts to buy his way to the nomination.
This comes as Sanders leads in Nevada ahead of the caucuses there next Saturday, and has surged in the polls even in states where he struggled to perform in 2016; he now leads in Texas, has moved up to second against a sinking Joe Biden in South Carolina, and leads polls in a number of key Super Tuesday states including California.