DALLAS, Texas -- Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden came to Texas on Monday looking to capitalize on his big win in South Carolina — and eager to ride the momentum into the state's delegate-rich primary Tuesday, when 13 other states vote, too.
On Monday evening, the former vice president won the endorsements of former candidates Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and El Paso's Beto O'Rourke. The trio appeared with Biden at a campaign rally in Dallas.
"Democracy is under attack, we need Joe Biden," proclaimed O'Rourke at the rally. "He is the antithesis to Donald Trump."
Biden thanked O'Rourke, calling him "a man who electrified this state and nation."
Buttigieg made his endorsement first, touting Biden as a political figure “who will draw out what is best in each of us.”
“And I’m encouraging everybody who was part of my campaign to join me because we have found that leader in vice president, soon-to-president, Joe Biden,” Buttigieg said alongside Biden.
Also speaking at the Biden rally, Klobuchar called for unity: “If we spend the next four months dividing our party and going at each other we will spend the next four year watching Donald Trump tear apart our country. We need to unite our party and our country.”
Biden took the stage here as a raft of fresh endorsements across the country poured in for him — and more were expected to come as he seeks to consolidate party support against Bernie Sanders.
In Texas earlier on Monday, Biden gained the support of Congresswoman Veronica Escobar of El Paso, state Sen. John Whitmire of Houston, state Rep. Jessica González of Dallas and Austin Mayor Steve Adler, who had been Buttigieg's biggest booster in the state. Another former Buttigieg supporter in Texas, Dallas school board trustee Miguel Solis, also endorsed Biden.
"Just a few days ago, the pundits declared my campaign dead," the former vice president said. "But then along came South Carolina, and South Carolina had something to say about it."
"Now — tomorrow — Texas is gonna speak," Biden added, "and I think we're gonna do well here in Texas."
Shortly before Biden took the stage, Sanders' campaign rolled out 18 new Texas endorsements of its own, including city council and school board members and progressive activists.
Biden and Sanders have consistently polled at or near the top of the field in Texas, though Michael Bloomberg remains a significant factor. The New York billionaire, who skipped the first four early voting states, is hoping for a strong performance on Super Tuesday, and he has built easily the biggest campaign in Texas, with 19 offices and 160 staffers.
Biden is coming off a resounding win Saturday in the South Carolina primary, which is breathing new life into his campaign after lackluster showings in the first three states. However, it is unclear how much of a bump he will get in Texas, where early voting is already in the books — it went from Feb. 18 through Friday — and over 1 million votes have already been cast in the Democratic primary.
Texas will award 228 delegates on Tuesday, 79 at the statewide level and 149 in the 31 state Senate districts. A candidate must get 15% statewide or in a Senate district to compete for delegates at either level.