Story highlights

This was just the second time the group endorsed a candidate in the presidential primary in its 17-year history

Nearly 80% of MoveOn members voted in favor of endorsing Sanders

Washington CNN  — 

MoveOn, one of the country’s largest liberal groups, endorsed Bernie Sanders on Tuesday.

“This is a massive vote in favor of Bernie Sanders, showing that grassroots progressives across the country are excited and inspired by his message and track record of standing up to big money and corporate interests to reclaim our democracy for the American people,” Political Action Executive Director Ilya Sheyman said in a statement. “MoveOn members are feeling the Bern.”

The endorsement did not come as a surprise: Nearly 80% of MoveOn members voted in favor of endorsing Sanders.

The group said it is aiming to turn out 43,000 MoveOn members in Iowa and 30,000 in New Hampshire to vote, volunteer, organize and fundraise.

Sanders said he was humbled by the progressive group’s endorsement.

“MoveOn has spent more than 17 years bringing people together to fight for progressive change and stand up against big money interests,” the Vermont senator said in a statement. “MoveOn’s fight to give the American people a voice in our political system was reflected in the group’s internal democratic process. I’m humbled by their support and welcome MoveOn’s members to the political revolution.”

The endorsement comes after Clinton announced several high-profile endorsements, including from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and the mother of the late Trayvon Martin.

The endorsement also follows weekend poll results showing Sanders close behind Clinton in Iowa, and beating the former secretary of state – albeit by a small margin – in New Hampshire.