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Report: Daschle to endorse Gore

John King/CNN White House Corrrespondent

March 19, 1999
Web posted at: 12:21 a.m. EST (0521 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 19) - CNN has learned that Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle has agreed to endorse Vice President Al Gore for president in 2000 and plans to travel to Iowa with the Democratic front-runner on Monday to announce his support.

The trip will come a week to the day after House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt endorsed Gore - and is the latest sign of the Democratic establishment coming to the early aid of Gore's presidential campaign.

Two Democratic sources told CNN of Daschle's plans. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity.

These sources said plans call for Daschle to publicly announce his endorsement in Ames, Iowa, on Monday -- introducing Gore for a speech on agricultural issues. The two later will attend a labor event in Des Moines, the sources said.

Daschle, of South Dakota, is not only a Democratic Party leader but also a leading congressional voice on farm issues - a critical concern in Iowa.

Gore's only major Democratic opponent is former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley. While the vice president is the prohibitive Democratic favorite, some Gore aides and party operatives have voiced concerns about Iowa, in part because Gore largely ignored the state when he ran for president in 1988, and in part because of the state's history for snubbing party favorites.

Gephardt, of Missouri, won the state back in 1988 and retains a deep political network in Iowa; he introduced Gore to his leading supporters on Monday after delivering his endorsement, but several sources described the reaction to Gore by most major Gephardt supporters as lukewarm.


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