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Monday, April 28, 2008

With Bingaman Endorsement, Obama Takes Senate Support Lead

By Jonathan Weisman

Sen. Barack Obama officially pulled ahead today in the scramble for endorsements from colleagues in the U.S. Senate, thanks to Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico.

Never one of the Senate's most high-profile members, Bingaman now has a claim to political fame: He put Obama over the top after his long slog to catch Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who had a head start in winning the support of her peers. Obama now has 14 endorsements to Clinton's 13.

Obama will also get the vote of Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), who has not officially endorsed him but said he will support Obama at the convention in deference to his state's voters. Clinton has a similar pledge from Sen. Barbara Boxer of California.

"Our nation faces a daunting number of critical challenges: reasserting America's leadership in the world, meeting our needs for energy independence, addressing global warming, making healthcare accessible and affordable, positioning our economy to effectively compete globally, and extricating ourselves from the war in Iraq, to name a few," Bingaman wrote in his endorsement announcement. "To make progress, we must rise above the partisanship and the issues that divide us to find common ground. We must move the country in a dramatically new direction."

Of course, Clinton can still flip the endorsement balance back in her favor: Not counting Clinton, Obama, and the Senate's two Democratic-leaning independents, 18 Democratic senators still have yet to endorse.

A full list of endorsements by senators follows the jump:

Obama:

Sen. Bob Casey (Pa.)
Sen. Kent Conrad (N.D.)
Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.)
Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.)
Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.)
Sen. Tim Johnson (S.D.)
Sen. Edward Kennedy (Mass.)
Sen. John Kerry (Mass.)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.)
Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.)
Sen. Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.)
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (N.M.)

Clinton:

Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.)
Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.)
Sen. Daniel Inouye (Hawaii)
Sen. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.)
Sen. Bob Menendez (N.J.)
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (Md.)
Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.)
Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.)
Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.)
Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)

Two senators, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, and Barbara Boxer of California, have said they will vote at the convention for the candidates chosen by their states, Obama for Feingold, Clinton for Boxer.

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