Washington (AFP) - The influential Des Moines Register, the biggest newspaper in Iowa, has endorsed Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic presidential nomination a week before the US state kicks off the 2020 election season.
"Elizabeth Warren will push an unequal America in the right direction," the newspaper's editorial board said late Saturday in its endorsement of the progressive Massachusetts senator.
The Register's backing gives Warren a boost days before the Iowa caucus on February 3, the first day of primary voting for the 2020 Democratic nomination.
In its editorial, the paper described her as "a thinker, a policy wonk and a hard worker."
"Warren's competence, respect for others and status as the nation's first female president would be a fitting response to the ignorance, sexism and xenophobia of the Trump Oval Office," it said.
"Thank you, DMRegister, for your endorsement! Iowans are ready to make big, structural change—and I'm going to fight my heart out for everyone in Iowa and across the country," Warren tweeted.
The paper praised Warren's stance on climate change, health care and the economy and said she was "not the radical some perceive her to be" but a capitalist who wanted fair markets and accountability.
"She says corporations should have less Washington influence, children should be protected from gun violence, child care should be affordable, immigrants deserve compassion, mass incarceration should end and the wealthy should pay more in taxes," the editorial board said.
"Those ideas are not radical. They are right," it said.
"At this moment, when the very fabric of American life is at stake, Elizabeth Warren is the president this nation needs."
Warren, 70, is polling 16.3 percent in Iowa, behind former vice president Joe Biden on 20.0, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders on 19.3, according to a RealClearPolitics average of recent polls on the Democratic Iowa caucus.
Former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg is on 16.8 percent.
With Iowans fretting over who would be best positioned to defeat Donald Trump, the race is volatile. Each of the top four candidates has led at least one major state poll in the last two months.
No candidate has won their party's nomination without finishing in the top three in Iowa, except John McCain in 2008 when he missed third by a hair.