WASHINGTON — Indivisible, the influential progressive "resistance" group founded in the wake of President Donald Trump's election, plans to endorse Joe Biden on Monday, its founders told NBC News.
The former vice president was never the group's favored candidate to take on Trump, with a February survey of its members showing that just 6 percent picked Biden among the then-crowded Democratic presidential primary field, well behind Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
But the group's grassroots members and local chapter leaders voted overwhelmingly to support Biden, the apparent Democratic nominee, with Indivisible co-founder Ezra Levin calling him "Abraham Lincoln compared to Donald Trump."
About 95 percent of Indivisible's members backed endorsing Biden.
The group, which includes dozens of independent local chapters, started the election cycle by getting its members and every major Democratic presidential candidate to sign a pledge vowing to support the eventual Democratic nominee and to work as hard as they can to defeat Trump.
In an interview, Levin and his co-founder, Leah Greenberg, said they are making good on that pledge. And while it may take some work for Biden to get some Indivisible members excited about his candidacy, they said they are not seeing major defections from their members, who are first and foremost committed to ousting Trump.
"Nobody is taking their ball and going home," Greenberg said.
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Levin and Greenberg praised Biden for the entreaties he has been making to Sanders supporters and other progressives since he became the apparent nominee last month. The Indivisible leaders said they are engaged with Biden's campaign on policies they would like to see him prioritize, such as statehood for the District of Columbia, universal voting by mail and other "democracy reforms."
"Even if he's not on the same page as us to begin with, he's willing to listen," Levin said. "And importantly, he's willing to change his mind. If we can organize and push him, he'll move."
The group says it reached more than 11 million voters to encourage them to turn out in the 2018 midterms and is preparing to run a large get-out-the-vote program this year, as well, focused on key Senate races and battleground states in the presidential election.
The endorsement comes as Biden attempts to quash an allegation of sexual assault brought by a former Senate staffer, which he addressed for the first time in an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday by categorically denying the claim.
Greenberg said that it was important for Biden to address the issue and that he needs to continue answering questions about it while promoting policies that would help women who are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
"It's important he engage directly and aggressively with these allegations," Greenberg said.
But the group is sticking with Biden, thick or thin.
"We as an organization made a commitment to support the nominee," she said of the coming battle between Biden and Trump. "Fundamentally, we are heading into what we know will be a tough and painful election season, and we think the contrast between the two really speaks for itself."