Former President Barack Obama has endorsed Democrat Wes Moore in the race for governor of Maryland — just the latest high-profile endorsement for Moore.
The Moore campaign posted a 30-second video featuring Obama on Tuesday morning.
“You’re about to elect a new governor and the choice couldn’t be clearer,” Obama says directly to the camera. “My friend Wes Moore is the leader Maryland needs.”
The video cuts to clips of Moore talking to people in different settings and high-fiving a child. Obama touts Moore as a leader who will bring people together, closing by encouraging Marylanders to turn out to vote: “He only wins if you vote. Let’s do this, Maryland.”
The ad is airing on broadcast channels and cable systems in the Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Salisbury markets, according to the Moore campaign. A radio version of the ad will follow.
Obama remains wildly popular among Maryland Democrats, with 91% giving him a favorable rating in a June poll from Goucher College in partnership with The Baltimore Banner and WYPR Radio. Republicans don’t share the same view of Obama: Only 22% said they had a favorable opinion and 74% had an unfavorable opinion of the ex-president.
Moore has racked up a number of prominent endorsers, including former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee who is headlining an online fundraiser for Moore and the Maryland Democratic Party Tuesday night.
TV host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who has featured Moore on her programs, also stars in a Moore ad and hosted an online fundraiser for him back in June.
President Joe Biden extolled Moore as an excellent candidate when he kicked off the Democratic Party’s push for the midterm elections at a rally in Montgomery County this summer.
Closer to home, Moore has sewn up every influential endorsement in Maryland politics: the state Fraternal Order of Police, the Maryland State Education Association, the AFSCME councils that represent state government and local government workers and the Service Employees International Union.
Moore also is endorsed by the presiding officers of the General Assembly: House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones and Senate President Bill Ferguson.
Moore’s chief rival, Republican nominee Dan Cox, has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Trump placed phone calls into Cox events twice during the Republican primary, and Cox held a fundraiser at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida this fall. The Cox campaign has not answered questions about how many people attended or how much money was raised at the event.
Voting by mail is already under way in the governor’s race, with a week’s worth of in-person early voting set to start on Thursday, followed by traditional Election Day on Nov. 8.
Cox has a significant fundraising disadvantage and has also trailed Moore in polling by double digits.