The political action committee associated with the progressive advocacy platform MoveOn.org announced Thursday its endorsement of Illinois State Sen. Daniel Biss for Governor of Illinois.
The endorsement from MoveOn.org Political Action was based on the results of an online poll, in which members of MoveOn could vote for one of the six Democrats running for their party’s nomination.
"[Biss is] running on a bold vision for a massive change to Illinois politics and economy," said MoveOn.org Political Action executive director Ilya Sheyman in a statement. "One that puts middle-class values and families first, not the billionaires and big corporations. His support for single-payer health care, tuition-free public universities, fixing a broken criminal justice system, and making sure the wealthy pay their share is a recipe for energizing the broad coalition it’ll take to beat Bruce Rauner in the fall."
66 percent of voters chose Biss, who represents some north Chicago suburbs including Evanston and Wilmette.
"I’m proud to receive MoveOn’s endorsement,” said Biss in a statement. “When I first got involved in grassroots organizing in response to the Iraq War, I fell in love with the idea that we can fundamentally transform our communities when we unite around a common vision. That belief inspired me to run for office for the first time a decade ago, to organize around progressive reform in the state legislature, and to take on wealthy, establishment candidates as I run a grassroots campaign for governor now."
Coming in at second in the poll with 20 percent of the vote was billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker.
Chris Kennedy—a son of the late Robert F. Kennedy—finished with 12 percent. The remaining three candidates—downstate school superintendent Bob Daiber, Chicago community organizer Tio Hardiman, and physician Robert Marshall—each finished with one percent or less.
In past MoveOn endorsement polls, such as the Democratic presidential contest between U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, a candidate needed a two-thirds majority of the vote in order to earn the endorsement. However, because this poll featured six candidates, the threshold to clear was reduced to 50 percent.
Pritzker has landed the endorsements of many elected officials, including both U.S. Senators from Illinois—Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth—as well as U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, who represents the Quad Cities and the 17th Congressional District of Illinois.
MoveOn Electoral Field Director Matt Blizek said that only Illinois residents could vote in the poll, and that the group attempted to verify Illinois residency by requiring zip codes from its members.
MoveOn claims to have 265,000 members in Illinois, but MoveOn spokesman Brett Abrams said the group would not disclose how many of those members voted in the poll.
The Democratic primary election will be held on March 20, as will the Republican primary election.