DES MOINES — The Des Moines Register endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic presidential nomination on Saturday night, calling her “the best leader for these times.”
The newspaper, Iowa’s largest and most influential, made its selection just over a week before the caucuses on Feb. 3, when Iowans will take part in the first nominating contest of the primary cycle.
In its editorial, the Register praised Ms. Warren 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,” the editorial stated.
After more than a year of campaigning, the Democratic race is extraordinarily volatile in Iowa, as residents continue to fret over which candidate can beat President Trump.
In recent days, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has shown momentum in the state, and he led a poll of likely caucusgoers published Saturday by The New York Times and Siena College, which showed his three top rivals clustered behind him. His rise in Iowa has come at the expense of Ms. Warren, his fellow progressive, who dropped to 15 percent in the survey, down from 22 percent in the last survey conducted by the organizations, in late October, when she led the field.
But there is no telling what surprises lay in wait in the nine days left before the caucuses.
Ms. Warren thanked the Register for its endorsement on Saturday, saying, “I’m going to fight my heart out for everyone in Iowa and across the country.”
The newspaper made clear that the endorsement was the product of its editorial board, and that its news staff, including the editors and reporters who cover the presidential race, had no involvement in the process.
The Register traces its roots to the founding in 1849 of The Iowa Star in a log cabin near abandoned Fort Des Moines. And more than 170 years later, the newspaper retains an outsized influence on the nominating process, even in an era of declining circulation. In addition to publishing endorsements that become national news, the Register sponsors a closely watched poll of Iowa caucusgoers — the last of which is set to be released on Feb. 1, two days before the caucuses.
The Register, along with CNN, also sponsored a Democratic debate this month, the last before caucusing and voting begin in February.
Sydney Ember reported from Des Moines, and Michael Levenson from New York.