Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for re-election on Wednesday, hours before the incumbent is set to debate Democratic rival Cynthia Nixon ahead of their faceoff in the state’s Sept. 13 gubernatorial primary.

“Andrew Cuomo has the skills, guts and experience to defend NY against the conservative agenda coming out of Washington” Proud to be endorsed by my friend @JoeBiden

— Andrew Cuomo (@andrewcuomo) August 29, 2018

In a 30-second spot first posted on Twitter, Biden lauded Cuomo as the “antidote” to Washington politicians seeking to “roll back decades of progress.”

Nixon, whose background includes portraying Miranda Hobbes on the HBO series “Sex and the City,” has consistently positioned herself to the left of Cuomo.

Wednesday’s debate represents a critical opportunity for the challenger; recent polls show her trailing Cuomo by about 30 percentage points. Cuomo has also thumped Nixon in fundraising, with $25 million in his war chest vs. Nixon’s roughly $500,000.

“It’s Cynthia Nixon’s ‘do or die’ moment. She has to score points somehow,” Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic strategist who previously advised Cuomo, told Reuters. “She’s got to get a really significant knockout in order to get herself into the campaign because she’s not really in it.”

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