Biden wins big in South Carolina

Former Vice President Joe Biden at the CNN and Des Moines Register’s Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy CNN/Des Moines Register)

Former Vice President Joseph Biden won big in the South Carolina primary Saturday, keeping in the game for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The Associated Press called the race for Biden immediately as polls closed at 7 pm, indicating the projection was based on exit polls and the strength of the candidate’s win.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Biden had won 48.6 percent of the votes, compared to 19.8 percent for Bernie Sanders, 11.3 percent for Tom Steyer, 8.2 percent for Pete Buttigieg, 7.1 percent for Elizabeth Warren, 3.1 percent for Amy Klobuchar and 1.3 percent for Tulsi Gabbard.

According to the Associated Press, exit polls revealed about 4 in 10 voters in South Carolina wanted to return to the politics of the past. That includes about half of black voters who said they want a Democratic presidential nominee who would emulate Obama’s presidency. 

Overall, Biden won around 50 percent of voters who preferred a return to politics before President Donald Trump, according to the Associated Press.

With 44 delegates Biden now has the second highest number of delegates at the Democratic National Convention needed to the cinch the presidential nomination. But the front-runner is Sanders, who has 54 delegates.

The next contests on Super Tuesday are just days away. Biden, who had already the endorsement of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), obtained support upon his victory in South Carolina when former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared his support for the candidate.

Given Michael Bloomberg entered the Democratic primary over the concerns Biden wouldn’t be able to win as a moderate candidate, questions emerged after Biden’s win whether the former New York City mayor would drop out of the race.

Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey, however, affirmed in a statement Saturday night the former New York City mayor would remain in the race.

“Mike Bloomberg has not been on the ballot yet,” Sheekey said. “Our campaign is focused on organizing Democrats and building infrastructure in states all around the country. Mike is the only candidate to campaign in all fourteen Super Tuesday states over the last two months and we look forward to Tuesday. Mike’s record of successfully leading and managing through crises and challenges is exactly what Americans are looking for in a new President.”

The early results also confirmed Buttigieg’s difficulty in winning over Black voters. Although the former South Bend mayor enjoyed success in Iowa and New Hampshire, his comparatively weak showing in South Carolina affirms he lacks popularity in the black electorate.

Published at Sun, 01 Mar 2020 01:38:15 +0000