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1 Mar, 2020 00:07

Biden campaign gets shot in the arm with landslide South Carolina win, still lags behind Sanders ahead of Super Tuesday

Biden campaign gets shot in the arm with landslide South Carolina win, still lags behind Sanders ahead of Super Tuesday

Joe Biden’s campaign showed its first signs of life in South Carolina, with the former vice president taking the lead over other Democrats in the state’s primary, including frontrunner Bernie Sanders.

Biden’s efforts in the state paid off after he won nearly half of the votes on Saturday, adding 33 pledged delegates. Sanders came in a distant second with less than 20 percent of the vote, but still leads Biden by six delegates overall after winning New Hampshire and Nevada and a strong performance in Iowa.

South Carolina was perceived by many observers as a make-or-break moment for the Biden campaign. Opinion polls projected he would win, but the victory needed to be convincing, otherwise he would be in a weakened position ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday, where over 1,000 delegates are up for grabs.

The former vice president in the Barack Obama administration – who was endorsed by South Carolina Representative James Clyburn – was relying heavily on black voters to win big. However, exit poll data indicates that while he did well with older African-American voters, the black youth vote was split between him and Sanders on Saturday.

The Vermont senator conceded defeat at a campaign rally in Norfolk, Virginia, but was optimistic about his chances on Super Tuesday, brushing off Saturday’s loss as a minor setback.

I’m very proud that in this campaign so far, we have won the popular vote in Iowa, we have won the New Hampshire primary, we have won the Nevada caucus, but you cannot win them all.

As Biden basks in his victory, he has received words of support from unlikely quarters. President Donald Trump tweeted that his victory shows that it’s time for billionaire candidate Mike Bloomberg to drop out of the race to not take votes away from Biden. The former New York mayor was not on the ballot in South Carolina, focusing instead on carpet-bombing Super Tuesday states with ads.

Also on rt.com Trump calls on Bloomberg to end his ‘joke of a campaign’ to not chip away at Biden’s votes after former VP’s South Carolina win

Biden’s comeback after his worse-than-expected results in previous states boosts his chances for nomination. Sanders has been heavy criticized by mainstream Democrats like Hillary Clinton and the national media, but has nevertheless managed to gain momentum with voters. Other contenders in the race are strategizing to keep him from winning a majority of delegates and score an automatic nomination, while pitching themselves as consensus candidates at what some believe may end up being a brokered convention in Milwaukee.

Much like Biden, environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer put a lot of effort in the South Carolina primary. It brought him just over 11 percent of the vote and no pledged delegates, after which he announced his decision to drop out of the race.

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