Biden Wins South Carolina Primary, Boosting His Hopes for Super Tuesday


Joe Biden was declared the winner of South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary Saturday, benefiting from solid African American support and stopping progressive rival Bernie Sanders’ winning streak.

With just 3 percent of the vote tallied, Biden’s support was at nearly 50%, far ahead of Sanders at just over 18%.

Biden bounced back from less than stellar performances in the first three contests. Saturday’s victory propelled him toward Super Tuesday next week, when 14 states hold primaries and roughly one-third of the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination will be at stake.

Competing against Biden next week will be former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, one of the world’s richest men, who has spent more than half a billion dollars courting voters in dozens of states yet to vote.

The South Carolina primary was the first major test of the candidates’ appeal among black voters. Though Biden, 77, won, he must still prove that he has the financial and organizational resources to expand his campaign before Tuesday.

Exit polling, taken before polls closed Saturday, showed that nearly eight out of 10 primary voters in South Carolina had a favorable view of Biden. The polling, by Edison Research, also found that about six in 10 voters said the endorsement of Biden by influential U.S. Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina was a factor in their voting decisions.

South Carolina had been considered Biden’s “firewall” because of the large percentage of African American voters who have long been loyal to him and former President Barack Obama. A loss to Sanders could have forced Biden out of the race.

Exit polls showed that more than half of the Democratic primary voters Saturday were African American. However, that was down slightly from the number of African American primary voters in the state in 2016.

Sanders, an independent and self-described democratic socialist, went into South Carolina as the clear national front-runner after securing a close second-place finish in Iowa and victories in New Hampshire and Nevada.

Also competing Saturday were former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, and businessman and activist Tom Steyer.

Bloomberg was again, by choice, absent from the ballot in South Carolina after also skipping the first three nominating contests.

South Carolina’s open primary allowed registered voters to cast ballots in the primary of their choice. The state Republican Party canceled its primary, ceding the contest to President Donald Trump. The cancellation prompted some Republicans, who greatly outnumber Democrats in the state, to say they would vote for Sanders in the Democratic primary, believing he would be easier for Trump to defeat in November.

There were 54 pledged delegates at stake in South Carolina’s Democratic primary, to be proportionately divided among the candidates who exceeded a 15% threshold of the total votes cast.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.





VOA News

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3 Thoughts to “Biden Wins South Carolina Primary, Boosting His Hopes for Super Tuesday”

  1. William R. Delzell

    If he gets the nomination, the Sanders plurality of voters might desert the Democratic Party to form their own insurgent party. Without the Sanders and progressive vote, the Democratic Party could become permanently irrelevant as a viable party.

    Trying to out-right wing the Republicans is a recipe for permanent disaster for the Democrat Party. Hillary Clinton drove all the Sanders voters into Trump’s arms the last time!

    1. Deplorable Bay Stater

      “Trying to out-right wing the Republicans”? Really? Who, exactly, is doing this? Not a single one of the Democrat candidates even qualifies as a left-leaning centrist. Although most of them probably aren’t as far left as you are, William, there is no way any sane person could claim any of them is trying to out-right wing anybody. To the contrary, they all seem to be trying to see who can furthest to the left without falling off the edge.

      Of course, given your position, which seems to be so far to the left that you have already fallen off the edge, just about everybody on the face of the earth must look like a right-winger to you. I suspect you may be suffering from Trump Hatred Derangement Syndrome; you should immediately stop whatever you’re doing and seek psychiatric help.

  2. If he is elected we would have to move the White House to his rsantarium, or nursing home.
    Why don’t his kids have some compassion and take him home and care for him?
    He is not a sentient and sane person whether from dementia or old age.
    People watch the Democrat debates because it is the cheapest clown show around
    People laugh at these Candidates for the laughs. They really should tape a laugh track on the debates.
    Not one of the Candidates and Biden least of all is sane. No one would hire any of them to watch their children and most certainly will not elect or hire them to turn our Country into another Venezuela. Actually I believe the people running the Country, if any one of them were to be elected would be behind the scenes as they are not capable of tying their shoes without help!