Former US Vice President Joe Biden had a convincing victory in South Carolina’s Democratic primary, bet the balance of his five-decade political career.
After months of dropping poll numbers, tortured debate performances, and awkward exchanges on the stump,
the state’s voters came to Former US Vice President Joe Biden’s rescue in Saturday’s Democratic primary in a big way,
Handing him a victory that creates some much-needed forward motion to the former front-runner’s 2020 chances — and sets up a showdown with the current front-runner, Bernie Sanders.
The victory came at a crucial moment in Biden’s 2020 bid as the moderate Democrat bounced back from underwhelming performances in the first three contests.
The race now quickly shifts to next week’s “Super Tuesday,” when voters in 14 states award one-third of the total number of presidential delegates.
“We are very much alive,” Biden declared at an exuberant post-election rally. “For all of you who have been knocked down, counted out, left behind – this is your campaign.”
The South Carolina primary was the first major test of the candidates’ appeal among black voters. And while it gave the 77-year-old Biden a win when he most needed it, he must still prove that he has the financial and organizational resources to dramatically expand his campaign in the next 72 hours.
Seven candidates remain in the race to take on incumbent Donald Trump in the November election. As well as Biden and the 78-year-old Sanders, who came second, other contenders include Elizabeth Warren, a liberal senator from Massachusetts, and billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
South Carolina was the first major test of the candidates’ popularity with African American voters, who will be critical in the rest of the primary season and in the election itself.
Biden won 60 percent of the votes cast by African Americans. He also did well with older voters, women, moderates, and conservatives, and regular churchgoers.