Biden Faces Critical Test in South Carolina as Sanders Continues to Surge  

Biden Faces Critical Test in South Carolina as Sanders Continues to Surge  

America's Voice Admin
February 29, 2020

Voters in South Carolina cast ballots Saturday in the Democratic primary, providing a dramatic run-up to next week’s crucial Super Tuesday marathon of 14 state primaries.

The South Carolina contest offers a handful of candidates another opportunity to slow the surge of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in their quest to derail President Donald Trump’s reelection bid in the November general election.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the one-time front-runner who has stumbled badly in the first three primary and caucus contests, needs a win in South Carolina to sustain his campaign. Biden has struggled to raise money and spark enthusiasm among rank-and-file Democrats.

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South Carolina was 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 force the former vice president out of the race.

Biden holds a 10-point lead over Sanders in the RealClearPolitics polling averages for South Carolina, but Tom Steyer, a billionaire and philanthropist who has invested substantial time and money in campaigning in South Carolina, appears to be cutting into Biden’s lead.

Biden received a much-needed boost Wednesday when South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn endorsed him.

Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders rallies with supporters at Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Feb. 27, 2020.
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders rallies with supporters at Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Feb. 27, 2020.

Sanders, an independent senator and self-described democratic socialist, goes 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.

The South Carolina primary provides the first substantial indication of how well candidates perform among African American voters, a critical Democratic constituency that makes up about 60% of the state’s Democratic electorate, and 27% of the state’s population.

A number of states with considerable African American populations will hold primaries on Super Tuesday, when about one-third of all delegates for the Democratic National Convention in July are at stake.

South Carolina voters are casting ballots for one of a number of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. Also battling for the nomination are former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren.

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is again, by choice, absent from the ballot in South Carolina after also skipping the first three nominating contests.

Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman, faces his first test on Super Tuesday.

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

There are 54 pledged delegates at stake in South Carolina’s Democratic primary who will be proportionately divided among the candidates who exceed a 15% threshold of the total votes cast. An impressive showing in South Carolina could help build momentum going into Super Tuesday.

Original Article