Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden won the South Carolina primaries by a huge margin, his first major victory and a chance to beat rival Bernie Sanders in the Democratic ticket for the 2020 presidential race.
Biden obtained 48.5% of the vote. Sanders came in second with 19.9%, and billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer ranked third with 11.4%.
With a total of 54 South Carolina delegates in the pipeline, Biden picked up 36 at Sanders ’11, the rest uncommitted. According to the primary rules, any given candidate, whatever his classification, must win at least 15% of the votes in each group of delegates to win delegates. Only Biden and Sanders have managed to reach this threshold in South Carolina.
The vote marked Biden’s first victory in the primary of the electoral season, as well as the last major event on the electoral calendar before the decisive super Tuesday, which falls on March 3, during which the primaries will be held in 14 American states as well as ‘in American Samoa. and Democrats abroad.
Biden’s victory has come time to do or die in his 2020 bid as the moderate Democrat rebounded from poor performance in the previous three primaries –Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
“For all those who have been overthrown, counted, left behind – this is your campaign,” said Bidentold, a victory party in Columbia, South Carolina. “We need you, we want you, there is a place for you in this campaign.” If the Democrats dominate me, I think we can beat Donald Trump. “
Regarding the timing of the US presidential elections, South Carolina is the first state in the southern United States to hold a primary, and it is generally considered to be an indicator of how other southern states will vote in elections. future primaries. It is also considered to be an indicator of a candidate’s overall popularity with African American voters nationwide. Biden received a boost Wednesday from the approval of James Clyburn, South Carolina congressman and the highest-ranking African American in the House of Representatives, the United States’ lower house.
Polls also revealed that about six in ten South Carolina voters said approval of black investor James Clyburn by Biden on Wednesday was a factor in their decision.
Exit polls showed Biden defeating Sanders among a wide range of demographic and ideological groups, including those who identified themselves as “very liberal” – a surprise, since it was assumed that the far left would consistently support Sanders, a self – saying Social Democrat.
Biden’s allies almost immediately threw the victory to South Carolina as proof that it should present itself as the clear alternative to Sanders.
After the results of the exit poll had green candidate Tom Steyer in third place, the latter announced that he would end his candidacy for the Democratic ticket and withdraw from the presidential race. In South Carolina, the billionaire activist had spent more than $ 19 million on television advertising – more than all the other candidates put together.
South Carolina was his best performance to date in a Democratic nomination contest in 2020, but he was far behind winner Joe Biden and second place finisher Bernie Sanders.
“Honestly, I don’t see a way to win the presidency,” Steyer told supporters in South Carolina.
“I love you very much, it has been a great experience, I have no regrets. Meeting you and meeting the American people has been a highlight of my life.”
The former 62-year-old hedge fund manager from San Francisco introduced himself as a political alien and lambasted corporate money in American politics in July when he joined a group of two dozen Democrats seeking to deny US President Donald Trump a second term.
Thank you @TomSteyer for leading a campaign to put the climate change crisis at the forefront of our national conversation. I look forward to working together to defeat Donald Trump in November.
– Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 1, 2020
Sanders focuses on Super Tuesday
Sanders spent the lead up to Super Tuesday campaigning in the home states of two major Democratic rivals, betting he can score a double-knockout knockout – or at least limit the size of their victories.
In a power play, Sanders hosted a midday rally in downtown Boston on Saturday, campaigning at the heart of liberal allied policy Elizabeth Warren. Speaking to a crowd of thousands in the Boston Common, Sanders said his success in the Democratic primary meant that “the establishment is getting very nervous” – but he never predicted victory in South Carolina.
Sanders congratulated Biden on his first win and said his own supporters had nothing to fear.
“Tonight we did not win in South Carolina. It will not be the only defeat. Lots of states in this country. No one wins them all, ”he told an enthusiastic crowd in Virginia, one of 14 states to vote next week. “Now we are entering Super Tuesday.”
After two consecutive wins and a tie at the top in Iowa, her confidence soared.
Biden’s second wind
Saturday was all about Biden and whether he could convince anxious establishment democrats to finally rally behind him.
Elected officials inclined to embrace his moderate politics had been reluctant to support him after poor finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire and a distant second place in Nevada last week. Still, fearing the progressive polarizing priorities of Sanders, they are still looking for an alternative that is seen as a safer bet to defeat Trump in November.
Biden’s senior adviser, Symone Sanders, called South Carolina a “springboard” for the campaign, much like how the state boosted the presidential aspirations of Barack Obama in 2008 and Clinton in 2016.
‘A long way to go’
The president of the National Democratic Committee, Tom Perez, warned the Democrats that it was still early in their presidential primary.
Speaking at a North Carolina Democratic Party fundraising gala, Perez noted that to win the nomination, a Democrat must win 1,991 delegates – and only a fraction of these were awarded during of the first four party primaries.
“We have a long way to go,” said Perez.
(FRANCE 24 with AP and REUTERS)