Brief: Here’s what to expect in the South Carolina primary, Biden’s potential last stand

VP Joe Biden at Pres. Assanis Inauguration (15)
Minji Kong /THE REVIEW
(Above) Joe Biden at University President Dennis Assanis’ inauguration in 2015.

Executive Editor

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Former Vice President Joe Biden was the presumed frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in the 2020 race a few months ago. Now, following a series of underperformances at televised debates and in other primaries across the country, today’s primary election in South Carolina may very well be the make-or-break moment for one of Delaware’s favorite sons and the university’s most famous alumnus.

Here’s what to watch this weekend.

You may also follow our most up-to-date primary coverage via Twitter @UDReview.

After disappointing turnouts for Biden in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries, where former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took home the most votes over Biden’s 13% and 8.4%, respectively. Biden’s prospects for winning the Democratic nomination to take on President Donald Trump in November seem shakier than ever. Sanders is already gaining significant leads in preliminary polls in important states like California and Texas.

In modern history, approximately half of the winners of the Iowa caucus have subsequently won their party’s nomination for president.

The Biden campaign is making South Carolina their Alamo. They’ll stand and fight against increasingly daunting national odds there. A defeat today, albeit improbable, would likely translate into the collapse of Biden’s candidacy.

Biden’s lead has rebounded in South Carolina after he was recently endorsed by Congressional Rep. and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.). where establishment-Democrat voters seem to be more fearful of nominating Sanders, a perceived further-left candidate. African American voters will be crucial to Biden’s success.

The Biden campaign claims that they lost Iowa and New Hampshire chiefly because the population there is predominantly white and unrepresentative of the national population. South Carolina has a 60% African American populace, which Biden appears to firmly believe is in his pocket.

According to a Monmouth University poll of primary voters taken between Feb. 23 and 25, Biden currently leads the race in South Carolina at 36%. He is followed by Sanders at 16% and businessman Tom Steyer at 15%. Buttigieg trails in fifth place at 6%.

“I’m gonna win South Carolina,” Biden said during Wednesday’s televised Democratic Debate on CBS.

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