ATLANTA—Former Vice President Joesph Biden finally got his long awaited vindication last weekend in South Carolina.
For months now, the survival of Biden’s presidential campaign has rested almost singularly on the turnout of African American voters in South Carolina.
In last Saturday’s contest, Biden carried roughly 48% of the Democratic primary’s voters. Roughly 56% of South Carolina’s Democrats are African American.
Of the African American voters, Biden won 61%, with the next closest being Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at 17%.
Sanders performed only marginally better with African American voters compared to the 2016 primary in this state. Last cycle, he received 14%—but still trailed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s share of African American votes by 72%.
Biden also performed strongly among white voters, besting Sanders by 10%: 33-22, according to exit polling data. Clinton carried 8% more of white voters than Sanders in 2016’s primary.
In no uncertain terms, this electorate became a defibrillator, reviving a once gassed out bid for the White House. Three more endorsements from former candidates Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke have topped off the tank for Super Tuesday’s coast to coast contest.
Tom Steyer, who also dropped out following the South Carolina contest has not endorsed a candidate, but has pledged to support the Democratic nominee.
At stake today are roughly 1,400 delegate votes spread over 14 states, mostly that favor Nevada and South Carolina in racial composition and less Iowa and New Hampshire.
Regardless of who wins the nomination, candidates will need each other’s supporters. Should Sanders win the Democratic nomination; doubtless, he’d have to compromise on several positions to carry Biden’s more centrist backers.
However, Sanders has been notoriously unwilling to compromise on certain planks of his Revolution, that among other ideas, calls for student loan forgiveness and Medicare for All.
In simplest terms, how Biden performs with voters under 45 and how Sanders performs with African American, Latino, and Asian voters may well predict each candidate’s continued viability. While Michael Bloomberg has the money to continue a presidential bid, Elizabeth Warren is absent a clear path. Her continuation in the nomination pursuit is mostly likely in his final days.
As the first sets of polls close tonight at 7:00pm EST, more will be known.