Joe Biden wins South Carolina primary

Mr Biden's win in South Carolina gives him a boost of momentum heading into Super Tuesday next week

Clark Mindock
New York
@ClarkMindock
Sunday 01 March 2020 01:04
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Supporters cheer at a primary election night rally for Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden in South Carolina
Supporters cheer at a primary election night rally for Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden in South Carolina

Joe Biden has won the South Carolina primary, with his decisive victory being called moments after polls closed in the state.

The win in South Carolina sends Mr Biden into the next phase of the nominating season — Super Tuesday — with fresh momentum, after three successive losses so far in 2020.

The election was called just minutes after polls closed in the Palmetto State, and before most precincts had even reported their results, showing that the former vice president was met with massive support in the state.

The news was met with cheers from inside of Mr Biden's election night watch party in Columbia, in the centre of the state.

Even with the commanding win, the former vice president still faces considerable obstacles in those 14 Super Tuesday states that will vote in just days, including a lack of financial resources and established ground game.

Even so, Mr Biden's runaway victory in South Carolina was immediately met with even more good news in the form of a high level endorsement from Terry McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia, which will vote on Tuesday.

"I’m hoping some of the candidates tomorrow get out," Mr McAuliffe said on CNN, signalling what is likely to be a frequent argument that will be made in coming days by the Biden campaign that he is the best candidate for moderate Democrats to coalesce around.

Mr Biden's win in South Carolina, in addition to bolstering his 2020 chances, also represents the first time he has ever won a presidential primary state, after failing to win the nomination in two past attempts at the Oval Office.

Behind Mr Biden in South Carolina on Saturday was Bernie Sanders, who came in second place, though he trailed the former vice president by nearly 30 per cent. Tom Steyer, who had staked most of his chances on a solid showing in the state, was the only other candidate to break double-digits in the state, and dropped out after his third-place finish. They were followed by Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren.

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