South Carolina Primary Goes To Biden
South Carolina Primary Goes To Biden
Despite the coronavirus news dominating the headlines, the pivotal South Carolina primary was still on for today.
The primary is pivotal in the sense that it really hinged on whether the voters of South Carolina decided to break for Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden. Biden had the bigger support in the state, despite appearing to not know where he was, and Bernie had the momentum of wins in New Hampshire and Nevada and a narrow second-place finish in Iowa. However, if South Carolina went for Bernie, the primary would be essentially over. There was no way any other candidate could overtake Bernie Sanders at that rate. But if Biden won South Carolina, it would make things slightly more competitive and more open – especially depending on the margin of victory. An overwhelming Biden win would mean an infusion of donor cash, and the elevation of Biden back to the “moderate” front-runner, going head-to-head against Bernie. A slim margin of victory would spell doom, because it would mean that the votes in the party were still being divided up between multiple candidates, leaving Bernie the clearer shot to win big on Super Tuesday without a significant rival.
When the polls closed, it was apparent that Biden’s “firewall” had held in South Carolina. It’s also notable that this is the first primary or caucus that Biden has ever won during all of his presidential primary runs.
Decision Desk HQ projects @JoeBiden will win the #SCPrimary
We will be updating delegate projections throughout the course of the night.
Full results here: https://t.co/AOgwtoMxNF pic.twitter.com/qE1eVZbQ60
— Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) March 1, 2020
SC exit poll, black voters
— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) March 1, 2020
Biden thanked his South Carolina supporters over Twitter as soon as the polls closed and the race was called for him – and then immediately went into fundraising mode.
Just days ago, the press and the pundits declared our campaign dead. But after tonight, it's clear we are very much alive — and we need your help to keep the momentum going.
Chip in to help us make the most of our big victory in South Carolina: https://t.co/93SWSQkpA5
— Joe Biden (Text Join to 30330) (@JoeBiden) March 1, 2020
It’s likely that Biden will receive quite the fundraising bump thanks to winning South Carolina. The real issue now is Super Tuesday, and Biden needs that cash to be competitive. His campaign has started ad buys in the Super Tuesday states, but Biden is being outspent by Bloomberg and Sanders and Steyer. The New York Times reported that Biden’s campaign on the ground in each of the Super Tuesday states has been shockingly anemic, clearly depending on name recognition and warm fuzzies from name-dropping Barack Obama every two minutes to carry him through to the nomination.
Just because South Carolina made Super Tuesday a highly critical moment in the Democratic primary season, doesn’t mean that Bernie Sanders still isn’t dangerously close to locking this thing down. Biden will have to make an effort to win states that he can’t afford to lose, something he clearly didn’t anticipate or budget for. And with other campaigns still loitering around, hoping for vice presidential consideration, support could still be divided instead of uniting behind the non-communist candidate.
The race just boiled down to two old men, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, with Bernie still holding the upper hand in delegates for the moment. Maybe we should just hand the two of them walkers, let them fight, and the first guy to lose a tennis ball off the feet of their walker loses.