Joe Biden projected to win South Carolina
Joe Biden projected to win South Carolina

For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden appears to be on the verge of win­ning a Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nat­ing event for the first time.

Polls have closed in South Car­oli­na (although any­one who is cur­rent­ly still in line to vote will be allowed to vote!) and mass media net­works are pro­ject­ing that Biden will coast to a com­fort­able vic­to­ry in the Pal­met­to State.

Three fifths of black vot­ers in South Car­oli­na backed Biden in exit polling shared by Steve Kor­nac­ki of NBC News, while Bernie Sanders received the sup­port of 17% of black vot­ers, up slight­ly from 14% in 2016.

At least twen­ty of South Car­oli­na’s fifty-four nation­al con­ven­tion del­e­gates are expect­ed to go to Biden at this junc­ture, vault­ing Biden past Pete Buttigieg in the over­all del­e­gate race, behind fron­trun­ner Bernie Sanders.

Biden could end up with more than twen­ty out of fifty-four nation­al del­e­gates, but twen­ty appears to be the min­i­mum num­ber of del­e­gates he will get.

Pri­or to tonight, only Iowa, New Hamp­shire and Neva­da had held nom­i­nat­ing events. All are rel­a­tive­ly small states with small pools of nation­al con­ven­tion del­e­gates. And of those three, only Neva­da had a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of non­white vot­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in its nom­i­nat­ing event.

Sanders pulled off his most con­vinc­ing win in Neva­da after hav­ing won very nar­row­ly in Iowa and some­what nar­row­ly in New Hampshire.

Tonight, how­ev­er, belongs to Joe Biden. After hav­ing failed to do well in either Iowa or New Hamp­shire, Biden man­aged to secure sec­ond place in the Sil­ver State and has now notched his first win in a nom­i­nat­ing event.

Many pun­dits are say­ing that this is now mor­ph­ing into a two-way race between Biden and Sanders. How­ev­er, Super Tues­day is just hours away, so there will not be much time for fall­out from South Car­oli­na before a whop­ping four­teen states weigh in, includ­ing Cal­i­for­nia, the biggest del­e­gate prize of all. A third of the del­e­gates up for grabs on Tues­day will be from the Gold­en State.

Biden’s recent fundrais­ing has been very slug­gish, lead­ing to a cam­paign cash crunch. Biden cur­rent­ly only has one office open in Cal­i­for­nia and is con­sid­ered by many observers to be unpre­pared for Super Tues­day. His cam­paign will need to cal­i­brate quick­ly if it wants to keep pace with Bernie Sanders.

Biden is expect­ed to speak soon and deliv­er a vic­to­ry speech in South Car­oli­na. Mean­while, many of his rivals are in oth­er states, prepar­ing for Super Tuesday.

As South Car­oli­na begins to report actu­al results, we will update this post.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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