//South Carolina polls open as Biden fights for survival, Sanders appears to increase successful streak

South Carolina polls open as Biden fights for survival, Sanders appears to increase successful streak

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Voting is underway in South Carolina, the first Southern state to weigh in on the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

And for former Vice President Joe Biden – a victory is crucial as the way forward for his White Home bid is on the road.

Whereas Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont doesn’t must win in South Carolina, he’d wish to make it three wins in a row – after narrowly successful in New Hampshire and routing his rivals in final weekend’s Nevada caucuses. And a robust efficiency amongst black voters on Saturday may additional cement his standing because the undisputed front-runner for the celebration’s nomination — and the appropriate to face President Trump in November.

CAN SOUTH CAROLINA RESURRECT JJOE BIDEN’S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN?

On the eve of the first, Biden spoke to supporters at a rally in Spartanburg.

“This state lifted Barack Obama to the presidency,” Biden said. “And now once again this state holds in its hands, literally, especially the state’s African American community, the power to determine… who the next nominee of the Democratic Party’s going to be”

“You maintain in your hand the way forward for the Democratic Social gathering.”

For a second straight evening Biden drew a crowd of roughly 750 folks – massive by Biden requirements.

Biden is banking on a win in South Carolina to re-energize his flagging marketing campaign. However a loss would probably carry an finish to his third bid for the White Home.

2020 PRIMER: PAST SOUTH CAROLINA PRIMARY WINERS

The one-time unmatched front-runner has lengthy regarded to the Palmetto State – the place black voters make up roughly 60 % of the Democratic presidential major citizens – as his firewall.

Because of his eight years as vice chairman beneath President Barack Obama, Biden stays very fashionable with African-American voters. And after disappointing fourth- and fifth-place finishes within the predominantly white states of Iowa and New Hampshire, in addition to a distant second place end to Sanders in Nevada – South Carolina is much more important to Biden.

A Actual Clear Politics common of the seven polls carried out this week reveals Biden with a small double-digit lead over Sanders amongst probably Democratic presidential major voters in South Carolina.

Former Vice President Joe Biden takes selfies with voters at a town hall in Conway, S.C., on Feb. 27, 2020. (Fox News)

Former Vice President Joe Biden takes selfies with voters at a city corridor in Conway, S.C., on Feb. 27, 2020. (Fox Information)

Biden has loved an excellent week.

Because of a muscular efficiency in Tuesday’s prime time Democratic nomination debate in Charleston, the marketing campaign touted that it hauled in $1.2 million from practically 30,000 donors on Wednesday – a powerful determine for a candidate who has struggled all cycle with fundraising.

That very same day, Biden landed an endorsement from longtime Rep. James Clyburn – the dean of Palmetto State Democrats. The backing by Clyburn, probably the most senior black politician within the state, was seen as a lift for Biden.

Biden’s staff is hoping a convincing victory in South Carolina will generate loads of nationwide media consideration – to propel him into subsequent week’s Tremendous Tuesday primaries – the place some big states like California and Texas maintain contests and a 3rd of all Democratic presidential nomination delegates are up for grabs.

He’ll want it – as a result of as he’s concentrated all his power on South Carolina the previous week – Biden has badly trailed practically all his rivals in relation to investing money and time on the Tremendous Tuesday states.

However even earlier than the outcomes are available in, Biden believes he’s already a winner within the Palmetto State.  He advised reporters Friday that he’s already gotten sufficient of enhance from his time there that can carry over into Tuesday’s coast-to-coast contests.

SANDERS HEAVY ON ELECTABILITY, LIGHT ON REVOLUION, ON SC PRIMARY EVE

Sanders resonates

Loads much less is on the road for Sanders, who claimed a uncooked vote win in Iowa’s caucuses, gained an outright in New Hampshire’s major, and pummeled his rivals in Nevada.

However after performing extraordinarily effectively with Spanish-speaking and black voters final weekend in Nevada, a strong displaying with African-Individuals in South Carolina will additional enhance Sanders heading into Tremendous Tuesday, the place there’s a big non-white Democratic presidential major citizens within the 4 largest states to carry contests – California, Texas, North Carolina and Virginia.

Sanders, who’s making his second straight White Home run – bought his clock cleaned by eventual nominee Hillary Clinton within the 2016 South Carolina major. Because of her dominance with black voters, Clinton topped Sanders by a virtually 3-to-1 margin.

However quick ahead 4 years and Sanders is resonating with African-Individuals.

South Carolina Democratic Social gathering Chairman Trav Robertson offers Sanders credit score for turning issues round.

“I think one of the most fascinating things is that Bernie Sanders appears to have learned from his loss from 2016 in South Carolina,” Robertson advised reporters Thursday.

Robertson spotlighted that high Sanders surrogates in South Carolina “have done a very good job of trying to make sure that Senator Sanders did not forsake smaller venues with small numbers of people of color for, let’s say, three or four thousand people.”

Sanders  touted his electability in his final rally in South Carolina forward of Saturday’s major, at a park in downtown Columbia on Friday afternoon.

“Check out the final 60 nationwide polls which have been carried out,” Sanders advised the gang. “Bernie beats Trump 56 out of the 60 instances. Check out among the polls within the battleground states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan — Bernie beats Trump.”

Electability had lengthy been certainly one of Biden’s main promoting factors – that he was the strongest Democratic candidate able to taking up Trump in November. However because of his major calendar successful streak, Sanders has seen his nationwide ballot numbers soar in latest weeks. Now extra Democrats are beginning to see the unbiased senator because the strongest contender to defeat Trump.

Steyer optimistic

After poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, Tom Steyer hoped for a robust end in Nevada.

The billionaire hedge fund manager-turned-environmental and progressive advocate spent some huge cash and time within the Silver State, however didn’t get his bang for his buck as he completed within the low single digits in final weekend’s caucuses.

However Steyer – who has been closely courting black voters – is optimistic issues might be completely different in South Carolina.

The newest polls place him in third place – behind Biden and Sanders.

Steyer advised Fox Information on Friday how he seen his possibilities.

“Now we have an excellent staff right here. I’ve spent quite a lot of time on the bottom and I’m speaking straightforwardly about points,” he stated. “This can be a closely African-American state. I speak very straightforwardly about race. I’m the one individual speaking about reparations for slavery. I believe I’ve been right here probably the most and regarded most individuals within the eye and talked most straightforwardly and I believe that’s why.”

Requested how a strong end in South Carolina would assist him within the Tremendous Tuesday states, Steyer stated, “I think that’s a springboard for people to think that I can pull this party together, which is what I want.”

Robertson, the state celebration chief, gave Steyer credit score.

“It seems he resonates very effectively. He’s very personable,” Robertson stated. “I’m not going to be stunned if Steyer wins a delegate or two.”

And he predicted that if Steyer does effectively, it could take a chew out of Biden’s assist amongst older black voters.

Steyer confirmed off his strikes Friday evening — dancing onstage to a dwell efficiency of “Again That Azz Up” by rapper Juvenile at his primary-eve rally.

The occasion was held at Columbia’s Allen College, a historially black faculty.

Steyer and Biden are the one two Democratic candidates who might be in South Carolina when the polls shut Saturday evening.

Problem for Buttigieg

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s struggles to resonate with black voters have been well-documented by political reporters.

Whereas his marketing campaign is preserving expectations low in South Carolina – a senior marketing campaign aide who requested to stay nameless, to talk extra freely, advised Fox Information they’re searching for a fourth- or fifth-place end – it additionally hopes to show that Buttigieg can court docket black voters.

Buttigieg was launched at a primary-eve city corridor in Columbia by Miss Black America Ryann Richardson, who has endorsed the 38-year-old Afghanistan Warfare veteran. Buttigieg advised the predominantly white crowd of greater than 1,000 people who South Carolinians had been “in the heart of the most important thing happening in democracy right now” and he requested for his or her assist to make historical past and alter the course of the nation.

“Earlier than it’s too late,” he added.

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg shakes hands with supporters at a town hall in Columbia, S.C. on the eve of the South Carolina primary, on Feb. 22, 2020. (Fox News)

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg shakes fingers with supporters at a city corridor in Columbia, S.C. on the eve of the South Carolina major, on Feb. 22, 2020. (Fox Information)

An brisk Elizabeth Warren introduced herself to the gang at a canvass kickoff in Greenville on Friday as “the woman who’s going to beat Donald Trump.”

However the perfect end the senator from Massachusetts has seen to this point on the first calendar was a bronze medal in Iowa – and it doesn’t seem that she’ll match that in South Carolina. However Warren will get some credit score for returning to the Palmetto State on Friday to marketing campaign after spending Thursday in Texas, the second-largest of the Tremendous Tuesday states.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota – whose South Carolina expectations are minimal – moved on to stump in Tremendous Tuesday states following Tuesday evening’s debate.

Mike Bloomberg additionally departed South Carolina after this week’s debate – however Bloomberg isn’t on the poll within the Palmetto State – as he skipped all 4 early-voting states to pay attention his time, power and huge sources on the delegate-rich Tremendous Tuesday states.

With coast-to-coast voting in these 14 states coming simply three days after the first-in-the-South major, South Carolina’s outcomes may have a direct influence on Democratic race.

Fox Information’ Mitti Hicks, Madeleine Rivera, Andrew Craft, Andres del Aguila and Tara Prindiville contributed to this report.