In South Carolina, Biden looks for rebound primary win

After disappointing finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, Joe Biden told supporters to stick with him, vowing that he would be able to turn things around in South Carolina, and as the primary arrives this weekend, his backers in the Palmetto State believe he could well be on the cusp of victory.

"We know what he stands for," said South Carolina state representative Carl Anderson, a black Democrat from Georgetown.

"We've got to get our folks out," Anderson said, emphasizing turnout efforts for Biden.

"Go from street to street and house to house," Anderson urged a Biden audience this week, knowing the bigger the turnout in the African-American community for Biden, the better chance he has of winning a big victory on Saturday night.

A trio of polls released on Thursday gave different views of the Democratic race in the Palmetto State - all of them had Biden winning in South Carolina, two by a lot - but one was by a narrow margin over Bernie Sanders.

Polling in the Democratic Primary in South Carolina has not been that accurate in recent history - for example in 2008, Barack Obama was seen as slightly ahead of Hillary Clinton, but Obama ended up winning by a blowout margin of 28 points.

Then in 2016, the polls showed Hillary Clinton with a lead of nearly 28 points - and she ended up winning by over 47 points.

In both cases, the black vote moved at the end toward Obama in 2008, and Clinton in 2016.

This time, Biden supporters believe he will be the beneficiary of that same late surge, especially after the endorsement of Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), an influential black Democrat in Congress.

"He's our friend," Anderson said. "Vice President Joe Biden is leaning on us."

Biden may have been the only candidate in South Carolina to see a small boost in attendance at his events over recent days - recalling the signs in New Hampshire which accurately predicted the rise of both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar.

In the Palmetto State, Klobuchar and Buttigieg have found little traction. The Minnesota Senator has left the state entirely - now campaigning in Super Tuesday states - while the Indiana Mayor has had very small gatherings all week.

The polls have not shown any big spark for Elizabeth Warren, who spent Thursday in Texas, though they continue to see a strong third place spot right now for Tom Steyer.

Biden has stayed relentlessly on message in recent days, focusing on health care, gun control efforts, and climate change.

But he has also all but pleaded with those who have come to his events to help lift him back to the top of the Democratic race.

"Get up and take back the country now," Biden said.

He hopes Saturday night will deliver a result which does that - in his favor.

About the Author