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Wednesday July 17, 2024

Biden counting on South Carolina as ‘Super Tuesday’ looms

By AFP
February 29, 2020

COLUMBIA, United States: Joe Biden scrambled to salvage his flagging presidential hopes Friday on the eve of South Carolina’s Democratic primary, where nothing less than a decisive victory can help him rebound from disastrous early contests.

The former vice president is firm favorite in the first state in the race with a substantial African-American Democratic electorate — but trails far behind surging leftist Bernie Sanders in nationwide polls. Both candidates will have a better picture of their prospects just days after South Carolina, with 14 states voting on “Super Tuesday” and a third of the delegates who formally choose the Democrat to face President Donald Trump in November up for grabs.

Biden, the former frontrunner who was unable to chalk up a win in the first three states, said he hopes South Carolina will propel him into national contention. “I feel very good. I´ve worked hard to earn these votes, and I think I´ll do well,” the 77-year-old told CNN early Friday, before heading to a trio of 11th-hour events. “It´s been the launching pad for Barack and I believe for me,” Biden added, referring to the nation´s first black president Barack Obama. Biden was Obama´s deputy for eight years. The senior statesman leads in state polling, a dozen points ahead of Sanders and 20 points up on billionaire activist Tom Steyer, who is gunning for a third-place finish. Steyer has already shelled out an extraordinary $23.6 million on ads in South Carolina, nearly 10 times the number two spender, former Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, according to Advertising Analytics. Some polling has been misleading in the early contests. In first-voting Iowa, for instance, Biden was second in state polls just before caucus night, but finished a disappointing fourth.