Going into tonight’s primary in South Carolina Bernie Sanders was believed to be running away with the nomination uncontended. It started in the state of Iowa with their 3.1 million voters. Bernie Sanders came in second place behind Pete Buttigieg. The contest then went on to the second state of New Hampshire with their 1.3 million voters. Bernie Sanders came in first place and Pete Buttigieg came in second. Both of these states are racially homogeneous. And although Bernie Sanders was in first place, the media narrative began to build that Sanders was gaining momentum.
Then the third state of Nevada was on the ballot. Nevada is a caucus state so many people received their results with trepidation. Nevertheless, Bernie Sanders emerged victorious yet again. He was now running away with the supposed nomination for the Democratic party. Trump and his orbit began to speak of wishing they could run against Bernie Sanders. The Republicans were salivating at the prospect of running against the Democratic socialist. Joe Biden was thought all but done. Bernie Sanders supporters actually had a coffin in Nevada to represent the death of the Joe Biden campaign.
Then on February 29th, a date that only occurs every four years during leap year, Joe Biden approached the state of South Carolina. The biggest state yet with its 5 million residents was about to cast its votes in the Democratic contest. The state of South Carolina having far more African-American voters, and a state that historically supported Barack Obama, was about to let the country know it’s decision about who should lead their party against the seemingly unbeatable Donald Trump.
At 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, as soon as the polls closed, a prediction was already made by all of the major news networks. At 7:01 p.m. Eastern Standard Time the announcement was made. It is germane to mention that the state of South Carolina was able to make a prediction about the winner as soon as the polls closed, especially since Iowa and New Hampshire were unable to do the same within days.
The networks announced that Joe Biden was the overwhelming winner for the state of South Carolina. Not only was Joe Biden the overwhelming winner, his second-place competitor Bernie Sanders placed 30 points behind him. So all the prognosticators who predicted that South Carolina would be Joe Biden’s firewall appeared to predict correctly. Joe Biden won the majority of every District in the state of South Carolina. And with his win he is now within 7 delegate votes of his first-place competitor Bernie Sanders.
Joe Biden is now more than 20 delegate votes ahead of Pete Buttigieg, whose political obituary I have written about before here. Mayor Pete is flailing with 0 delegates won tonight. He even came in with 8% of the vote in South Carolina in fourth place behind billionaire Tom Steyer who had 11% (Tom Steyer suspended his campaign tonight after his third place showing). Elizabeth Warren 0. Amy Klobuchar 0. Peter Buttigieg 0. Tom Steyer is gone. And although South Carolina is the only state where Joe Biden came in first place, he is now ahead of Bernie Sanders in the overall vote count.
Once again the black vote is going to determine who runs and represents the Democratic party this November against Donald Trump. I believe South Carolina has shown us that the pragmatism of the African American voter will prevail and win the day. Donald Trump relished the prospect of running against Bernie Sanders and running the table. It looks like his desired opponent is going to have some difficulty between now and the Democratic convention.
Will Joe Biden’s momentum that he gained in the South Carolina primary carry into Super Tuesday? We only have a few hours to know the answer. What we do know is that it is time for more than just Tom Steyer and Pete Buttigieg to drop out of this race so that we can pick the best opponent to go against Donald Trump this November.