WASHINGTON: Former Vice President Joe Biden’s victory at South Carolina has reshaped the Democratic presidential campaign and positions him as a moderate alternative to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who is leading the nomination race with support of 51 delegates.
Biden has surged to second with support of 40 senators ahead of the Super Tuesday.
Former US Vice President Joe Biden scored a convincing victory in South Carolina, riding a wave of African American support and ending the winning streak of rival Bernie Sanders.
The victory came at a crucial moment in Biden’s 2020 bid as the moderate Democrat bounced back from underwhelming performances in the first three contests.
The race now quickly shifts to next week’s “Super Tuesday,” when voters in 14 states award one-third of the total number of presidential delegates.
Seven candidates remain in the race to take on Donald Trump in the November US presidential election. As well as Biden and the 78-year-old Sanders, who came second, other contenders include Elizabeth Warren, a liberal senator from Massachusetts, and billionaire former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Elected officials inclined to embrace Biden’s moderate politics had been reluctant to support him after poor finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire and a distant second place in Nevada last week. But fearing Sanders’s progressive policies, they are searching for an alternative who can defeat Republican incumbent Donald Trump in November.
Biden won 60 percent of the votes cast by African Americans. He also did well with older voters, women, moderates and conservatives and regular churchgoers, according to AP VoteCast.
Sanders earned the support of roughly 15 percent of African American voters, while billionaire businessman Tom Steyer won 16 percent.
There was also evidence that Biden’s status as former President Barack Obama’s two-term vice president helped him win over African Americans.