Daily US Times, South Carolina: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has been handed a huge boost in the race to challenge Donald Trump in the upcoming election in November.
He achieved a huge victory in South Carolina’s primary, where voters have been picking who they want to be the Democratic nominee for the election.
Bernie Sanders got second place there, and he leads overall because of his good results in last caucuses.
Another 14 states vote on Super Tuesday this week and after the massive election day, it could become much clearer who the nominee will be.
South Carolina is only the fourth state to have voted so far in the months-long primary season, and which has become first win for the former Vice President.
In a victory speech, Biden criticized press and pundits for foreseeing the end of his candidacy. In said the cheering crowd, ”Thanks to all of you – the heart of the Democratic Party – we just won, and we’ve won big.”
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar congratulated Mr Biden for his victory at events tonight.
What happened in South Carolina
With 90% vote counted, Mr Biden has 49% of the share, far ahead of Sanders. Billionaire hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer ended his campaign despite having the best performance so far. As he left out of the race, there are now seven candidates in the running.
The last three primaries were held in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, where Biden showed poor performances. So South Carolina became his nearly last hope.
Mr Biden has strong support among African-American voters. Polls suggest that an endorsement by influential black congressman James Clyburn played a significant part in how people voted.
The victory is a huge boost for the 77-year-old candidate ahead of the biggest day of voting on Tuesday, and allow him to make the case that he is the best-placed moderate Democrat to take on Mr Sanders.
Candidates who have won more than 15% of the vote in South Carolina will be awarded delegates, who will then go to the party’s convention in July to support their Democratic candidate.
As Biden got the maximum share of vote, he is likely to claim the vast majority of the state’s 54 delegates, with Mr Sanders the only other candidate to cross the 15% threshold.
Biden holds the largest numbers of delegates so far by 53, Biden remains second by 41. Pete Buttigieg has 26 delegates, Elizabeth Warren has eight and Amy Klobuchar has seven.
But Biden is leading the popular vote so far with 281,164 votes (27.8%) after four Democratic contests, that’s 30,216 more votes than Bernie Sanders, who comes in a distant second with 250,948 votes (24.8%).
This Tuesday is the most important day for candidates in the season.
Democrats in 14 states, including the two most populous states, California and Texas will vote (as well as American Samoa and Democrats Abroad). A massive 1,357 delegates will be distributed – almost a third of all those available through the entire primary season.
The entire picture will be clear on that day. We could see Mr Sanders cement his lead as the front-runner – and even extend into a near-unbeatable lead, as seems possible.