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Biden wins South Carolina, hopes for Super Tuesday momentum

Election 2020 Joe Biden
Posted at 7:07 PM, Feb 29, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Joe Biden says he can “unite this country, the whole country” after scoring a thundering victory in South Carolina’s Democratic primary.

The decisive victory could force moderate rivals out of the race and blunt the rise of progressive leader Bernie Sanders.

Biden vowed Sunday he would improve his campaign operation, his fundraising haul — and even his own performance — as the race pushes toward Super Tuesday.

Speaking on ABC's “This Week.” Biden said: "I feel good. I can win and I can bring along Democratic victories.”

His win on the strength of African American support came at a perilous moment in his 2020 bid as he needed an emphatic rebound after underwhelming performances in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

The former vice president rode a wave of African-American support to a Saturday win that ended Bernie Sanders’ winning streak and offered badly needed momentum for Biden's unsettled White House bid.

Biden's win could work to blunt front-runner Sanders' momentum heading into Super Tuesday, when 14 states and American Samoa weigh in on the race.

About 40% of voters in South Carolina picked health care as the top issue, while 22% said the economy and jobs are most important. That’s according to an AP VoteCast survey of the electorate. Fourteen percent of voters identified climate change.

Close to 9 in 10 Democratic voters said it’s important for their nominee to be a strong leader.

The top finish came in a do-or-die election that followed three underwhelming performances.

South Carolina’s first-in-the-South primary, which marked the first major test of the candidates' appeal among black voters.

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Many SC black voters back return to Obama era

South Carolinians were voting in Saturday’s Democratic presidential primary with a greater sense of nostalgia for the Obama presidency than voters in earlier contests -- likely reflecting the state’s sizable bloc of African American voters.

Voters in the Palmetto State were more likely than those in Iowa and New Hampshire to want to restore Washington to the pre-Trump era, as opposed to seeking a candidate who will enact fundamental change.

That's according to AP VoteCast, a wide-ranging survey of more than 1,400 voters in South Carolina.