Joe Biden Sweeps the South Carolina Primary, but Will That Change Super Tuesday Results?
South Carolina marks Biden's first primary win ever.
Former Vice President Joe Biden won the South Carolina primary in a landslide, earning 48.4% of the vote. Senator Bernie Sanders took second with 19.9% of the vote, followed by Tom Steyer with 11.3%, Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 8.2% and Senator Elizabeth Warren with 7.1%. Steyer has since ended his campaign.
Biden’s win has been celebrated as a turning point for the former frontrunner, who has struggled in the crowded primary field, earning fourth, fifth and second place finishes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, respectively. Biden has also struggled to achieve a breakout moment in the debates as well as a funding surge like his opponents, and those combined factors led to a narrative that his campaign was on the ropes. His win in South Carolina reversed that narrative.
In his victory speech, Biden told the crowd, “All of those of you who have been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign … Just days ago, the press and the pundits had declared this candidacy dead. Now thanks to all of you … we’ve just won and we won big because of you.”
Now, the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Biden’s win will affect Super Tuesday, where 14 states, American Samoa, and democrats living abroad will cast their votes. Up for grabs are 1,357 delegates. To clinch the nomination, a candidate must receive 1,991. And delegates are different from votes, thanks to the overly complicated rules of the democratic primary.
And while the wins and losses of the first four states have driven the media narrative, those wins are numerically inconsequential: as of now, less than 5 percent of delegates have been chosen. That means that more than 95 percent are open for the taking. The count currently stands that Sanders is in the lead with 56 delegates, with Biden right behind him with 51.
If this primary season has shown us anything, it’s that the way we select candidates is bizarrely outdated, inherently biased, and too damn long. Everyone has been collectively crapping their pants over the results, but predictions and assumptions are still too early to be accurate.
Meanwhile, a combination of die-hard campaigners and Russian bots are flooding social media with hashtags telling literally every candidate to drop out. This is an incredibly stressful time not just for democrats, but for citizens everywhere who fear four more destructive years of Trump at the wheel. The stakes couldn’t be higher, and emotions are running hot.
But trying to predict the winner before Tuesday is akin to trying to predict the winner of a football game two minutes into the first quarter. There’s a lot of game left to play, and anything can happen.
In the meantime, take a deep breath, and vote for the candidate you believe in, whoever that is. Better yet, canvass, phone bank, and support your person. Nothing quells primary anxiety like getting out there and doing the work.
Is your state voting in Super Tuesday? Has Biden’s win swayed you in any way? Let us know!
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]