On Saturday, when 10 percent of the votes in the 2020 Nevada Democratic caucuses were in, former Vice President Joe Biden declared his campaign “alive.” Per Politico, Biden held a fiery speech before a group of supporters, taking shots at fellow candidates Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“I know we don’t know the final results yet, but I feel really good. You put me in a position. You know, the press is ready to declare people dead quickly but we’re alive and we’re coming back and we’re going to win,” the former vice president said — despite finishing in a distant second — as some in the crowd yelled “comeback kid!” at him.
Now, with nearly 50 percent of the vote released, Sanders is ahead with 46.6 percent. Biden is in second place with 19.2 percentage points. Trailing the former vice president is former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 15.4 percent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 10.3 percent, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota with 4.5 percent.
“We’re gonna win, we’re gonna win in South Carolina. And then Super Tuesday and we are on our way!” Biden told supporters, before attacking Sanders and Bloomberg.
“I ain’t a socialist. I ain’t a plutocrat,” he said.
In another shot at Sanders, Biden referenced recent reports that the Vermont senator considered running a primary challenge against former President Barack Obama. Stating that he was “proud” to have run with Obama, Biden said that he “wasn’t talking about running a Democratic primary against him in 2012.”
As Politico notes, Biden has enjoyed strong African American support in Nevada and elsewhere. Indicating that he will focus on turning out black voters instead of Latinos, Biden held a number of events in the Silver State earlier this week, telegraphing that he aims to maintain his firewall in South Carolina.
Biden is still favored to win South Carolina, but his firewall does not seem nearly as strong as it used to be, and his case for winning the state is undermined by underwhelming performances in Iowa and New Hampshire.
According to reports, Sanders and billionaire Tom Steyer are catching up to Biden in the Palmetto State, quietly winning over local activists and officials. Both men have surged in the polls, with Biden’s lead reduced to eight percentage points. Sanders is in second place and Steyer in third, according to the latest East Carolina University poll.
In an interview last week, Biden acknowledged that he has to “do really well” in South Carolina in order to win the nomination.