Joe Biden Won’t Leave Nevada Empty-Handed After Caucus Update

Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada.
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Joe Biden won’t be leaving the state of Nevada empty-handed.

As NBC News reported on Sunday, updated figures from Saturday’s caucus showed that Biden finished in second place behind Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and is set to earn seven national convention delegates. The final numbers showed that Sanders won Nevada with close to 47 percent, while Biden finished with close to 21 percent.

After disappointing finishes in the first Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary that came next, the second-place finish could give Biden momentum heading to what appears to be more favorable ground in South Carolina this week. As the report noted, Biden is set to earn the endorsement of Congressman Jim Clyburn, the top Democrat in South Carolina. The state had been considered a firewall for Biden, and Clyburn’s endorsement could help put him over the top, NBC News noted.

“Official backing from Clyburn, colloquially known as the ‘South Carolina Kingmaker’ for his heavy influence in the state’s Democratic politics, could help cement what Biden has predicted would be a first-place finish in South Carolina. Clyburn, who as majority whip is the third-ranking Democrat in the House, will formally endorse Biden ahead of the primary at an event Wednesday, according to two people with firsthand knowledge.”

While Sanders has jumped out to a lead in pledged delegates and appeared to have all the momentum after Saturday’s big win, some experts say that Biden has the potential for a comeback with a big win in South Carolina. Nate Silver, of the election forecasting and analysis site FiveThirtyEight, wrote on Twitter that Biden still has a 50-50 chance of winning in the state, and the race would look much different if he does.

Polls showed that Biden maintained a narrow lead in South Carolina despite a bump for Sanders. A CBS News poll showed that Biden had the support of 28 percent of voters while Sanders was close behind with 23 percent.

While Biden still led the race, the poll showed that what was once a significant lead had almost entirely evaporated. In a previous poll taken in the fall, Biden maintained a 28-point lead in South Carolina. Biden’s support fell by double digits while both Sanders and businessman Tom Steyer also made gains, with Steyer jumping to 18 percent. As CBS News noted, the poll was conducted before Sanders’ win in Nevada, though most South Carolina voters said the results from Nevada would not affect their vote.