Joe Biden Secures Key Endorsement From South Carolina Democrat James Clyburn Ahead Of State’s Primary
Joe Biden just scored a key endorsement in South Carolina, with top Democrat James Clyburn offering his support just days ahead of the state’s key primary.
Clyburn serves as the top-ranking African American in the House, and on Wednesday morning he publicly endorsed the former vice president. Clyburn appeared with Biden at an event in North Charleston, throwing his support behind the 77-year-old presidential candidate.
“I want the public to know that I’m voting for Joe Biden. South Carolinians should be voting for Joe Biden,” Clyburn said, via CNBC. “I know Joe. We know Joe. But most importantly, Joe knows us,” Clyburn added.
There had been recent reports that Clyburn was planning to endorse Biden, an endorsement which is seen as a major boost to the former vice president’s campaign after disappointing finishes in the first three races of the Democratic primary. Biden had lost his standing as the race’s frontrunner after Bernie Sanders won two states and came to a near-draw in Iowa, which is still planning a re-canvass after its problem-riddled caucus. Sanders had surged to the top of national polling, but Biden remained ahead in polling for South Carolina, the last state to vote before a large swath of delegates are available on Super Tuesday.
Clyburn’s endorsement carries considerable sway in South Carolina. As New York Magazine noted, Clyburn is seen as a “kingmaker” whose endorsement was important in past races.
“The timing for Biden is probably ideal,” the report noted. “South Carolina has no in-person early voting or no-excuse-necessary absentee ballots, so what you see on primary day is what you get. And Clyburn’s support can make a difference, as it likely did for John Kerry in 2004 and Hillary Clinton in 2016.”
The endorsement also comes as Biden appeared to lose some support from black voters. As The Inquisitr reported, a national Morning Consult poll taken after last Saturday’s Nevada caucuses showed that Sanders had overtaken Biden nationally among this key election demographic. The poll showed that Sanders had the support of 33 percent of black voters, while Biden had 29 percent. The result was within the survey’s four-point margin of error.
Biden comes into the South Carolina primary with some other winds at his back. The former vice president was seen as one of the strongest candidates in Tuesday’s CBS News debate, a post-debate snap poll from the network found. A total of 43 percent of those surveyed said that Biden’s performance impressed them. Sanders was also seen as strong in the debate, with 45 percent saying he impressed them.