For months now, Joe Biden and his surrogates have been talking about South Carolina. Joe did poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire, then placed second in Nevada, but South Carolina is his so-called firewall. This is where he is going to win big.

Biden is favored to win this race, but it might not be enough in the end.

Tom Benning reports at the Dallas Morning News:

The former vice president needs a victory in South Carolina — and likely a comfortable one — to re-energize his flagging campaign, which has seen its stock drop amid the rise of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic socialist who’s led the way so far on the nomination calendar.

Whether out of desperation or a desire to leave nothing to chance, Biden is going all-in in the Palmetto State.

“This is his first stand, versus his last stand,” said Antjuan Seawright, a Democratic strategist in South Carolina who’s not affiliated with any of the presidential campaigns. “This is the place where this process will recenter itself.”…

He’s leaning into his strong support among the state’s large black community, particularly its older voters who remember him fondly as President Barack Obama’s running mate…

A victory in South Carolina still may not be enough.

Texas and other delegate-rich states will hold their contests on Super Tuesday, just three days after South Carolina. So even if Biden wins the Palmetto State — and even if it’s by a larger margin than expected — many Democrats in upcoming primaries have already cast their ballot.

Even if Biden wins big in South Carolina, his campaign won’t have any time to fundraise off the victory before Super Tuesday. The same goes for media coverage. A win would give them two or three days of headlines and then the news moves on to all the other states.

Tristan Justice of The Federalist notes that while Biden’s poll numbers look good in South Carolina, they aren’t great anywhere else:

According to Real Clear Politics’ latest aggregate of South Carolina polls, Biden currently holds a comfortable lead over he rest of the field with more than 30 percent support followed by Sanders coming in next with almost 23 percent. Billionaire businessman Tom Steyer is in third with 15 percent and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is at 9…

His nationwide frontrunner status is certainly gone. According to Real Clear Politics’ latest aggregate of polls, Sanders now leads the field in nationwide surveys with more than 29 percent support, while the rest of the candidates fall behind. Biden, who led in the national polls all last year is now hanging on to second place with 18 percent support.

According to the Real Clear aggregate in the Super Tuesday states where there is credible polling, Biden isn’t leading anywhere. His best bet is Texas and North Carolina, where Biden only polls barely a few points behind Sanders though former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg looms large in North Carolina in a close third while flooding the airwaves with ad spending compared to Biden’s absence.

Biden could surprise everyone by doing well on Super Tuesday, but if he doesn’t, South Carolina will be old news, even if he did well there.


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