Joe Biden’s campaign showed its first signs of life in South Carolina with the former vice president taking the lead above other Democrats in the state’s primary, including frontrunner Bernie Sanders.
Multiple outlets called the South Carolina primary in Biden’s favor shortly after the polls closed at 7.00 pm ET.
According to exit poll data by Edison Research, Biden is on course to win at least 14 delegates from 54 for grabs in the fourth and final early voting contest.
Looking forward to bag his first victory in the so far listless campaign, Biden has relied heavily on black voters. However, the exit poll data suggest that while Biden found favors with older African-American voters, black youth vote was split between him and Senator Bernie Sanders, the current frontrunner in the nomination race.
In run-up to the vote, polls had Biden leading other Dems by double digits in the state, with Sanders and Tom Steyer trailing behind him and other candidates only earning single digit support.
Biden told reporters earlier on Saturday morning he was “optimistic” about his chances in South Carolina.
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Biden’s victory marks a chance for the former vice president to pitch himself as an alternative to Sanders, who has received heavy criticism from more mainstream Democrats like Hillary Clinton and prominent Democratic strategist James Carville.
The Vermont independent was previously leading his competitors with 45 delegates after clear victories in New Hampshire and Nevada.
Leading up to Saturday’s vote, Biden’s campaign had seen an uptick in donations, including $1.2 million from 30,000 donors on Wednesday. The victory gives him momentum he didn’t previously have going into Super Tuesday, where 14 states will vote in their primaries and over 1000 delegates are up for grabs.
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