Biden is the first Democratic presidential primary candidate to score a clear-cut victory over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). His big win could reshape the Democratic presidential race as candidates quickly turn Sunday to campaigning in Super Tuesday states.
Former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg will appear on the ballot for the first time on Super Tuesday in three days, facing the first real test of his candidacy after spending nearly half a billion dollars on his campaign.
Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) are also competing in the Super Tuesday contests in 14 states and one U.S. territory for a total of 1,357 delegates. Investor Tom Steyer dropped out of the race late Saturday.
NORFOLK, Va. — Sanders raised $46.5 million in February, his presidential campaign said Sunday, a huge sum that could help sustain him in a lengthy battle for the nomination.
The Vermont senator, who won nominating contests in Nevada and New Hampshire last month, has vaulted to the top of the field in recent national polls. But Biden’s landslide win in South Carolina Saturday raises the potential that the race could continue on for a considerable stretch. Sanders finished a distant second in South Carolina, a disappointing showing for a candidate on the rise until now.
The cash infusion came from 2.2 million individual donations, including more than 350,000 people who gave to the Sanders campaign for the first time, officials said. On Saturday alone, the campaign said it raised $4.5 million.
The Warren campaign also raised a hefty haul in February, bringing in $29 million, her campaign said. About half of that came right after her Nevada debate performance. When President Barack Obama was running for office in 2008, he raised $55 million over the same time period.
For Sanders, who has built the most imposing online fundraising operation in the Democratic field this cycle, the sum marks a significant increase from the $25 million he collected in January. Since the start of his second campaign for president last February, the campaign said it has raised more than $167 million.
The Sanders campaign did not immediately say how much money it had in its account at the end of February. It announced that it was purchasing airtime for television ads in nine states that vote on March 10 and March 17.
South Carolina’s Saturday primary brought a first and desperately needed victory for former vice president Joe Biden, and a statewide network exit poll reveals the key factors that drove Biden’s support. Below are four of the most striking takeaways from the survey:
African Americans fueled Biden’s lopsided victory
African Americans cast 57 percent of the votes and carried Biden to his overwhelming South Carolina victory. African American voters chose Biden over Sanders by almost 4 to 1. Biden garnered 61 percent of the vote, Sanders 16 percent and Steyer 13 percent. Buttigieg, Warren, and Gabbard were all in the low single digits. Klobuchar’s support among African American voters rounded to zero percent in exit polling.
Biden’s connection to President Barack Obama and support from Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-S.C.) helped drive the vote. About half of primary voters said this week’s Biden endorsement by longtime congressman Clyburn was a factor in their decision, and Biden carried that group over Sanders by roughly 4 to 1. About 6 in 10 black voters said Clyburn’s endorsement was important in their vote, compared with just over 3 in 10 white voters.
More than half of voters overall — and two-thirds of black voters — said they want a return to the policies of the Obama administration. Biden won that group by more than 5 to 1 over Sanders.
A more religious electorate — More than 4 out of 10 of South Carolina Democratic primary voters reported attending religious services once a week or more, according to preliminary exit polls. That is much higher than in New Hampshire’s primary earlier this month, in which just 13 percent attended weekly and 51 percent never attended. In South Carolina only 17 percent said they never attend. In New Hampshire, Sanders’s support was about twice as high among those who never attended religious services as those who attended weekly or more often.
A 57 percent majority of voters who attend weekly supported Biden, as did nearly half of those who attend occasionally. Biden won about 1 in 4 of the voters who never attend services. Saunders won more than a third of those voters.
Older voters — More than 7 in 10 primary voters were age 45 or older, the highest for any Democratic contest so far and a trend that hampered Sanders, who has performed strongest with younger Democrats. Sanders led Biden among voters under age 30 by 43 percent to 27 percent, but Biden beat Sanders among older age groups, winning by five points among voters ages 30-44, by 37 points among those ages 45-64 and by a dominant 55 points among seniors.
South Carolina Democrats really like Joe Biden — Biden failed to establish a deep connection with voters in any of the first three states, but struck a chord with South Carolinians. More than 3 in 4 Democratic primary voters said they had a favorable view of Biden (77 percent), far and away the highest of any competitor.
The findings above are results from a survey of 2,178 voters as they exited randomly selected voting sites across South Carolina on primary day, Feb. 29. The poll was conducted by Edison Media Research for the National Election Pool, The Washington Post and other media organizations. Results for typical characteristics have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.
Former vice president Joe Biden decisively won South Carolina’s primary, his first victory, one that was a boost to him and a blow to Sen. Bernie Sanders. Read more about the win here and see full results.
The candidates: The major candidates competing on Super Tuesday are former vice president Joe Biden; former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); and former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is on ballots for the first time.
Policy: Candidates have laid out where they stand on a number of issues. Answer some of the questions yourself and see who agrees with you.
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