COLUMBIA, S.C. – Joe Biden decisively won the South Carolina primary on Saturday, delivering the former vice president a much-needed victory that he hopes will mark the beginning of a comeback for his presidential campaign.
Biden’s victory is his first since voting began in the Democratic nominating contest earlier this month. It follows lackluster finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as a distant second-place showing in Nevada last week that eroded his standing in polls and raised questions about his electability.
The Associated Press called the race for Biden soon after polls closed at 7 p.m. ET.
The former vice president and his allies argued heading into Saturday that a victory in the Palmetto State would effectively act as a reset for his campaign and prove him to be the best candidate to assemble a diverse coalition of voters needed to recapture the White House in November.
Biden’s win on Saturday owes in no small part to turnout in the primary. Early exit polls show that the electorate was more diverse and more moderate than in the first three nominating contests. Black voters once again made up a majority of the primary electorate – about 55 percent.
But the electorate was somewhat whiter than in 2016, when black voters accounted for about 61 percent of those who cast ballots in the South Carolina primary.
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