Sen. Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire primary with 26 percent of the vote, which positions him with a possible advantage going into the Nevada caucus on Feb. 22 and the South Carolina primary on Feb. 29.
Sanders told supporters in his victory speech last night, “Let me say tonight that this victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.”
Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and entrepreneur Andrew Yang dropped out of the race.
Sanders takes nine of the 24 pledged Democratic delegates into Nevada and South Carolina. That primary will be particularly important to the candidates seeking to gain support from African-American voters, which make up two thirds of the state’s electorate.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who only received 8.4 percent of the vote in the New Hampshire primary, is overwhelmingly favored among African Americans in a January Washington Post/Ipsos poll, showing him with 48 percent Black voter support.
The former Vice President reportedly had not expected great returns in New Hampshire and set his sights on South Carolina. When he arrives there, he is scheduled to host a launch party with his campaign co-chair, Cedric Richmond. The Louisiana congressman stressed the importance of a win in the state as key. “South Carolina is very important in this process, if not the most important state,” Richmond told the Charleston Post and Courier last month. “Before Super Tuesday, it is a great reflection of the country. ... This is a must-win if I’ve ever seen one, and so I’ve decided to sacrifice every free moment to make sure that we win.”
Sanders has increased his outreach to African American and Latinos and some polls have him competing strongly with Biden.
“The African American vote cannot be taken for granted,” State Rep. Ivory Thigpen, who has endorsed Sanders told the Associated Press. “Just the idea that we are a firewall, that our vote is already cemented. ... I won’t go so far as to say it’s offensive, but I think it might be misconceived.”
Meanwhile, the lone African American Democratic candidate in the 2020 race, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has pledged to continue moving forward despite poor results so far and failing to qualify for a national debate. He told Boston’s WGBH that his record in his home state will help him gain momentum in places like South Carolina, where he hopes Black voters will support him as well.
“We wonder why we’re divided. It’s because we don’t know each other. We’re not engaged with each other,” said Patrick. “I’m not running to be the president of Democrats, I’m running to be president of the United States.”
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