Joe Biden
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Former Vice President Joe Biden won his first state contest in the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination race. After early results, South Carolina has been called for the 77-year-old candidate who won his first primary after running for president unsuccessfully in 1988 and 2008.

With 100 percent reporting in:

  1. Joe Biden – 48.4 percent (256,047)
  2. Bernie Sanders – 19.9 percent (105,197)
  3. Tom Steyer – 11.3 percent (59,893)
  4. Pete Buttigieg – 8.2 percent (43,606)
  5. Elizabeth Warren – 7.1 percent (37,346)
  6. Amy Klobuchar – 3.2 percent (16,677)
  7. Tulsi Gabbard – 1.3 percent (6,754)

South Carolina allots 54 pledged delegates. Biden and Sanders are the only candidates to hit the 15 percent threshold to receive delegates. Biden receives 35 delegates and Sanders receives 13. There are still 6 delegates to be awarded so those numbers will be updated. South Carolina also has 9 superdelegates who are not bound to the primary results.

Looking at South Carolina exit polling, Biden won among males with a plurality of 48 percent, he won 49 percent of the female vote. He won 33 percent of white voters who accounted for 40 percent of those polled. His margin of victory can be attributed to his overwhelming support from the black community where he won 61 percent of those polled. Black voters accounted for 56 percent of those polled.

Considering Biden’s support among black voters it is no surprise that he also led among religious voters. He received the support of 56 percent of those who say they attend religious services once a week or more, they made up 46 percent of those who were polled. He also won 46 percent of those who say they attend religious services occasionally, that group made up 37 percent of those polled. Sanders won among voters who say they never attend religious services with 36 percent, that group made up 17 percent of those polled.

The primary boost for Sanders was younger voters. He won the 44 and under voting bloc with 34 percent of the vote, but they only made up 29 percent of those polled. Biden won the 45 and older voting bloc with 56 percent of the vote, and they made up 71 percent of those polled.

Biden outperformed his polling average by 8.7 percent. Sanders underperformed his polling average by 4.4 percent. Steyer’s final result tracks with his polling, only being off by four-tenths of a percent. Buttigieg underperformed his polling by 3.1 percent. Warren outperformed her polling by 1.1 percent. Klobuchar under performed her polling by 2.6 percent. Gabbard underperformed her polling by one percent.

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