Former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic contender, suggested that South Carolina may be the make-or-break state for his campaign after two dismal showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Biden was asked about whether the Palmetto State is his final stand to make up ground that was lost during the start of 2020 after leading the field in national polls for most of last year. Biden finished in fifth place in New Hampshire and fourth in Iowa, triggering speculation that his main touted advantage over other Democratic candidates—electability—might be showing cracks.
“Well, I think I have to do really well in it, but right,” Biden told NBC News on Sunday about South Carolinas primary, which is Feb. 29. He noted that then-Gov. Bill Clinton suffered a series of poor primaries during the 1992 campaign cycle before he took home his first primary win and later went on to defeat incumbent President George H.W. Bush.
“Bill Clinton lost his first eight, 10, 12 primaries and caucuses before he won one. I dont plan on taking that long. But were just getting to the meat of getting to the number of delegates you need to be able to win this election. And Im confident were going to be in good shape,” Biden said.
Following the Nevada and South Carolina primaries, the 2020 candidates will face off on the March 4 Super Tuesday. Biden said that in these states, “Polling data is now showing me doing incredibly well.”
Since his losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, the former vice president has attempted to focus more heavily on courting African American voters. “You cant win–you cant take it for granted. Last time we ran it was basically taken for granted,” Biden said on NBCs “Meet the Press,” referring to Hillary Clintons failed 2016 bid against President Donald Trump.
He said, “Im the only one who has the record and has the background and has the support. They know me. They know who I am.”