Former Vice President Joe Biden notched his first victory of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary on Saturday with a win in South Carolina, which his campaign hopes will halt the momentum of Sen.
The Associated Press declared Biden the winner shortly after polls closed in the state at 7 p.m. ET. Sanders, the AP projected, would finish in second place in South Carolina.
“We’ve just won, and we’ve won big because of you. And we are very much alive,” Biden told his elated supporters at a victory party in Columbia.
Biden made his case that he was the best for his party in the general election, up and down the ballot.
“If Democrats nominate me, I believe we can beat Donald Trump, keep Nancy Pelosi in the House of Representatives as Speaker and take back the Senate,” Biden said.
Taking aim at Sanders, Biden said: “If the Democrats want a nominee who is a Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, a proud Democrat, an Obama-Biden Democrat, join us!”
Biden drew robust support from African-Americans in South Carolina, who make up nearly 60 percent of the state’s Democratic electorate. Sanders has worked hard to build alliances with African-Americans after being trounced by Hillary Clinton in South Carolina in 2016. However, the best-known black politician in the state, Rep. James Clyburn, endorsed Biden.