Biden sweeps county, state
By Bobby Bryant
Former vice president Joe Biden won a staggering 61 percent of Darlington County’s vote in the Democratic presidential primary on Saturday, and carried South Carolina with equal ease, finishing first statewide with 48 percent of the vote.
Out of 6,924 ballots cast in Darlington County’s 32 precincts, Biden got 4,231 votes, beating his closest rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, by a 4-1 margin. Sanders finished with 16 percent of the Darlington County vote, or 1,105 votes.
No. 3 in Darlington County was billionaire activist Tom Steyer, with 13 percent (911 votes). He quit the presidential race shortly after the S.C. results were counted.
Fourth in the county was former South Bend, Ind., mayor Pete Buttigieg, with 4 percent, or 287 votes. Fifth in the county was Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with 3 percent, or 208 votes. Sixth was Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, with 1 percent, or 86 votes. Seventh was Hawaii Sen. Tulsi Gabbard with 0.8 percent, or 55 votes.
Buttigieg dropped out of the race on Sunday.
Five Democratic candidates on Darlington County ballots had quit the race after the ballots were prepared, and they got a smattering of votes even though precincts had signs up showing voters that they were already out of the race.
Those five “ghost” candidates were Michael Bennet, 13 votes; Cory Booker, 7 votes; John Delaney, 7 votes; Deval Patrick, 4 votes; and Andrew Yang, 10 votes.
Statewide, the candidates still in the race finished in exactly the same order. Unofficial totals reported by CNN showed Biden beating his nearest rival, Sanders, more than 2-1 (48 percent to 20 percent). Unofficial statewide results for the other still-active candidates broke down like this: Steyer, 11 percent; Buttigieg, 8 percent; Warren, 7 percent; Klobuchar, 3 percent; and Gabbard, 1 percent.
“Thank you, South Carolina!” Biden told supporters in a tweet. “To all those who have been knocked down, counted out and left behind — this is your campaign. Together, we will win this nomination and beat Donald Trump.”
After weeks of poor showings in early primary and caucus states, Biden had badly needed a big win in South Carolina – his “firewall” state – to stay alive. Black voters had been expected to give him a major lift in South Carolina, and they did.
“If Democrats want a nominee who’s a Democrat, a lifelong Democrat, a proud Democrat, an Obama-Biden Democrat, join us,” Biden told supporters Saturday night. “We have the option of winning big or losing big. That’s the choice.”
This will be the only presidential primary in South Carolina this year. The S.C. Republican Party called off its own primary, saying there was no point, since President Trump had no legitimate challengers within the GOP.