Joe Biden Leads By 31 In South Carolina As Pete Buttigieg Rises

A new poll of the South Carolina Democratic primary has Joe Biden leading Bernie Sanders by 31 as Pete Buttigieg as the biggest upward mover besides Biden.

Joe Biden Gains 14 points in South Carolina

The Post and Courier-Change Research Poll found:

Biden is preferred by 46 percent of likely S.C. Democratic primary voters, up 14 points from a month ago, according to a Post and Courier-Change Research Poll released Sunday. Biden’s post-announcement bump in South Carolina is higher than in other parts of the country, pollsters said.

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders sits second at 15 percent, with California Sen. Kamala Harris following at 10 percent. Their numbers have held steady in three S.C. polls taken since February. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Peter Buttigieg continued his remarkable rise, landing fourth, at 8 percent in a tie with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Buttigieg did not register with voters in the first S.C. poll taken nearly three months ago.

Former vice president Biden has a deep organization in South Carolina, so the fact that he is doing so well there isn’t a total surprise. Biden’s strength is a signal that Democrats want a frontrunner, and are looking to avoid a long protracted primary fight. There is an eternity until voters go to the polls in South Carolina, but Biden’s strong showing is an indicator that Democrats want to focus on beating Trump.

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Bernie Sanders Struggles In The South, And Watch Out For Kamala Harris

Bernie Sanders ran poorly in the South in 2016, and so far in 2020, nothing has changed for the senator from Vermont. Sanders is stumping in the South next week, but he has been beating his head against that wall for four years and has made little progress. The Bernie Sanders message doesn’t seem to play as well in that part of the country. Kamala Harris along with Elizabeth Warren have both put together organizations in South Carolina that make them a threat challenge Biden. Harris especially has the potential to rise to second in the state, and she is worth keeping an eye on in the weeks to come.

Pete Buttigieg Has gone from zero to tied for fifth

Pete Buttigieg continues his march toward the upper tier. The Buttigieg rise could be a reflection of a polling lag that is carrying over from his increase in national media attention, but outside of Biden, no one has seen their support grow more in South Carolina than Buttigieg. Mayor Pete is running a good campaign, and should his support continue, he will be in the 2020 primary longer than most people could have imagined.

The rest of the field is struggling to break through with only Sen. Cory Booker (4%) polling more than 2%.

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South Carolina could be Joe Biden’s to lose, but beneath Biden is a fascinating race that will shape the rest of the Democratic primary for 2020.

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