In an indication that Republicans would most like to run against Bernie Sanders in the November general election, Trump-supporting leaders in South Carolina are urging GOP voters to support the Vermont senator in the state’s primary on Feb. 29.
It’s a clear effort to damage Joe Biden’s candidacy further as the former VP will be relying even more on South Carolina following his lackluster performance in the chaotic Iowa caucus.
According to The Hill, “The plan – orchestrated by Greenville GOP chairman Nate Leupp and several other prominent Republican Party leaders – revolves around GOP leadership’s belief that Sanders poses the least amount of challenge to President Trump in November’s general election and its goal of getting the Palmetto State’s Democratic lawmakers to agree to close the state’s primaries.”
More from the report:
Currently, South Carolina has open primaries, meaning voters don’t have to be associated with a political party in order to cast a ballot.
According to the paper, Leupp and company are set to unveil their plan on Thursday at a press conference at the GOP’s headquarters in Greenville.
In the latest Post and Courier poll, Sanders only trailed former Vice President Joe Biden, who has long been the favorite in the state, by five percentage points.
Leupp said that he believes that the state’s large Republican voter base could make the difference in the primary. To his point, in 2016 roughly 740,000 people voted in the state’s GOP presidential primary, while only 370,000 voted in the Democratic version.
Republicans are terrified of Joe Biden
There is no doubt that Joe Biden’s poor showing in Iowa won’t do anything to boost his campaign heading into the New Hampshire primary, where he is also an underdog. However, it still remains to be seen whether the Iowa results, which are finally coming in, will do severe, long-term damage the former VP’s presidential bid.
If anything, the failure of the Iowa Democratic Party to release any results on the night of the caucus was the best thing that happened to Biden on Monday. It took some of the wind out of the loss as the news cycle moves quickly to Donald Trump’s State of the Union and the upcoming New Hampshire contest.
Still, Biden’s support among African American voters makes him a frontrunner in South Carolina, the early state that arguably is the best representation of the Democratic Party. If Biden wins there, it’ll give him a much-needed boost of momentum heading into Super Tuesday.
But Republicans know that a Biden loss in South Carolina would likely be the end of his candidacy, particularly if he loses the first three contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.
Given that Donald Trump and the GOP fear Biden the most, it’s no surprise that they are now trying to boost Bernie Sanders in a make-or-break state for the former vice president.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.