The campaign of former VP Joe Biden got a much needed shot in the arm, as he declared victory in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday. But, was it enough to bring his spiraling campaign back out of the quicksand?
Biden called his victory in the primary “a real comeback” as he looks to carry momentum into the upcoming Super Tuesday primaries.
Biden, who appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” seemed confident that the South Carolina win shows he can challenge his Democratic presidential primary rival Bernie Sanders and reclaim the mantle as his party’s front-runner in the race to battle President Trump in November’s general election.
“It’s a big boost,” Biden said. “I think it starts the real comeback and we picked up a lot of delegates.”
However, he acknowledged that, “We have a long, long way to go. This is a marathon…”
After a poor start to the primary season with fourth- and fifth-place finishes in Iowa’s Caucuses and New Hampshire’s primary, which knocked Biden from frontrunner status, Biden had rightfully staked his campaign’s future on South Carolina, which he often referred to as his “firewall.”
In the Palmetto State, where Biden was counting on his popularity among African-Americans, he captured 48 percent of Democratic presidential primary voters, crushing Sanders by nearly 30 percentage points and making up lots of lost ground to the populist senator from Vermont in the all-important race for convention delegates.
But the true test for Biden will come this week on “Super Tuesday” – when 14 states from coast-to-coast, including delegate-rich behemoths like California and Texas, hold primaries that offer a potential combined prize of a third of all nomination delegates.
The former vice president deflected questions by moderator Chris Wallace about the future of his campaign if he gets “clobbered” on Super Tuesday where 34 percent of the Democratic delegates will be awarded, saying only that there are other delegate-heavy states still in play following Tuesday’s votes.
“There are a lot of big states coming up after that – Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan,” Biden said. “I feel good about where we are and ultimately people are beginning to focus on the opposition the way they focused on me for a long time.”
“It’s about the message,” he added.