An outpouring of black voter support propelled Joe Biden to a convincing victory in South Carolina’s Democratic primary on Saturday, resurrecting his faltering White House bid and giving the former vice president a chance to claim he is the moderate alternative to front-runner Bernie Sanders.
The decisive win gives Biden a burst of momentum in the Democratic race to challenge Republican President Donald Trump, which broadens quickly with Super Tuesday primaries in 14 states in three days that will award one-third of the available national delegates.
It was the first presidential primary win ever for Biden, who is making his third run at the White House.
He immediately took aim at Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont and self-described democratic socialist whose surging campaign and calls for a political revolution have rattled a Democratic establishment worried he is too far left to beat Trump in November.
“Democrats want a nominee who is a Democrat,” Biden told cheering supporters in Columbia, South Carolina, in a jab at Sanders. “Win big or lose, that’s the choice. Most Americans don’t want the promise of a revolution. They want more than promises they want results.”
Biden beat Sanders among a wide range of demographic and ideological groups, including those who said they were “very liberal,” according to Edison Research exit polls. The polls showed Biden, vice president under former President Barack Obama, with 61% of African-American support to Sanders’ 17%.