SC Biden supporters unbothered by disappointing NH 5th place

South Carolina voter Andya Davis takes photo former Vice President Joe Biden at the campaign's Columbia launch party. (Emine Yucel/MEDILL)

By Samone Blair and Emine Yücel
Medill Reports

Despite poor showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden were optimistic the presidential candidate will come out strong in South Carolina.

Biden finished fourth place in the Iowa caucus last week and fifth place in the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, but supporters at a South Carolina launch party in Columbia remained hopeful.

In his 18-minute long speech, Biden addressed South Carolinians, who will vote on Feb. 29.  He emphasized that only two out of 50 states have voted so far and reminded his supporters that the primaries are just beginning. “I know this is going to be the fight of my life,” he said.

“The road has already been paved,” said Carol Eaddy, a Biden supporter who attended the event with her friends. “And all he is doing is walking right into it.”

According to a January poll by Change Research, Biden is leading in the South Carolina Democratic primary with 25%.

“Up till now, we haven’t heard from the most committed constituents in the Democratic party: the African American community,” Biden said, stressing the importance of minority voters for the success of the Democratic party.

Although Biden is counting on black voters to win the South Carolina primary, not all in attendance were sure they will be supporting him.

“I don’t know who I’m supporting yet. I’m really, really torn. But, it’ll be very, very difficult for me to support Joe Biden,” said State Rep. JA Moore, D-North Charleston, who previously endorsed Sen. Kamala Harris.

According to the Change Research poll, 30% of black voters said they will vote for Biden.

“It’s only the beginning,” said Andya Davis, a cosmetologist from Lexington who has supported Biden since 2008. “And he does not break under pressure, that’s for sure. Biden has South Carolina locked in.”

“We’re gonna heal, and the country desperately needs it,” Biden said. “Folks, that’s the kind of courage and conviction we need to end the Trump era and move this nation forward to a more perfect union.”

Another Biden supporter was on board with his message of unity.

“Togetherness instead of hatred will bring people together,” said Shannon Davis, a salesman. “Our priority is unity and bringing it back to America. That’s the only way the country is going to survive.”

Photo at top: South Carolina voter Andya Davis takes photo former Vice President Joe Biden at the campaign’s Columbia launch party. (Emine Yucel/MEDILL)