As votes are counted in New Hampshire, former Vice President Joe Biden is shifting ahead to South Carolina, where success is critical to his ability to continue his campaign for the White House.
Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign says he and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will travel to Columbia on Tuesday night for a “launch” party. U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond is Biden’s campaign co-chairman and had already been planning to attend the event.
The campaign says Biden will address supporters in New Hampshire via livestream while his sister, Valerie Biden Owens, will be in attendance to thank them in person.
Biden arguably has the most at stake in South Carolina, where he has led polling and has long relationships with the heavily black electorate. But other candidates including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and billionaire Tom Steyer have been campaigning hard in the state in recent days and weeks, putting increased pressure on the Biden team as the hectic primary schedule rolls on.
The former Vice President has faced mounting criticism during the past few months as he continues to struggle to connect with voters and gain the kind of enthusiasm among his supporters that can match that of his socialist opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, or even the more moderate Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.
Biden has seen his poll numbers continue to slip into fourth place in the latest New Hampshire polling as voting in that state’s primary got underway at midnight on Tuesday. Many political experts point to a pattern of gaffes and somewhat confrontational encounters with voters by Joe Biden, culminating in the latest fiasco this past weekend in which Biden called a 21-year-old female supporter a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier” during a town hall event in the granite state.
Democratic leaders and party officials have long been murmuring among themselves about their hesitation and concerns regarding a Biden challenge to President Trump in 2020’s general election, however, the fact that the only alternatives within the party appear to be the far-left’s knight in shining armor, Sanders, or a rather boring and uninspiring Buttigieg, many within the Democratic establishment have taken to holding their noses and trying to prop the struggling candidate up to appear viable moving forward.
Despite all of the uncertainty surrounding his campaign and his truly dismal performance in the Iowa caucuses, as well as, the unencouraging numbers out of New Hampshire so far, Biden himself is already crafting a narrative of optimistic thinking as the primary circuit carries on. Biden said in a press release on Monday, he plans to travel later in the week to Nevada, which holds its caucus vote later this month.
A move that further signals the Biden team’s gamble that the former Vice President’s success is yet to come in the later contests, which they say better “reflects the coalition that is the Democratic party.”
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