A two-man race: Joe Biden now leads Democratic Party
Former Vice President Joe Biden is the new front runner of the Democratic Party after a successful Super Tuesday, thanks to his campaign-saving win in the South Carolina primary last Saturday.
Biden tasted victory for the first time this election season in the South, putting an end to the winning streak of Senator Bernie Sanders, his anticipated running-mate. Biden was predicted to end his presidential bid following his less-than-favorable results in the Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada caucuses; however, the turn of events in South Carolina gave his campaign the momentum it needed.
Though the exit polls confirmed Biden was the preferred candidate for both genders and all ethnic backgrounds, his overwhelming success on Saturday is mainly a result of his popularity among moderate Democrats and black voters.
Biden secured 62% of black votes, owing his success to an endorsement by South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn -- an influential political figure in the black community.
Approximately half of South Carolina’s constituents concurred that his endorsement was a factor in their decision.
In his victory speech, Biden began by thanking Representative Clyburn for his hand in resurrecting the candidate’s campaign.
“My buddy Jim Clyburn,” Biden said. “You brought me back!”
This sentiment could not be more true, as Biden’s second chance in South Carolina enabled his “Joementum” to carry into the 10 out of 14 states that voted in his favor on Mar. 3.
Biden maintained a double-digit lead over Sanders in more than half of his acquired states, dominating the southern primaries and even walking away with a win in Texas, the second-largest prize of the night.
Sanders clung to his position as a close second by taking California, the only state on Tuesday’s roster with more delegates than Texas.
The Democratic initiative to beat incumbent President Donald Trump in the November polls is now down to a two-man race, as Biden and Sanders are the only candidates still in the running for the Democratic nomination.
After a disappointing turnout in South Carolina, billionaire Tom Steyer, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar all suspended their bids for the presidency.
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Senator Elizabeth Warren also dropped out of the race following Super Tuesday.
Since the thinning of the candidate list, Biden has won the endorsements of nearly all the previous contenders except for Warren, who has yet to make her decision.
“Let’s take a deep breath,” Warren said when asked who her followers should support next. “We don’t have to decide right this minute.”
The efficacy of the Democratic Party in its mission to terminate President Trump’s incumbency is reliant on its ability to bridge the growing divide between moderates and liberals.
It goes without saying that a mission to beat the current GOP is what connects the two voting groups; however, the ideological divergence that Socialist Sanders and Moderate candidates like Biden have created may compromise the integrity of the party.
Outspoken moderate and conservative Democrats believe Biden is the key to success in November, incentivizing his former adversaries to now publicly endorse him.
“We need somebody who can beat Donald Trump,” Representative Beto O’Rourke said. “And
in Joe Biden, we have that man.”
The radical policies of liberal Sanders have made him a near pariah in his party, much to the advantage of Biden, though the loyalty of his primarily young fan base may pose an issue in the general election. The same is true for Biden supporters and their commitment to more “middle-of-the-road” beliefs.
A Democratic nomination for Sanders may force moderate voters to reelect President Trump for the sake of maintaining a more traditional economic outlook.
Voter abstinence is another possible consequence of a lack of desired representation depending on which candidate receives the nomination following the conclusion of the caucuses. An end to the presidential bid of Sanders and the absence of a candidate similar to him could produce such an effect amongst his supporters.
This election season has proved that America is in an era where the candidate is more important than the party affiliation.
The next set of caucuses will take place Tuesday, Mar. 10 in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington State.
By Hayley Hartner