Former Vice President Joe Biden posted his first primary win Saturday (Feb. 29) in South Carolina, capturing a significant portion of the state’s 54 delegates. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who was the delegate leader, came in a distant second.
As of 8 p.m. (9 p.m. Eastern Time) the Associated Press and most major networks had called the race for Biden. At that time, Biden had 50% of the vote with 100% of precincts reporting. Following is the vote percentage for the top five Democratic candidates with 100% of precincts reporting.
• former Vice President Joe Biden: 48.4%
• U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.: 19.9%
• businessman Tom Steyer: 11.3%
• former Mayor Pete Buttigieg: 8.2%
• U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.: 7.1%
Steyer announced Saturday he is dropping out of the race. Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg was not on the South Carolina ballot. (Update: Buttigieg suspended his campaign on Sunday evening.)
Going into South Carolina, Sanders led the delegate count with 45, Buttigieg had 28, Biden had 15, Warren had 8, and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., had 7. Candidates had to capture 15% of the vote to share in any of the delegates available in South Carolina. Delegates could also be won if a candidate gained 15% of the vote in a congressional district.
The Arkansas primary, with its 31 Democratic delegates and 40 GOP delegates, is set for March 3, aka “Super Tuesday.” On that date, 14 states – Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia – will conduct Democratic and GOP primaries, with 1,339 Democratic delegates up for grabs, including 416 in California and 228 in Texas. Bloomberg is on the ballot in the Super Tuesday states.
To win the nomination, a candidate will need 1,991 delegates. The Democratic National Convention will begin July 13 in Milwaukee, Wis.
The Republican Party did not conduct a presidential primary election in South Carolina.