Joe Biden’s lead in EVERY poll for South Carolina up to now has Barack Obama Vice President has been in the double digits…
But as usual?
The closer the actual vote comes?
The margins close…
The NY Times has a pice that points to gains by Tom Steyer in the Biden firewall state….
And drags out negatives on Biden….
As in anyplace?
The black vote isn’t monolithic …
But Joe Biden still has most of it….
“Up to now, we haven’t heard from the most committed constituency of the Democratic Party, the African-American community,” Mr. Biden told about 200 enthusiastic supporters, many of them black. He added: “99.9 percent. That’s the percentage of African-American voters that have not yet had a chance to vote in America.”
The ability to mobilize black support in South Carolina, which holds its primary on Feb. 29, and across the South has long been the foundation of Mr. Biden’s candidacy — a presumed advantage that would highlight his capacity to forge a diverse coalition to take down President Trump.
Yet as Mr. Biden looks to black voters to resurrect his candidacy after defeats in both Iowa and New Hampshire, cracks have appeared in that support, in some polls and among influential local and national Democrats, who are saying out loud what many have privately believed all along: that he was a safe, familiar political harbor for them as much as an object of affection.
While Mr. Biden remains the favorite among many state party leaders, several South Carolina Democrats say that another candidate, Tom Steyer, has become a significant factor in the primary race here. Mr. Steyer, a billionaire from California, has been aggressively courting black voters, spending heavily on advertising and lavishing money on businesses across the state.
Political advantages that once seemed a formality for Mr. Biden’s campaign — like the endorsement of the state’s most powerful Democrat, Representative James E. Clyburn — are now uncertain; two people familiar with Mr. Clyburn’s thinking say he is increasingly worried about endorsing a candidate who is not guaranteed to win the state.
“Let’s be honest; he was the vice president under the first African-American president so his early name recognition was really high and that lifted his numbers,” said John King, a state lawmaker who recently endorsed Mr. Steyer.
The heightened stakes have made other challenges more apparent, including the sometimes awkward fit between Mr. Biden and a new generation of young, black elected officials who are sweeping the South. Compared with Mr. Clyburn’s generation, this group is less moved by arguments of deference and the chummy collegiality of beltway politics. Instead, they view themselves as ambitious insurgents….