Election Update: Chugging Along to South Carolina


By Eva Lynch

Following Iowa’s blunder, the pressure on the Democrats continues to run high, especially as constituents wonder if similar mistakes can be expected moving toward the South Carolina primary this Saturday and Super Tuesday on March 3rd. 

While this particular election cycle has seen many lead changes, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have been widely considered the most consistent frontrunners. These standings hold true entering the South Carolina primary, as recent polls show the two in close contention for the victory. Biden has expressed how important victory in South Carolina is to the longevity of his campaign, a notion which is supported by his newly-released campaign ad depicting Sanders as opposing former and first African-American president Barack Obama’s reelection. 

Sanders has not responded to the advertisement yet, but he is facing separate backlash from Florida Democrats tied to a 60 Minutes interview this Sunday. The topic turned to comments Sanders made in 1985 stating that Cubans did not rebel against Castro because he was executing critical social reform. Sanders’ failure to condemn inhumane practices seen in the Castro regime, coupled with his failure to denounce the communist administration yet again this weekend caused immediate uproar in the nation’s biggest battleground state and most concentrated community of Cuban-Americans. 

“Donald Trump wins Florida if Bernie is our nominee,” commented Florida Democratic Representative Javier Fernandez, who has endorsed Biden. “No one really sees Sanders winning in Florida and I don’t think his campaign does either.”

Also this week, Sanders was reportedly briefed that Russian intelligence attempted to interfere with his campaign and help him clench the White House. It is unclear what form the attempted interference takes, but Democrats and lawmakers in general appear to be taking the issue seriously, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a letter to President Trump today, pleading for sanctions on Russia to avoid any further concern.  While Sanders deals with his campaign struggles, the Democratic party as a whole continues to encounter their own obstacles. Most recently, the obstacle is the growing disillusionment of black voters, a critical voting block for the Democrats, with the party. A recent poll, conducted by political action committee BlackPAC, shows almost one third expressing the desire for “someone else” to enter the race. Further, while most are generally supportive of the party and feel its values are aligned with theirs, over half feel that the party is not paying close enough attention to black voters and the issues that are important to them. But, a representative for BlackPAC commented that these concerns arise every year, and the key voting block which the Democrats have relied upon for decades will likely remain loyal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *