Despite all of former Vice President Joe Biden’s gaffes and comments about segregationists in addition to his dustup with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) over school busing, black Democrats in South Carolina still believe that Biden is the presidential candidate who “would do the best job handling racial issues,” according to a Fox News South Carolina poll that was released on Thursday evening.
The poll found that Biden maintains a strong lead in the Palmetto State, getting 35 percent. Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is in second with 14 percent, followed by Harris with 12 percent.
When black South Carolina Democrats were asked which presidential candidate would do the best “handling racial issues,” Biden received the support of 28 percent, followed by Harris (18 percent) and Sanders (16 percent).
Among black Democrats in the Palmetto State, Biden leads with 41 percent, followed by Sanders (15 percent) and Harris (12 percent). Among white Democrats in first-in-the-South primary state, Biden leads with 25 percent, followed by Harris (13 percent), Sanders (12 percent) and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (11 percent).
According to the poll, “when asked specifically whether Biden would be better or worse on racial issues than the other candidates,” 34 percent of South Carolina Democrats “think Biden would be better, including 40 percent of blacks and 23 percent of whites.” The poll found that “only 8 percent think Biden would be worse on racial issues than the other candidates, while 48 percent say about the same.”
Further, the poll found that “while Biden is preferred over Harris by 3 points on which candidate will best handle racial issues, his advantage increases to 10 points among black voters.” But white South Carolina Democrats favor Harris by nine points.
The most important factor to Palmetto State Democrats is nominating a candidate who can defeat President Donald Trump, and the poll found “those prioritizing defeating Trump are significantly more likely to support Biden (41 percent) than Harris (14 percent) or Sanders (11 percent).”
In addition, 87 percent of black South Carolina Democrats said they “would be happy with Biden as the nominee.”
The poll of 701 South Carolina Democrats, conducted July 7-10, has a margin error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.