Joe Biden promised on Saturday to carry Nevada over President Donald Trump in the general election, after losing the state’s Democratic caucus by a wide margin to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
The former vice president, who in recent weeks had been touting his strength in the Silver State after back-to-back loses in Iowa and New Hampshire, made the pledge while addressing supporters shortly after the race was called for Sanders.
“Well you all did it for me,” Biden told supporters. “You all did it, now we’re going on to South Carolina to win and then we’re going to take this back.”
“By the way, I plan on coming back to win this state outright,” the former vice president added, before proceeding to elaborate on why he was the best candidate to beat Trump in the general election.
Biden’s remarks came even though the final caucus results have yet to be determined. When the race was officially called, with only a little more than four percent of precincts reporting, Biden appeared to have finished in second place, garnering 19 percent among caucus-goers. Sanders, who is now viewed as the Democrat frontrunner, won first place outright with more than 44 percent of the vote.
The results are far from the rousing victory that Biden and his supporters have been predicting in recent weeks. Since coming in fourth place in the Iowa Caucuses and fifth in the New Hampshire primary earlier this month, the former vice president has been asserting his campaign would do much more favorably in more diverse states like Nevada and South Carolina.
“It is important that [Iowa and New Hampshire] have spoken,” Biden told supporters after suffering defeat in New Hampshire. “But look, we need to hear from Nevada and South Carolina and Super Tuesday states and beyond.
Despite failing to meet his own high bar in Nevada, the former vice president declared on Saturday that his campaign was energized and on the move.
“This is an important moment, I think we’re going to look back on this and say this was the beginning of a fundamental change,” Biden said, adding that he planned on “coming back” to Nevada as the Democrat nominee.