Joe Biden Takes Lead from Bernie Sanders in Popular Vote in Democratic Presidential Primary

Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, and former Vice President Joe Biden, shake hands on stage Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, before the start of a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC News, Apple News, and WMUR-TV at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Former Vice President Joe Biden took the national lead in the popular vote in the race for the Democratic Party presidential nomination on Saturday night with an emphatic victory in the South Carolina primary.

Biden took the popular vote lead over rival — and frontrunner — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) thanks to a large margin of victory in the populous Southern state, and a strong showing among African American voters.

The popular vote is merely of symbolic importance, as Sanders still holds an overall delegate lead. (Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is now a distant third.) However, Sanders has repeatedly cited his own lead in the popular vote — prior to South Carolina — as evidence that he deserves to be considered the frontrunner.

It is unclear, however, whether Biden’s lead will last past Super Tuesday — whether South Carolina will indeed prove Biden’s “firewall,” or a just temporary blip. Sanders is leading by a wide margin in California, the most populous state, with the largest number of votes up for grabs. He also leads elsewhere, and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who will finally appear on the ballot Tuesday, may eat into Biden’s share.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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