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Joe Biden Surges in South Carolina, Florida, Throwing Wrench into Sanders’ Easy Victory

Biden might actually consolidate the ‘moderate’ lane after all.

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Joe Biden appears to be surging in the forthcoming Democratic primary state of South Carolina, throwing a wrench into what some have called an easy path to victory for frontrunner Bernie Sanders.

Biden has looked to South Carolina as a redoubt for his campaign after struggling mightily in the first three primary and caucus states. After Sanders’ resounding Nevada victory, he appeared set to challenge the former Vice President in the first southern state to vote, but the latest rounds of polling reveal that Biden has the state on lock.

A Monmouth University poll released Thursday showed Biden with a blowout lead of twenty percentage points in the Palmetto state. Biden has made appeal to African American voters a crucial element of his primary strategy, and the South Carolina polling suggests he’s retained strong support from black voters, even after his early campaign mishaps. African American voters form a majority of the state’s Democratic primary electorate.

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Sanders languishes in a distant second in the poll, trailing Biden by a margin of 36% to 16%. Other polling recently conducted shows Biden with a smaller lead, but Sanders is yet to take the lead in a South Carolina poll with two days before the election.

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New polling also shows the former Vice President retaking the lead in the Super Tuesday state of Florida, leading second-place Michael Bloomberg by a strong margin of nine percent. Sanders is all the way in third place in the Florida St. Pete poll, and such a finish in one of the first big states to vote after Super Tuesday would likely ensure that the Democratic Primary remains wide open.

Biden’s polling suggests that the career politician might actually have a chance to consolidate support from self-identifying ‘moderate’ Democrats, after competitors like Pete Buttigieg and Michael Bloomberg appeared set to eat his lunch.

 

Campaign 2020

WATCH: “Are You A Junkie?” Joe Biden FLIPS On CBS Reporter After Question About Cognitive Test

Biden didn’t appreciate the question.

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Joe Biden responded angrily to a question from a CBS News reporter on taking a cognitive test Wednesday, asking Errol Barnett if he was a “junkie” and stating that he should have to take a drug test in order to interview Biden with the assumption he was taking cocaine.

“No, I haven’t taken a test… Why the hell would I take a test? Come on, man! That’s like saying to you, before you got on this program, you take a test whether you’re taking cocaine or not? Are you a junkie?”

The inference that CBS reporter Errol Barnett is a junkie would’ve almost certainly been blasted as offensive if President Trump or another public figure made the claim. At the most, Biden’s ad hominem response to the legitimate question reveals his sensitivity to claims of his own cognitive decline.

I know you’re trying to goad me… I’m so looking forward to having an opportunity to sit with the president or stand with the president in the debates.

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President Trump has argued that Biden should take an equivalent of the Montreal Cognitive Fitness Test, which he took around a year ago with results indicating strong cognitive capacity. The question of mental acuity has consistently arisen as Biden frequently commits mental errors and gaffes during public appearances, ranging from forgetting which state he’s in, confusing his wife and his sister, and even forgetting what office he’s campaigning for.

WATCH: 46 Minutes of Joe Biden Stuttering, Getting Confused, Forgetting What He’s Talking About

Biden went on to struggle to pronounce the phrase “physical fitness.”

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