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Is Joe Biden actually underrated now?

A new poll shows Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg struggling to gain support from black voters in South Carolina.

Posted: Nov 19, 2019 9:20 AM
Updated: Nov 19, 2019 9:20 AM

It's popular -- particularly on Twitter! -- to blast former Vice President Joe Biden and declare his presidential hopes dead. And given his poor fundraising through the end of September and his, uh, middling debate performances, there are some real facts behind that perception.

But one of the under-told storylines of the 2020 campaign to date is that despite the defeatist conventional wisdom, the support for the former vice president has -- and continues -- to show surprising resilience. That's especially true of Biden's support among African Americans, a critical voting bloc in a Democratic presidential primary.

Two polls released Monday out of South Carolina tell that story. In a Quinnipiac University poll, Biden is at 33% with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts a distant second at 13%. A University of North Florida poll showed much the same -- Biden at 36% with Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont lagging well behind at 10% each.

Among black voters in the Quinnipiac poll, Biden took 44% to 10% for Sanders and just 8% for Warren. (South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg received less than 1% of the black vote in South Carolina in the new Q poll. Ouch.)

Of the UNF poll, Dr. Michael Binder, faculty director of the Public Opinion Research Lab, said: "Buoyed by his support among African American voters, Biden has an established lead far above the other contenders in South Carolina."

Biden's lasting strength in South Carolina and with black voters is mirrored in his improving performance in national 2020 polling as well. Biden was in danger of losing his edge over Warren in national 2020 surveys as recently as a few weeks ago. Now? He averages more than 7 points over Warren, according to the polling database maintained by Real Clear Politics.

To be clear: Biden is still not where he wants to be in Iowa or New Hampshire. And his fundraising needs to get drastically better. But his continued strength in South Carolina -- and the persistence of support from black voters even amid online predictions of his imminent demise -- suggest that Biden may have more strengths than he is getting credit for at the moment.

The Point: Biden isn't the freshest face in the race. He's not the most liberal. He's not the most eloquent. But he may well have the deepest reservoir of support among the key bloc of voters who have decided the identity of the last two Democratic presidential nominees.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61125

Reported Deaths: 1711
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5209106
DeSoto328027
Madison228154
Rankin212428
Harrison209832
Jackson192934
Jones176557
Forrest163153
Washington148032
Lauderdale132388
Lee123230
Neshoba119487
Lamar111512
Oktibbeha105235
Lowndes97332
Warren96426
Scott95317
Bolivar93932
Copiah90924
Panola90711
Sunflower90622
Lafayette8699
Holmes84347
Leflore83259
Pike82632
Grenada81220
Yazoo77311
Leake76725
Lincoln74339
Wayne73221
Pontotoc7247
Simpson71126
Monroe69750
Coahoma65910
Tate64523
Marion59918
Adams58025
Covington57811
Winston57115
Marshall5668
George5415
Union51913
Newton51611
Attala49524
Tallahatchie49310
Pearl River48236
Walthall44218
Chickasaw43519
Noxubee41710
Claiborne40013
Smith37713
Jasper3758
Calhoun3748
Clay36814
Alcorn3544
Prentiss3376
Hancock32614
Tishomingo3163
Yalobusha31610
Lawrence3135
Itawamba30710
Tippah30412
Clarke29825
Montgomery2913
Humphreys26911
Tunica2656
Carroll24511
Greene22611
Kemper22315
Perry2217
Quitman2211
Amite2105
Jefferson Davis1986
Webster19712
Jefferson1916
Wilkinson18712
Sharkey1801
Stone1483
Choctaw1264
Benton1240
Franklin1142
Issaquena211
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 89927

Reported Deaths: 1580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11650225
Mobile8998191
Montgomery6198143
Madison493225
Tuscaloosa391263
Baldwin317522
Shelby300232
Marshall294730
Unassigned263351
Lee249140
Morgan220615
Etowah191425
DeKalb167713
Elmore158437
Calhoun15359
Walker145763
Houston130912
Dallas128023
Russell12201
Franklin118420
Limestone118313
St. Clair118212
Cullman111311
Colbert107612
Lauderdale105312
Autauga101020
Escambia96515
Talladega89013
Jackson8163
Chambers81438
Tallapoosa80478
Dale77619
Butler75135
Blount7223
Covington70420
Coffee7035
Chilton6976
Pike6547
Barbour5625
Lowndes54624
Marion53524
Marengo51514
Clarke4849
Hale44925
Bullock43711
Perry4284
Winston42811
Wilcox4029
Monroe3884
Randolph38810
Conecuh37110
Bibb3643
Pickens3639
Sumter36118
Washington31011
Macon30813
Lawrence3060
Crenshaw2843
Choctaw27312
Henry2433
Greene24011
Cherokee2337
Geneva2260
Clay2165
Lamar1942
Fayette1695
Cleburne1141
Coosa902
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