Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden suggested on Sunday that winning South Carolina’s primary is of the utmost importance for continuing his beleaguered campaign.
Biden was asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” whether South Carolina is the former vice president’s last chance to make up ground in the 2020 presidential race after he suffered lopsided losses in Iowa and New Hampshire.
“Well, I think I have to do really well in it, but right,” Biden said.
Biden added that then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton endured a string of primary losses in 1992 before picking up his first win, saying that upcoming delegate-rich states with demographics that are favorable to him will help make him the frontrunner before the end of March. Clinton lost in Iowa, New Hampshire Maine and South Dakota before securing his first win in Georgia.
“We're just getting to the meat of getting to the number of delegates you need to be able to win this election,” Biden said. “And I'm confident we're going to be in good shape.”
Biden, who is counting heavily on support from African Americans to lift his campaign, said other Democrats in the race haven’t been able to make inroads with the community like he has.
"I'm the only one who has the record and has the background and has the support,” Biden said. “They know me. They know who I am.”
The Biden campaign has hemorrhaged the loss of some prominent black leaders in South Carolina, who have switched allegiances to support other candidates, including Tom Steyer and Bernie Sanders.
A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month showed Biden's support among African Americans at 27 percent — a 22-point slip from before the Iowa caucuses.
South Carolina will hold its Democratic primary on Feb. 29.