Politics Biden says Steyer’s spending to blame for dip in African American support

22:05  23 february  2020
22:05  23 february  2020 Source:   politico.com

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  Why Biden’s Candidacy May Survive He’s been left for dead by many observers, but Nevada and especially South Carolina could revive Joe Biden in time for Super Tuesday.But thanks to the peculiarities of the early-state calendar and the configuration of the Democratic field, Uncle Joe has a residual chance to survive until the 14-state abattoir of Super Tuesday. As he noted rather unsubtly from South Carolina even as the networks covered his dismal fifth-place showing in New Hampshire, people of color did not have the opportunity to weigh in on the nomination contest in any significant way in the first two states.

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday attributed his eroding support among African Americans in South Carolina to billionaire Tom Steyer's massive spending in the state.

Joe Biden, Jill Biden standing in front of a sign: Former Vice President Joe Biden. © John Locher/AP Photo Former Vice President Joe Biden.

"What's happening is you have Steyer spending hundreds of millions, tens of thousands of dollars, millions of dollars, out campaigning there," Biden said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

"So, I think a lot is happening in terms of the amount of money being spent by the billionaires to try to cut into the African American vote," he added. "I think that has a lot to do with it."

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Steyer has poured millions of dollars into the Palmetto State, flooding the airwaves and building out a large statewide operation. But Steyer, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,“ pointed to his message and the fact that he is "very willing to talk about race" for his increase on support.

"I think I have done best with black people. I have done best with Latinos. I think that when we get to the diverse Democratic electorate, when we get to the diversity that is America and the Democratic Party, I do a lot better," Steyer told host Chris Wallace.

"South Carolina happens to be a place that has a pretty high concentration of African Americans. And those happen to be people that I talked to a lot and have a lot of — a long history of working with, and, therefore, that's a population where I do really well," Steyer added.

Steyer foundation mulling SC investments - after the primary

  Steyer foundation mulling SC investments - after the primary Ahead of this month’s crucial South Carolina primary, the wife of presidential candidate Tom Steyer that the foundation she runs is interested in considering an investment proposal from one of the state’s largest black church congregations. But she said the foundation wouldn’t act on it until after the primary. During services on Sunday morning at Brookland Baptist Church, Pastor Charles B. Jackson, Sr. mentioned applying for a grant from Steyer’s foundation in conjunction with renovations at Lakeview Empowerment Center, where many of Brookland’s after-school programs are held. The church is in West Columbia, which is adjacent to Columbia, the capital city.

Saturday’s South Carolina primary is crucial for Biden's campaign, after fourth- and fifth-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively. The former president did, however, register a second-place finish in Nevada on Saturday with strong turnout among African Americans.

But as Biden heads into the Feb. 29 primary, potential cracks in Biden's support in the state have emerged.

A Winthrop University poll released last week showed Biden holding a narrow lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the state. In the poll, Biden earned 24 percent support, followed by 19 percent support for Sanders and 15 percent for Steyer.

Biden, however, said he remained confident heading into the South Carolina primary.

"I feel good about where we are. I feel good about going into South Carolina," Biden said. "And I feel good about the kind of support I've had with African-Americans around the country."

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The South Carolina primary is certain to be a fork in the road for Democrats’ 2020 presidential nominating contest. Here are some key questions ahead of the first-in-the-South primary on Saturday:

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