Charleston Chaos: Here’s What Went Down at the South Carolina Debate and Beyond

February 25 was the South Carolina Democratic Debate. The battle for dominance between the candidates has picked up as Super Tuesday looms in the not-so-distant future, happening on March 3. This debate was slightly less explosive than Nevada, but the candidates still managed to land hits on one another, especially Senator Elizabeth Warren to Senator Bernie Sanders.

What are the current standings with the candidates?

Joe Biden: The former vice president was desperate for a win in South Carolina and he succeeded in having a good night. Biden only stumbled a few times – the main one being when he accidentally took credit for a bill Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote. However, many agree that he had a strong night overall. 

Michael Bloomberg: The former New York mayor did not catch a break in South Carolina after the disastrous debate in Nevada last week. He attempted to joke about the Nevada debate, saying; “I would have thought after I did such a good job in beating them last week, that they would be a little bit afraid.” It was clear that the punchline did not land as he desired. Once again, Bloomberg received criticism from Senator Warren regarding his sexist remarks against women. Bloomberg also made the comment against Warren; “Enough is never enough for her.” which has earned much scorn. 

Pete Buttigieg: The former Indiana mayor had success at both Iowa and New Hampshire, but the real question is whether or not those wins will have enough momentum to carry him into the oncoming stages. Overall, debate analysts believed Buttigieg had a good performance. After a fourth place finish in the South Carolina primary on February 29, Buttigieg dropped out of the race and officially endorsed Joe Biden.

Amy Klobuchar: The Minnesota senator stayed in the background on Tuesday, a contrast to her argument with Buttigieg in Nevada. Klobuchar was praised for how she handled the coronavirus, and that she encouraged voters to visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website in order to gain accurate information. Other than that, she did not join her fellow candidates in the chaos that ensued. Klobuchar also dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden after a low finish in South Carolina. 

Bernie Sanders: The Vermont senator endured many attacks from fellow candidates on Tuesday, and even received booing from the audience. He did not always succeed in defending himself, but it is agreed among strategists that Sanders can afford to have such a performance as he did, given how well he has been doing so far. 

Elizabeth Warren: The Massachusetts senator dominated at Nevada last week, which gave her strong momentum for South Carolina. She did receive criticism for not having as powerful of a performance and for once again going after Michael Bloomberg instead of Bernie Sanders. 

Who is leading in the polls?

As of February 24, Bernie Sanders is leading in the National Polling Average with 28%, Joe Biden is in second at 16%, Michael Bloomberg is in third with 15% and Elizabeth Warren is fourth with 13%. Pete Buttigieg is behind at 10%, and Amy Klobuchar trails at 7%. 

What can be expected in the Super Tuesday primaries?

Super Tuesday is set to be held on March 3. It is the closest thing the United States has to a national primary. Over a dozen states will hold their primaries, and the American Samoa Democratic caucuses are set to be held as well. There are about 1,300 delegates to the national convention that will be up for grabs. This does not include the 155 delegates from Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Super Tuesday is important because it can almost determine the race outcome. 

Sophomore Olivia Post is a staff writer for the 2019-2020 Colonel. She is a member of Concert Choir and the secretary for the Class of 2022.  When she isn’t watching the Yankees or Brooklyn Nine-Nine, she enjoys reading.

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