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The importance of South Carolina’s black voters to Democratic candidates

Furman professor Danielle Vinson
Furman Professor of Politics and International Affairs Danielle Vinson speaks at the 2017 StraightTalk series.

NBC News recently followed former vice president Joe Biden as he campaigned in South Carolina and quoted Furman Professor of Politics and International Affairs Danielle Vinson about what winning — or not winning — the state’s black vote can indicate about someone’s chances of securing the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.

“South Carolina is important because it has a significant African American population, and it can signal which candidates are most appealing to African Americans and Southern Democrats,” Vinson told NBC News. “Given how much of a head start [Biden] has in the state with name recognition and goodwill from voters who tend to be more moderate Democrats, if he can’t win here, it will seriously undermine his chances of winning the nomination.”

Polls showed a significant drop in Biden’s support among black voters after he was criticized for comments he made about working with segregationist senators and was attacked for his stance on busing by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., during one of last month’s debates. The full NBC News story can be read here.

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