After the Democratic Party’s voting fiasco in Iowa, the New Hampshire primary has taken on an especially important role for the presidential candidates looking to showcase electoral viability heading into Super Tuesday on March 3. But former Vice President Joe Biden apparently doesn’t think the state will be that important; in fact, Biden will be gone before the final votes are counted.
According to ABC News, Biden plans to leave New Hampshire for South Carolina, where polling has consistently shown him outperforming the primary field, late Tuesday evening. He will nonetheless have campaign surrogates stay remain in New Hampshire for the official results.
The former vice president insists that he has not resigned himself to losing the first-in-the-nation primary state and still remains partially optimistic he will perform well. “We’ve got a lot of great friends here who have helped us a lot. We’re still mildly hopeful here in New Hampshire. And we’ll see what happens,” Biden told reporters in Manchester, New Hampshire, according to the news agency.
“I think it’s a real disadvantage if you don’t come from the neighboring states. So I think it’s going to be hard to win this thing,” said Biden, according to WCVB, an affiliate TV station of ABC News.
“I’m going down to two very diverse states next, and I expect to do very well there. And, still, nationally, I’m still leading in all polls that I’m aware of, No. 1. No. 2, the endorsements keep coming in,” Biden told reporters Monday, as previously reported by The Daily Wire. “We just talked to the folks down South Carolina, they’re pretty excited. So we are going there. Going to stop there probably on the way to Nevada.”
WCVB reports that Biden still thinks he’ll end up victorious in the end: “I think I’ll win the nomination.” During his final hours in the state, Biden has also been assuring supporters that he has not given up on New Hampshire and is not quitting on the early state’s voters, saying “we’re gonna stay all day and fight for every vote we have and then we’re heading down to South Carolina.”
After a reporter asked Biden whether he was “concerned about the message by going to South Carolina,” the former vice president responded by saying “no I’m not, not at all. They know we’ve worked hard here, we’re continuing, we’re going to go all the way – and this is it, I’m not concerned about it at all,” reports The Hill.
Should Biden perform poorly in New Hampshire, his presence in South Carolina might serve to prevent any potential media speculation that the former vice president may soon drop out of the race.
According to Politico, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who won the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary against Hillary Clinton handily, smiled after reporters asked him what Biden’s early departure means for the state’s voters and his chances in the Granite State: “You’ll have to ask Joe, I don’t know. All I can say is we will be here tonight.”
Since the Iowa caucuses, every single New Hampshire poll has shown the self-avowed democratic socialist leading the state, with the exception of one poll showing Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, leading Sanders by one point, according to an updated polling synopsis available at FiveThirtyEight.
The New Hampshire primary closes Tuesday at 8:00 PM EST, and results are expected to trickle in soon afterward.