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WATCH: In South Carolina, Biden says he’ll ‘stay in this for the long haul’

After finishing a distant second to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Nevada, former Vice President Joe Biden sought to calm concerns in South Carolina about his position in the 2020 Democratic presidential race. Biden’s first stop on Sunday in the Palmetto State came as Sanders, the current frontrunner, was within striking distance on his march toward the Democratic nomination.

After attending an African-American Baptist church in North Charleston on Sunday morning, Biden told the PBS NewsHour in an interview that he’s confident his support in South Carolina will hold, especially among African-Americans who make up 60 percent of the state’s Democratic primary voters.

“I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to stay in this for the long haul. I think we’ll do well here. I think we’ll win here,” Biden said. “And I think this could end up being a race between me and Bernie before it’s over.”

But, Biden added he’s taking nothing for granted.

“I’m here to earn their vote,” Biden said of the state’s black voters, among whom support for Biden has dropped as Sanders and businessman Tom Steyer have made gains in the state.

Biden told the congregation at the Royal Baptist Church that African American voters in South Carolina have “the power, unlike any time in a long time to determine who the next Democratic nominee will be.”