Looking past New Hampshire, Joe Biden is telling voters not to count him out because minority voters haven’t yet weighed in on the race.
Biden said Tuesday in South Carolina: “We just heard from the first two of the states … where I come from, that’s just the opening bell, not the closing bell.”
Biden has had lackluster showings in the first two voting states and is now hinging his campaign on his support among minority voters in the next two primary states, Nevada and South Carolina.
“You can’t be the Democratic nominee, you can’t win a general election as a Democrat, unless you have overwhelming support from black and brown voters,” Biden said.
The former vice president left New Hampshire before voting wrapped up Tuesday to head to South Carolina, While it’s the fourth state to vote in the Democratic primary contest, it’s the first where black voters make up a majority of the electorate, and it’s seen as Biden’s to lose.
On Tuesday night, Biden said to the black community that Democrats “don’t listen enough,” but he added, “I’ve never not listened to you.”
A pair of Biden surrogates tried their best to mask a disappointing night for the absent Democratic presidential candidate at his campaign’s New Hampshire watch party.
Biden originally planned to attend, but his campaign announced late Tuesday morning that that he would instead hold his event in South Carolina.
That left former New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch and Biden’s sister, Valerie Biden Owens, to take his place.
Biden Owens said this was “the very beginning of a long marathon to the nomination. And we’re ready to go the distance.”
“While the results don’t seem to be what we hoped, we’re going to take our campaign to every corner of this country,” Biden Owens said.
Appearing to the New Hampshire audience in a different live stream, Biden vowed to return to defeat President Donald Trump in November’s general election.
“I do love New Hampshire,” Biden said. “And I mean it.”