Polling expert sees possible ‘late surge’ for Biden in South Carolina from Steyer voters

Liam Kerr, the co-founder of the Welcome Party, said Tuesday that a possible “late surge” for former Vice President Joe Biden in South Carolina could come from philanthropist Tom Steyer’s voters in the state.

Kerr, whose organization helped to conduct a poll released last week, noted that Steyer voters were twice as likely to change their mind when compared to Biden’s and Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) voters, citing a UMass Lowell poll.

Biden leads among Steyer voters’ second choice candidate at 40 percent, with Sanders earning 30 percent of the second choice pick, and the rest of voters are “scattered” among the other candidates, Kerr said. 

“So if we see a late surge here for Joe Biden, that’s probably gonna get taken out of a chunk out of Tom Steyer voters whose support may be a little bit weaker,” he said. 

Kerr also cited data in his organization’s poll that show that Biden and Steyer are leading with the African American vote, aligning with other polls for the state. But he said Steyer’s numbers show “soft support.”

“Again, if there was a surge it will come from African Americans who make up about 60 percent of the electorate in the South Carolina primary,” he said.

Kerr’s comments come as both Biden and Steyer are pouring their resources into campaigning in South Carolina, the last of the early primary states. Both have had rough starts in the first two contests, with Biden coming in fourth and fifth in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively and Steyer unable to crack the top five in both states. 

But Biden had a bit of a comeback when he ranked second in Nevada, placing him in third overall for his number of delegates at 15. The former vice president has touted his support among African Americans and is hoping the South Carolina primary results reflect that. 

Steyer has not obtained any delegates.

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