WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Voters in South Carolina’s Democratic primary on Saturday appeared to be more moderate than those who took part in earlier presidential nominating contests, and a majority said a senior black congressman’s endorsement of Joe Biden influenced their vote, according to exit polling by Edison Research.
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event at Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S., February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz
Edison - which compiles voter polls and live election results for media organizations including ABC News, CBS News, CNN, NBC News and Reuters - found that six out of 10 state primary voters said U.S. Representative Jim Clyburn’s endorsement of Biden, who was vice president under Democratic President Barack Obama, was a factor in their decision.
Clyburn, who is majority whip in the House of Representatives and the third-ranking Democrat in the chamber, has represented South Carolina in Congress since 1993/
In addition, only about half of South Carolina’s Democratic primary voters described themselves as liberal. By comparison, a majority of caucus-goers in Iowa and Nevada and primary voters in New Hampshire described themselves as liberal.
Here are some highlights from the Edison poll, which was based on interviews with 1,526 people who voted on Saturday at 35 locations around South Carolina. The proportions may change as more polling is conducted and the votes are tallied:
** Eight out of 10 South Carolina voters in the Democratic primary said they will vote for the party’s nominee regardless of who it is.
** Two out of 10 say they are participating in the Democratic primary for the first time.
** Five out of 10 want a candidate who “can beat Donald Trump” more than a candidate who agrees with them on major issues.
** Four out of 10 say healthcare is their top issue, while two of 10 cite race relations, two of 10 cite income inequality and one of 10 cite climate change.
** Five out of 10 say they support replacing private health insurance with a government-run plan: an initiative commonly known as Medicare For All.
** Four out of 10 said they made up their minds about how to vote in the last few days before the primary.
** Five out of 10 want the next president to return to Obama’s policies; three of 10 want more liberal policies; two of 10 more conservative ones.
** Five out of 10 say the U.S. economic system needs a complete overhaul.
** Five out of 10 say they are angry about the Trump administration; 4 of 10 are dissatisfied but not angry.
** Seven out of 10 say they have an unfavourable view of former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
**Nearly eight out of 10 say they have a favourable view of Biden.
**Five out of 10 say they have a favourable view of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Reporting by Chris Kahn; editing by Jonathan Oatis