Democrats focus on Super Tuesday even as S Carolina looms

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA (AP) – Bernie Sanders will swing through North Carolina, Virginia and Massachusetts in the coming days. Elizabeth Warren will make stops in Texas and Arkansas. Amy Klobuchar will be in Tennessee and Virginia.

The South Carolina primary is just two days away, but the race is quickly going national as candidates pivot to the 14 states that vote on Tuesday.

The move is in part a recognition of Joe Biden’s strength in South Carolina, with most of the focus on the margin of his victory and who might come in second place. But it’s also an effort to tap into the hundreds of delegates at stake in the “Super Tuesday” contests.

About a third of the delegates needed to secure the Democratic nomination will be on the table.

The tight turnaround between last Saturday’s primary in South Carolina and the contests that follow on Tuesday is creating a hectic stretch for campaigns.

“What happens in South Carolina does matter, mostly because of what the coverage is going to be over the three days leading up to Super Tuesday.

“If someone seems out of the running, they’re going to lose value,” said Achim Bergmann, a Democratic strategist whose firm does work in a number of Super Tuesday states. “It’s a tough deal for the candidates who are perceived to be at the lower rungs at the moment to figure out where can they get some juice.”

Supporters cheer as Democratic presidential frontrunner Senator Bernie Sanders speaks in Spartanburg, South Carolina. PHOTO: AFP