by Rose Brennan & Megan Dreher, Senior Writers
This week was certainly one to remember for the eight remaining Democratic candidates. Complete with a debate, a primary and a campaign suspension from businessman Tom Steyer, South Carolina offered up quite a bit of a change before the upcoming Super Tuesday events.
The week kicked off with a debate in Charleston, S.C., ahead of the state’s primary later that week. Seven candidates took the stage, while the eighth, Tulsi Gabbard, was once again not present.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is still polling first place nationally, received quite a bit of criticism from his fellow candidates, not unlike how the candidates treated previous frontrunner and former vice president Joe Biden in the first debates. He particularly received criticism for his recent comments about Fidel Castro, where he praised certain aspects of Castro’s regime in Cuba, such as his institution of a literacy program.
This was former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s second debate. After his disastrous performance last week, he needed a miracle to bring up his ratings. And, unfortunately, one never came. But he did spend some time discussing Russian interference in Sanders’ campaign.
“Vladimir Putin thinks that Donald Trump should be president of the United States. And that’s why Russia is helping you get elected, so you will lose to him,” Bloomberg said.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren once again went after Bloomberg, calling attention to his alleged discrimination against pregnant women at his company. She said he allegedly told one of his pregnant employees to “kill it,” “it” being the fetus she was carrying.
Bloomberg will not begin collecting delegates for the nomination until Super Tuesday on March 3.
The debate served as a prelude to South Carolina’s primary, which took place on Feb. 29. Candidates were looking forward to the primary because it was the first state in which black voters made up a significant portion of voters.
This was good news for Biden, who won the primary in a landslide. Out of the 54 possible pledged delegates, Biden accrued 35 of them.
The only other candidate to receive any delegates was Sanders, who placed second and received 13 delegates.
Surprisingly, Steyer placed third in South Carolina, but still did not receive enough votes to garner a single delegate. He ended his presidential campaign later that night.
Many attributed Steyer’s appeal to black voters to some of his policy positions. He is the only candidate that supports instituting reparations for slavery.
Among the other candidates, former mayor Pete Buttigieg placed fourth, Warren placed fifth, Klobuchar placed sixth, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard placed seventh.
Steyer’s recent withdrawal means only seven candidates remain for Super Tuesday. This will mark the first primary contest for Michael Bloomberg as a candidate, and includes large-population states such as California and Texas. There are 1,338 delegates at stake on Super Tuesday.
Despite Biden’s sizable victory in South Carolina, Sanders remains in first place for number of delegates heading into Super Tuesday. He is expected to win 12 of the 14 Super Tuesday states.
Editor’s Note: As of Sunday, March 1, the day of printing, it was reported that Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg is set to announce the suspension of his presidential campaign. Manhattan Caucus will cover this in its next edition which will be printed on March 10.