Biden Tells Supporters 'We're Just Getting Started' After Poor Showing in New Hampshire

Former Vice President Joe Biden told his supporters that the race for the Democratic nomination for president was "just getting started" after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary left him with no delegates from the state on Tuesday.

Biden had previously been considered the clear frontrunner for the nomination, but his prospects took a quick nosedive after a surprising fourth place finish in the Iowa caucus. Biden looked likely to sink to a distant fifth place in New Hampshire with just under 90 percent of the vote counted on Tuesday night. However, he assured a crowd of supporters that strong support from non-white voters could still put him over the top.

"I want you all to think of a number, 99.9 percent," Biden told the crowd assembled in South Carolina Tuesday night. "That's the percentage of African American voters who have not yet had a chance to vote in America. One more number, 99.8. That's the percent of Latino voters who haven't had the chance to vote."

"So, when you hear all these pundits and experts, cable TV talkers talking about the race, tell them it ain't over, man, we're just getting started," he added.

Joe Biden
Former Vice President Joe Biden addresses the crowd at a campaign event in Columbia, South Carolina on February 11, 2020. Sean Rayford/Getty

Recent national polls show support for Biden steadily dropping, with Senator Bernie Sanders seemingly taking over the mantle of frontrunner. Biden appeared to have already written off his chances in New Hampshire before the primary even started.

"I took a hit in Iowa and I'll probably take a hit here," told the New Hampshire audience during Friday's Democratic debate. "Traditionally, Bernie won by about 20 points last time, and usually it's the neighboring senators that do well."

The former vice president eschewed last minute campaigning in New Hampshire, instead focusing his efforts on South Carolina, which is set to hold the fourth Democratic contest on February 29. Poll numbers in the state have shown Biden with a significant lead, although they were largely conducted before primary season started.

Biden's belief that he has unbeatable support from non-white voters may be flawed, based on recent polling. A pair of new national polls released Tuesday show Sanders taking over a clear lead in the demographic, with Biden having slipped significantly among all respondents including non-white voters.

Regardless of his diminishing poll numbers and dismal showing in New Hampshire, the former vice president urged his South Carolina supporters to remember that the Democratic contest has only reached the "opening bell."

"We just heard from the first two of 50 states. Two of them," said Biden. "Not all the nation, not half the nation, not a quarter of the nation, not 10 percent. Two, two. Now, where I come from, that's the opening bell, not the closing bell."

Sanders won the New Hampshire primary, with former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg coming in a close second and Senator Amy Klobuchar surging to a strong third place finish. Biden and the rest of the candidates all failed to reach the 15 percent threshold required to earn delegates from the state.