Bernie Sanders may have a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to follow up his New Hampshire victory with a win in South Carolina. Demographically, South Carolina is a much more diverse state than New Hampshire, with African Americans accounting for 28 percent of the population, with New Hampshire only having slightly over 1 percent.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are rallying around their African American supporters for endorsements in order to secure a win in South Carolina. On Wednesday, Sanders met with the Rev. Al Sharpton for breakfast in Harlem’s Sylvia’s restaurant, the same restaurant where Sharpton met with Obama when he was on the campaign trail in 2008.
On Thursday, civil rights activist and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) threw his support for the Democratic nomination for president behind Hillary Clinton. Lewis addressed the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, which officially endorsed Clinton for president.
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Speaking of Sanders, Lewis said, “I never saw him, I never met him. I was chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years from 1963 to 1966. I was involved in the sit-ins, the Freedom Ride, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery, and directed the Voter Education Project for six years. But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President Clinton.” Lewis’ comments drew applause from CBC members present at the press conference.
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Lewis, who said he wept in July of 2015 when the Confederate Flag was removed from Statehouse grounds in S.C., stood with the citizens of South Carolina who wanted the flag removed. Addressing the historic moment Lewis said, “And it is my hope that those of us here in Washington and around America, but especially around the South, can take a lesson from the good people of the state of South Carolina and do what is right, what is good to bring all of our people together.” Lewis’ strong support for Clinton could end up being a deciding factor with minority voters in South Carolina.