Reinvigorated Joe Biden throws down gauntlet to Bernie Sanders

The clearing of the field helps Mr Biden, the former USA vice president who is in the ascendant after a blowout win in SC, as he fights to prove he is the best placed to beat Mr Sanders, a self-styled democratic socialist.

Front-runner Bernie Sanders, a reinvigorated Joe Biden, and the other remaining Democratic U.S. presidential candidates fanned out on Monday to numerous 14 states that will hold Super Tuesday nominating contests.

Biden's win in SC, however, does not change Obama's endorsement plans, both outlets report.

Mr Trump responded rapidly on Twitter, claiming that the Democratic party leadership would act to halt Mr Sanders winning.

Biden added a swipe at one of Sanders' signature lines during an appearance on "Fox New Sunday": "The people aren't looking for revolution. What they want is results", he said in Virginia.

The newfound confidence came at a crossroads in the Democratic Party's turbulent primary season. But Biden regained his footing in SC, propelled by the overwhelming support of black voters. Buttigieg emerged as a favorite of big-dollar donors and well-connected fundraisers - a source of attacks from his more progressive primary opponents - but he also attracted grassroots support that catapulted his fundraising past Biden. In fact, some vowed to keep fighting no matter what happened on Super Tuesday. It finally and firmly transforms the Democratic presidential primary into a referendum on Bernie Sanders. He spoke with Biden after his SC victory, but still has no plans to endorse in the primary at this point.

For Pete Buttigieg, the good news is his campaign exceeded all expectations, and given how young he is, and how many people he impressed over the a year ago, his future in Democratic politics appears bright.

It's something that voters who were at the event said they agreed was critical.

He did just that, pulling out a narrow victory in Iowa over Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and surprising many in the Democratic establishment with a close second-place finish in New Hampshire.

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Biden announced he took in $5 million immediately after his SC win, by far his best single day of fundraising over the previous year.

Buttigieg didn't endorse any of the remaining candidates, though he and former Biden traded voicemails on Sunday. As one aide noted, while Buttigieg and Biden have been exchanging voicemails since the decision leaked out on Sunday night, the same can't be said for Buttigieg and Bloomberg.

"As far as we are concerned this is a very important election for Democrats in Pennsylvania", he said.

A source close to Buttigieg's campaign told Politico that the SC loss was a "turning point", with the candidate concluding that it would be mathematically impossible for him to win the nomination after his defeat.

There are 1,357 delegates at stake on Tuesday.

For Mike Bloomberg, the good news is his latest debate performance was better than his first, and his breathtaking investments in Super Tuesday contests make it likely he'll score some top-three finishes, probably picking up some delegates along the way.

A week after that, six more states hold primaries, and four more hold theirs a week after than. That includes two of the biggest states, California, with 495 delegates, and Texas, with 262. "To me, that is just stunning news". After all, Donald Trump was 70-years-old when he was inaugurated.

Peoples reported from Washington and Barrow reported from Columbia, South Carolina.

  • Lawrence Cooper