Democratic front-runner Joe Biden said Monday that he plans to campaign and win in states that have almost always supported Republicans in the past four decades, including South Carolina, Georgia and Texas.
“We plan on campaigning in the South. I plan on — if I’m your nominee — winning Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina. And I believe we can win Texas and Florida, if you look at the polling data now,” the former vice president said at the Poor People’s Campaign forum in Washington. “It’s a marathon — it’s a long way off.”
Georgia last backed a Democrat in 1980 when it voted for home-state former governor and incumbent President Jimmy Carter. Carter lost that election, but he carried Georgia, South Carolina and Texas in 1976, the last time all three states voted to send a Democrat to the White House.
Biden was responding to a question about whether he plans to campaign in the South and the Sun Belt. He mentioned that he visited Alabama in 2017 to support Senator Doug Jones, a Democrat who won in the traditionally red state.
“I have no intention of walking away, if I’m the nominee,” Biden said.
He also said that if he didn’t win the nomination, he would support the Democrat who did.
“If I’m not the nominee, I have no intention of walking away, in trying to help whoever the nominee is to win those states,” he said.
Biden, asked how he would get his agenda past Senate Republicans as president, said it’s not “naive to think we have to work together.” He said he intends to persuade Republicans to support his proposals, and if he cannot he’ll ask voters to throw them out of office.
“You try to persuade. Doesn’t mean you can do it all the time,” he said. “You can shame people to do things the right way.”