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Bloomberg downplays significance of South Carolina primary

Washington, Feb 28 (IANS) The presidential campaign of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has downplayed the significance of the upcoming Democratic primary in South Carolina and said it was considering naming a potential running mate during the primary process.

Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey said in an MSNBC interview on Thursday that the South Carolina primary, slated for Saturday at which the media mogul’s name won’t be on the ballot, “is not going to matter”, adding that the “Super Tuesday” next week “is going to be really definitional for this race”, reports Xinhua news agency.

Sheekey also shrugged off concerns that former Vice President Joe Biden’s perceived win in South Carolina would mean much.

The primary “hasn’t happened yet” and “he was winning by 35 points a month ago and now quite frankly the question is whether he will win at all”, Sheekey said, referring to Biden.

Several polls conducted in South Carolina ahead of the primary have revealed Biden leading the Democratic field, with a Monmouth University poll published on Thursday having the former Vice President retaining an advantage over second-placed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by 20 percentage points — 36 per cent to 16 per cent.

Meanwhile, Sheekey said the Bloomberg campaign would consider naming a running mate even when the Democratic nominating process was still ongoing.

“We’ve thought about it,” Sheekey said.

“I think the other campaigns have thought about it too… We do need to figure out how to consolidate different factions of this party. We need to figure out how to bring people together.”

Bloomberg has changed party affiliations several times. He was a Democrat before 2001, a Republican between 2001 and 2007, and an Independent until 2018.

He registered as a Democratic candidate in the 2020 presidential election.

–IANS

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