“African-Americans rarely, if ever, have the luxury of choosing candidates who they perceive as perfectly, or even adequately, aligned with their preferences, or fully committed to advancing the interests of the group,” Professor Phoenix said.
However, it is important to African-Americans that Mr. Biden served as Mr. Obama’s vice president. “Bernie Sanders knows it, too,” Professor Price said, “that’s why he’s now showing commercials with him and Obama.”
Mr. Biden won 10 states in the Super Tuesday primaries, and has nearly 500 delegates so far. Mr. Sanders, who has about 450 delegates, has acknowledged that he had “not done as well in bringing young people into the process” as he expected.
In Texas, where voters were predicted to favor Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden earned his most significant win, giving him a large and unexpected share of Texas’ 228 pledged delegates in the third-biggest state in the Democratic primary. Mr. Biden had spent his final 24 hours before Super Tuesday campaigning in Houston and Dallas, two cities with large black populations and multiple congressional districts.
Mr. Sanders made similar comments about Mr. Biden’s success Wednesday on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” when asked about his weak track record with black voters in the South, this year and in the 2016 Democratic primary.
“We’re running against somebody who has touted his relationship with Barack Obama for eight years,” Mr. Sanders said. “Barack Obama is enormously popular in this country in general and the African-American community.”
After pointing to some polls indicating he was running ahead of Mr. Biden among African-American voters, Mr. Sanders said that “it’s not that I’m unpopular,” but that Mr. Biden was running with his “ties to Obama” and it was “working well.”