South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn will be endorsing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president on Friday. The Clinton campaign has confirmed the endorsement.
Clyburn is a top Democrat in the House and the highest ranking African American in Congress. The endorsement could help Clinton in the South Carolina primary February 27. Polls indicate that Clinton is leading Sanders by a comfortable margin. South Carolina is one of the first major Democratic nominating contest with large numbers of minority voters. Polling has indicated that Sanders struggles with minority voters and he has tried to associate himself with African-American leaders. Numerous Congressional Black Caucus members have endorsed Clinton who has a wide lead among African-American voters.
Clinton has attempted to paint herself as the successor to President Obama and the most likely to build on his policies. President Obama has maintained high approval and favorability ratings among minority voters and Democrats are hopeful to reassemble the Obama coalition in the general election. Clinton has historically done well with black voters though. Early in the 2008 cycle, Clinton led Obama among black voters before he eventually took the lead.
“Like Sen. Sanders, she has a great record to lay out before the American people, and so we’re going to be discussing all of that this weekend with family and friends. And we’re going to be guided by the advice I get from them,” Clyburn said in an interview.
Clyburn remained neutral in the 2008 Democratic primary and had previously planned to remain so this cycle as well.
The endorsement will come at 11 am at Allen University. The Clinton campaign has teased the event as a “momentous” endorsement.