Former Vice President Joe Biden secured a second place finish in Nevada on Saturday, likely securing seven delegates and giving his campaign a needed boost as he heads to the South Carolina primary next week.

He finished well behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who with 46.8% of the vote easily secured the win. Biden received 20.4%, with 96% of precincts reporting — his best performance yet.

Biden’s campaign had been shaky, and several analysts said his doing well in Nevada was imperative for the success of his campaign.

His poor performance in New Hampshire last week awarded him zero delegates, as he placed in fifth with only 8.4%. In Iowa the week prior, he came in fourth with 15.8% and received six delegates.


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Biden ousted former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (13.9%), who had been at the front of the pack in Iowa and New Hampshire. Trailing behind Buttigieg were Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) at 9.8%, billionaire Tom Steyer at 4.6% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) with 4.2%.

In order to receive a portion of Nevada’s 36 pledged Democratic delegates, candidates have to receive 15% of the vote in both statewide and congressional districts. Sanders is expected to receive 18, Biden seven and Buttigieg two, however, the results must be finalized for every delegate to be allocated.

Buttigieg is also challenging the Nevada results, citing inconsistencies in their new early voting system process.

In a letter sent late Saturday to Nevada Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy II, Buttigeig’s national ballot access and delegate director Michael Gaffney called on the party chair to release data used to determine the results.

“In light of material irregularities pertaining to the process of integrating early votes into the in-person precinct caucus results, we request that you” release early and in-person votes, correct “errors identified by presidential campaigns” and “explain anomalies in the data,” Gaffney wrote.

While it is unclear how the state plans to proceed with Gaffney’s request, Biden’s decent performance will likely benefit him as he prepares to take on South Carolina.

As Nevada has a large Latino population, the state caucuses had often been cited as a test of candidates’ favorability among voters of color — a demographic Biden traditionally polled better in than Buttigieg.

Biden is also expected to receive the endorsement of House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-South Carolina), who holds significant political influence in his state. That endorsement, coupled with momentum from Nevada, could send Biden to his first, first place finish next week, reversing the trajectory of a campaign that had been stalling.


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