Feb 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

In photos: The South Carolina Democratic debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden thinks and Sen. Amy Klobuchar listens while Tom Steyer makes a point at the tenth Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images.

Candidates spoke past their allotted time, punched the air, talked over each other and at times looked into the camera and directly addressed the American public and Russian President Vladimir Putin at Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina, the last before Saturday's primary and Super Tuesday a few days following.

Why it matters: South Carolina's contest on Saturday is a measure of African-American support for the 2020 contenders. It's the make-or-break state for former Vice President Joe Biden after he underperformed in the first three contests. It's also a chance to check Sen. Bernie Sanders' momentum, which has eaten into Biden's lead in the state and propelled Sanders to the front of the pack.

Here's a look at the scene:

CBS News hosted Tuesday's debate in Charleston, South Carolina, with Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell moderating. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Biden's supporters rallied for the candidate outside the debate, the Gaillard Center. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
The candidates included billionaire Tom Steyer, who had failed to qualify for the last debate. Photo: LOGAN CYRUS/AFP via Getty Images.
Reporters watch the debate from the spin room. Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images.
Sanders and Biden together on stage. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.
Former second lady Jill Biden works the crowd ahead of the debate. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who'd been the main target of last week's debate, took some hits. His nondisclosure agreements were raised, as well as his record on stop-and-frisk. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images.
Tom Steyer and Sen. Amy Klobuchar try to gain the moderators' attention to make a point. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Go deeper: Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

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Voters in 14 states and one territory cast their ballots on Super Tuesday, tweeting and blogging along the way.

Why it matters: The huge delegate hauls of California and Texas this year make the day about as close as the U.S. gets to a national presidential primary.

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The big picture: Most of the 80,000 COVID-19 infections have occurred in mainland China. But cases are starting to surge elsewhere. By Wednesday morning, the worst affected countries outside China were South Korea (1,146), where a U.S. soldier tested positive to the virus, Italy (332), Japan (170), Iran (95) and Singapore (91). On Tuesday, new cases were confirmed in Switzerland, Croatia and Algeria.

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In photos: South Carolina casts its vote for the Democratic nominee

Former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg greets supporters on Feb. 28. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The first southern U.S. state is picking a 2020 Democratic presidential nominee on Saturday, as South Carolina voters line up at polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.

Why it matters, via Axios' Fadel Allassan: 61% of South Carolina's Democrats are black, and Saturday's primary is the first major test of African-American support for the candidates.