Bernie Sanders hopes things will go better in South Carolina the second time around.
The independent Vermont senator will visit the Palmetto State for the first time since launching his 2020 presidential campaign last month. He is scheduled to speak at a rally in North Charleston on Thursday night.
The rally will start at 7 p.m. EST and can be watched on Sanders’s YouTube page.
Sanders’s 2016 loss in South Carolina to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary stunted his first presidential run and revealed his unfavorability among minority voters. He was crushed in the polls, losing to Clinton by 47 points. Since then, Sanders has spent considerable time in the state to deepen his relationship with the black community ahead of the 2020 election.
“I lost badly here in South Carolina,” Sanders admitted earlier this year in a meeting with the Legislative Black Caucus.
Sanders was last in South Carolina for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day weekend in January, where he mingled at multiple community events honoring the late civil rights activist. During an NAACP event outside the state capitol, Sanders slammed President Donald Trump as a “racist” while speaking about racial justice, equality and education.
“I must tell you, it gives me no pleasure to tell you that we now have a president of the United States who is a racist,” he said at the event. “What a president is supposed to do is to bring us together. And we have a president who intentionally, purposely is trying to divide us up by the color of our skin, by our gender, by the country we came from, by our religion.”
Early 2020 polling shows Sanders to be at the top of the Democratic primary field. A recent Iowa survey had Sanders in second place, just two points behind former Vice President Joe Biden. Biden has not said whether he is going to run for president in 2020, though it has been reported that he will announce his candidacy in the next few weeks.
The self-described democratic socialist has also been outraising all of his Democratic opponents so far. Sanders’s campaign received nearly $6 million in small-dollar donations in the 24 hours after he announced his candidacy. In the first week of his 2020 campaign, Sanders had already raked in $10 million in donations.
Sanders’s platform heading into 2020 looks similar to that of his 2016 campaign as he focuses on income inequality, climate change and Medicare for All.
“I’m running for president because we can no longer tolerate a situation where the rich get the medical attention they need in order to stay alive, while members of working-class families have to die, needlessly suffer or go hopelessly into debt to get the care they need,” Sanders tweeted earlier this week.