FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Democratic Presidential candidates did their best at Tuesday’s South Carolina debate to knock off front-runner Bernie Sanders.
But Lillian Salerno, a political consultant who hosts the podcast “Pod Bless Texas,” said the debate didn’t hurt Sanders. “Bernie’s a force to be reckoned with. He has a ton of support and there’s no way that Bernie’s support erodes.”
During the debate, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar was among those who said if Sanders is nominated, he would lose to President Donald Trump.
“I like Bernie we came in together in the Senate but I do not think that this is the best person to lead the ticket.”
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren defended Sanders’ policies but said she is the one who voters should go with.
“Bernie and I agree on a lot of things but I think I’d make a better President than Bernie.”
Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg said a Sanders nomination is too risky. “It adds up to four more years of Donald Trump, Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House, and the inability to get the Senate into Democratic hands.”
It was the final debate before Saturday’s South Carolina primary and next week’s primary in Texas and the 13 other Super Tuesday states.
About 34% of the delegates will be up for grabs Tuesday.
A new poll by Progress Texas and PPP shows Biden and Sanders tied for the lead in Texas at 24%.
Mike Bloomberg is next with 17%, followed by Elizabeth Warren at 14%, Pete Buttigieg with 10% and Amy Klobuchar at 4%.
Salerno hasn’t endorsed anyone.
She didn’t hesitate to say who she thinks won last night’s debate.
“Vice President Biden.” Why? “I just think he came out with a lot of punch.”
During the debate, he shot back after he was interrupted by a moderator.
“I’m not out of time. He spoke overtime and I’m gonna talk. Here’s the deal, here’s the deal.”
The crowd cheered.
The same poll found Bloomberg’s campaign is hurting Biden.
“People that are thinking I don’t know what we need to do, we need to do something to beat Donald Trump. I think that is very attractive to people. I think he’s taken a ton of votes away from Vice President Biden.”
On Thursday, Bloomberg will campaign in Houston, while Warren will appear in San Antonio.
On Sunday evening, Buttigieg will hold a rally in Dallas while Bloomberg will appear in San Antonio.
Steyer will campaign in Houston Sunday and Biden will hold an event Monday night in Dallas.