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New poll shows Joe Biden surging in South Carolina with a whopping 18 point lead

Joe Biden has an 18 point lead in South Carolina ahead of the state's Democratic primary, a new poll reveals. 

The Clemson University Palmetto poll was released on Wednesday, just three days out from Saturday's vote. 

The former Vice President, 77, has a 35% of the vote share, well ahead of billionaire Tom Steyer (17%) and Bernie Sanders (13%). 

The promising poll news comes on the same day that Biden nabbed a key endorsement from Democratic powerbroker Rep. James C. Clyburn, the longest serving member of the South Carolina delegation and a senior member of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Biden also managed to escape largely unscathed following Tuesday night's chaotic Democratic debate, which aired on CBS.    

The new poll indicates that Biden is surging in the state following a strong week on the campaign trail, as a separate East Carolina University poll taken last week showed him with a much smaller 8% lead. 

It signals a reversal of fortunes for Biden - a one-time front-runner whose national poll numbers have dramatically slipped in recent months amid criticisms of a lackluster campaign. 

Joe Biden has an 18 point lead in South Carolina ahead of the state's Democratic primary, according to a Clemson University Palmetto poll 

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has replaced Biden nationally to become the new Democratic front-runner. 

However, in South Carolina, residents have a less-favorable view of the self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist, the new poll reveals.  

Just 54% of those polled say they hold a favorable view of Sanders, in comparison to 63% who have positive opinions of Biden. 

However, 43% of the 650 people who participated in the Clemson University Palmetto Poll were aged  65 and over - and Biden usually performs better with older constituents. 

Indeed on Wednesday, Clyburn, 79, decided to reveal his plans to endorse Biden after speaking to an elderly constituent at a funeral.

Biden nabbed a key endorsement from Democratic powerbroker Rep. James C. Clyburn on Wednesday

Clyburn spoke emotionally with reporters in North Charleston, telling them of his late wife, Emily, as well as the reason he was endorsing Biden. 

'I am fearful for the future of this country,' he told stated, before voicing his support for 'My good friend – my late wife’s great friend, Joe Biden.'   

'I’ve been saying to many, I’ve known for a long time who I would vote for. But I had not decided whether or not to share it with the public,' he continued. 

'But I want the public to know that I am voting for Joe Biden, South Carolinians should be voting for Joe Biden.' 

Clyburn, at times on the verge of tears, spoke about Biden's work in the civil rights movement, and about the affection his late wife had for Biden.

Biden was present at the endorsement event, and thanked Clyburn for his support.   

Bernie Sanders has replaced Biden nationally to become the new Democratic front-runner

Soon after, he pivoted to slam main rival Sanders. 

'Today people are talking about a revolution. What the country’s looking for are results. What they’re looking for is security. 'What they’re looking for is to be able to sustain and maintain their dignity,' Biden said.  

'South Carolina chooses presidents. It decided Bill Clinton to the White House. And up to that time it didn’t look like he was going very far,' said Biden.

'You launched my buddy Barack Obama to the White House. And I firmly believe, once again on Saturday you hold in your hands in South Carolina the power to choose the next president of the united States.'  

Biden has been banking on strong support from African American voters in South Carolina to help stem Bernie Sanders' rise