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The Latest: Biden shrinks delegate deficit after big SC win

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during his primary election night rally in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, after winning the South Carolina primary. (Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

WASHINGTON — The Latest on the Democratic presidential primary contest (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

Bernie Sanders’ delegate lead over Joe Biden has shrunk from 30 to 8 after Biden’s big win in the South Carolina primary.

With 54 delegates at stake in South Carolina, Biden has picked up 35 to Sanders’ 13. That’s according to the AP delegate count. Six delegates remain to be allocated pending final vote totals.

Heading into key Super Tuesday contests, Sanders leads the overall race for delegates with 58 while Biden has 50. Pete Buttigieg has 26 delegates, Elizabeth Warren has 8 and Amy Klobuchar has 7.

More than one-third of the total delegates needed to win the nomination are at stake on Tuesday.

It takes 1,991 delegates to win.

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12:05 p.m.

Elizabeth Warren wants to use stricter federal regulations to discourage the nation’s largest banks and asset managers from making investments that exacerbate climate change.

The Massachusetts senator finished a disappointing fifth in Saturday’s South Carolina primary but unveiled a detailed plan Sunday titled “Stop Wall Street from Financing the Climate Crisis.” In it, she warns that investments in the fossil fuel industry that are now common throughout the financial sector could abruptly lose value if the U.S. transitions to a “clean” economy — posing risks of destabilization.

To combat that, she plans to use the Financial Stability Oversight Council and other regulatory bodies to require higher capitalization standards on financial institutions based on their climate-related risks, while mandating that they report annually how much fossil fuel equity and debt is created or held as assets.

Warren also would seek to strengthen federal rules to make it harder for pension fund and other asset managers to invest in carbon-intensive ventures, and require banks and other financial firms to employ more climate change experts on their boards of directors.

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11:30 a.m.

Joe Biden says he has no plans to pressure other Democratic presidential candidates to drop out of the race to try to consolidate the vote against progressive favourite Bernie Sanders.

He tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that “everyone knows” it will be more difficult for Democrats to win back the Senate and maintain control of the House if Sanders is at “the top of the ticket,” but it’s up to the candidates to decide.

The former vice-president won the South Carolina primary by a huge margin Saturday, but polls suggest Sanders could still have an advantage in several large Super Tuesday states because candidates including billionaire Mike Bloomberg, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar remain in the race.

Biden acknowledged the possibility of a contested first ballot at the Democratic convention. He confirmed that he’d still seek the nomination even if he went into the convention trailing Sanders in pledged delegates.

Sanders has argued that the plurality delegate leader should become the nominee. Sanders, Biden noted, didn’t take that position in 2016, when he urged so-called “superdelegates” to hand him the nomination despite Hillary Clinton winning 4 million more primary votes and securing more pledged delegates.

The Associated Press