Joe Biden visits Toliver’s Barbershop ahead of S.C. primary

Joe Biden speaks with community at Toliver's Barbershop ahead of South Carolina Primary
Joe Biden speaks with community at Toliver's Barbershop ahead of South Carolina Primary(Emily Wakeman)
Updated: Feb. 29, 2020 at 6:22 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Voting is open in South Carolina until 7 p.m. Saturday night, and while the results of the South Carolina primary could go a few different ways, former Vice President Joe Biden has seen a surge in the polls in recent days.

The latest polls showing Biden leading by double digits.

This surge in the polls comes in the wake of key endorsements, such as Congressman Jim Clyburn’s endorsement earlier this week.

Biden polls especially strong among African American voters in South Carolina, who make up the majority of the Democratic base in the state.

Friday, Biden spent the afternoon in Columbia at Toliver’s Mane Event Barbershop speaking with some of his supporters in the African American community about key issues, such as gun violence.

Chris Toliver, the co-owner of the barbershop, says that Toliver’s is a place for hair cuts, but its also a place for people to talk about things happening in the community, including faith, sports and politics.

Biden said during a speech after spending time in the barbershop that that is the reason he came to talk to people at the barbershop, to hear about issues affecting the community in Columbia, and to open up the conversation about the need for change in Columbia and across the country.

Toliver’s Barbershop has been a place for men to get their hair cut here in Columbia for over 40 years.

Chris Toliver said that politics regularly comes up while he’s cutting hair.

“It’s what affects a person on a day to day basis,” he said. “I would say the minimum wage and health care, those are the two things that people talk about when they come into the shop.”

Chris Toliver said another important topic he hears his customers talk about is gun reform. When Biden came to the shop to talk, that’s where he focused.

“For families that are suffering from gun violence, normal is living a nightmare,” Biden said.

Biden stressed that 315 South Carolinians are killed by gun violence every year.

“I’ve looked at too many devastated family members, too many brave school shooting survivors,” Biden said. “I’ve looked into their eyes and made a simple promise to them, and I’ll keep that as long as I have a breath in me -- I am going to do everything I can to see to it that things change and that we eliminate assault weapons.”

Herbert Toliver said he threw his support behind Biden after Rep. Clyburn endorsed him earlier this week.

“If he’s able to carry on the Obama legacy that would be great for us, especially great for me,” Herbert Toliver said.

He said Clyburn has been coming to his barbershop to get his hair cut ever since he opened in 1976.

Chris Toliver said he agrees with Clyburn that Biden has proven he is the right man for the job.

“For me, if someone comes along and stands for an issue for a year or two, that’s a good thing, but when someone has stood in the fight for 40 or 50 years, that tells me a whole lot more,” he said.

Chris Toliver said it’s also important to have a candidate that can beat President Donald Trump -- and he believes Biden is the most formidable opponent.

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