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Southern Democratic leaders aren't pleased with Sanders' attempts to explain losses in the Deep South
Bernie Sanders will hold a roundtable discussion on health care Friday afternoon, capping off his first visit to the Lowcountry as a presidential candidate.
The conversation will start at 1 p.m. at the International Longshoreman's Association hall at 1142 Morrison Drive downtown.
Medicare-for-all is one of Sanders' key proposals ahead of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. He campaigned on the issue during his primary race against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016, and it has since gained steam as a Democratic talking point.
The 77-year-old senator from Vermont held a rally at the Royal Family Life Center in North Charleston on Thursday. It was Sanders' first campaign stop in Charleston since former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke announced his candidacy on Wednesday.
Asked about O'Rourke's announcement by a CNN reporter on Thursday, Sanders replied
, "Free country. Anybody can run."
He stopped in North Charleston for a 20-minute speech in January, though that was before the democratic socialist officially announced his candidacy a month later.
North Charleston's population is 47 percent African-American, according to Census estimates
South Carolina is a key early primary state. In 2016, non-white voters made up 66 percent of the Democratic primary electorate, according to the State Election Commission. That makes the state a proving ground for a candidate's appeal to minority communities, especially African-Americans.
In the 2016 primary, Sanders captured just 26 percent of South Carolina's Democratic vote. Nationally, he won 43 percent of votes.