MANCHESTER, N.H. — Call it the Biden bellyflop.
Former Vice President Joe Biden appeared poised to have to peel himself off the political canvas once again after delivering an anemic performance in the New Hampshire primary.
He skipped town early and vowed to press on with his White House bid at a campaign event in South Carolina, characterizing Iowa and New Hampshire as the “opening bell.”
“I know this is going to be the fight of my life,” he said. “But as the old song goes: Lord, don’t move my mountain. Give me the ability to climb. I can’t do it alone — I need your help to climb that mountain and together we’re going to beat Donald Trump.”
With results still rolling in, Mr. Biden was running in fifth place in New Hampshire behind Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
He appeared on track to get shut out of winning any delegates to the Democratic National Convention from New Hampshire, after finishing in fourth place in the Iowa caucuses.
Mr. Biden alluded to the diversity of Nevada and South Carolina, the next two states on the presidential calendar, compared to the overwhelmingly white populations of Iowa and New Hampshire.
“Up until now, we haven’t heard from the most committed constituency in the Democratic party — the African-American community,” he said. “And the fastest-growing segment of society — the Latino community.”
He said “99.9%” of black voters have not yet had a chance to vote in America.
Mr. Biden, who is known for his sporadic verbal missteps, also flubbed the state he had just left.
“It is important that Iowa and Nevada have spoken, but look: we need to hear from Nevada and South Carolina and Super Tuesday states and beyond,” he said.
His support among black voters has helped prop Mr. Biden up in South Carolina in much of the public polling on the Palmetto State.
Still, Mr. Biden was at 27% support among black voters in a national Quinnipiac University poll released on Monday — down from 49% in a Quinnipiac survey released two weeks ago.
• Seth McLaughlin reported from Washington.