Biden Secures His First Primary Win in South Carolina, Marking the Start of His 2020 Victory



President Biden won the South Carolina primary, gaining the first set of delegates required to claim the Democratic nomination at the party’s convention in August. Biden won more than 96 percent of the vote, dominating every county with over 95 percent of the vote. The victory was seen as significant for Biden’s relationship with the party’s base, particularly Black voters, who were instrumental in his South Carolina win.

President Biden Clinches Victory in South Carolina Primary

President Biden emerged victoriously from the South Carolina primary this past Saturday, catapulting him onto the Democrats’ presidential nominating calendar as the first contest. The Associated Press announced his win soon after the polls closing, bestowing upon Biden the first set of critical delegates needed for the Democratic nomination in August.

“The people of South Carolina have spoken again, and I believe they have set us on the path to winning the presidency — and making Donald Trump a loser again,” said President Biden in a campaign statement. In the primary voting, Biden secured a staggering majority of more than 96 percent from South Carolina Democrats, including a resounding victory in heavily Black counties with over 95 percent of the vote.

Biden’s Stronghold Among Key Democratic Voters

Biden’s campaign aimed to demonstrate his robust support among the party’s base, notably Black voters, through the South Carolina primary. This primary also served as a litmus test for the voter turnout for the upcoming high-stakes Republican contest between Trump and Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor. Analysts have expressed concerns about voters postponing their participation until the February 24 contest.

Though black voters are crucial for Biden’s success in battleground states, extrapolating South Carolina’s February results to predict November turnout may not be straightforward. The recent primary was largely viewed as non-competitive, attracting approximately 150,000 votes according to an estimate from Representative James E. Clyburn, Biden’s influential South Carolina surrogate.

Increased Turnout Among Black Voters

The South Carolina Democratic Party reported an early vote data indicating a 13 percent increase in Black voters’ participation compared to 2020, when persons of color composed about half of the electorate in the Democratic primary. “We might not see that enthusiasm, but they are mission-driven,” commented Christale Spain, the chair of South Carolina’s Democratic Party.

Biden’s Strategic Move in South Carolina

By advancing South Carolina as the first contest in the Democratic nomination cycle, Biden has amplified Black voters’ influence in the selection process and shielded himself from possible primary challengers.

Minimal Competition and Solid Support for Biden

Presidential candidate Dean Phillips of Minnesota posed minimal threat to Biden, as South Carolina voters showed negligible support for him and Marianne Williamson, the author who launched an unconventional presidential campaign in 2020. Approximately 64 percent of New Hampshire Democrats voted for Biden, further indicating the party’s solid support for the president.

South Carolina’s Impact on National Politics

After the race was called for Biden, Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee, and South Carolina native expressed delight at the turnout numbers. “This is about keeping this country on its track to a more perfect union,” commented Rep. Clyburn to applause.

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