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Biden Wins South Carolina Democratic Primary For Presidential Nomination

President Joe Biden has again won the South Carolina presidential primary, his first formal primary win of the election season.

Amid low voter turnout, Biden was on track to capture all 48 delegates allocated by South Carolina primary voters today. Another seven delegates are pledged by party leaders and elected officials, such as South Carolina’s lone Democratic congressman, Jim Clyburn. Neither Dean Phillips, the congressman from Minnesota, nor author Marianne Williamson received at least 15% of the statewide vote or 15% of the vote in any congressional district, the threshold necessary to win delegates.

The president sent out a statement shortly after the results were called in his favor, specifically highlighting Black voters, who comprise 26% of state residents and a significant portion of the Democratic voting base in South Carolina.

“As I said four years ago, this campaign is for everyone who has been knocked down, counted out and left behind. That is still true today. With more than 14m new jobs and a record 24 straight months – two years – of the unemployment rate under 4%, including a record low unemployment rate for Black Americans, we are leaving no one behind,” he said.

“In 2020, it was the voters of South Carolina who proved the pundits wrong, breathed new life into our campaign, and set us on the path to winning the Presidency.

“Now in 2024, the people of South Carolina have spoken again and I have no doubt that you have set us on the path to winning the Presidency again – and making Donald Trump a loser – again.

Biden continued: “When I was elected president, I said the days of the backbone of the Democratic party being at the back of the line were over. That was a promise made and a promise kept. Now, you are first in the nation.”

The Democratic National Committee changed the national election calendar last year to designate South Carolina as the first official contest for the Democratic presidential nomination, taking the privilege away from the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Biden did not participate in the New Hampshire primary, which state Democratic officials held over the objections of the national committee.

Marvin Pendarvis, a Democratic state representative from North Charleston, said the primary was important, regardless of turnout.

“Everyone probably wondered why was it so important that we got turnout, even when we knew that Joe Biden was going to win South Carolina. It’s because we are first in the nation. It’s because we want to maintain that status going into 2028. And it is big for our party to be able to showcase why South Carolina was chosen to be first: because we are representative of the Democratic party, not only in our diversity of values, but also how we look and how we come together as Democrats.

“We’re the ones that spearheaded Joe Biden to get into office in 2020,” Pendarvis added. “We’ll do it again in 2024.”

South Carolina’s primaries are open, allowing any registered voter to participate, though voters much choose only one primary – Democratic or Republican – to vote in. Of South Carolina’s 3.3 million registered voters, about 13% participated in the 2016 Democratic primary, which was won overwhelmingly by Hillary Clinton, while 16% voted in the 2020 primary that separated Biden from the pack.

South Carolina’s Republicans go to the polls on 24 February, when former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley faces former president Donald Trump.

Biden’s statement ended on a warning about the upcoming contest: “The stakes in this election could not be higher. There are extreme and dangerous voices at work in the country – led by Donald Trump – who are determined to divide our nation and take us backward. We cannot let that happen. We’ve come a long way these past four years – with America now having the strongest economy in the world and among the lowest inflation of any major economy. Let’s keep pushing forward. Let’s finish what we started – together.”

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