CHARLESTON, S.C. – President Joe Biden easily won the South Carolina Democratic primary Saturday and scored his first win in his mostly unhindered route to becoming the Democratic candidate in a potential match-up with Donald Trump in the fall.
Biden’s decisive victory that was announced shortly after the polls closed it was no surprise due to the absence of an opponent that could be considered formidable. However, it was a significant event nonetheless, putting Biden on the right path to win the nomination, as he tries to rally the entire Democratic Party in support of his presidential bid.
Biden was the winner with 96.2 percent of the vote then the author Marianne Williamson, 2.1% And Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., 1.7%.
Over the last few years, research has shown that the majority of Democratic voters would rather have an alternative to Biden as their standard-bearer in 2024.
But Biden’s sweeping victory over Williamson in South Carolina – the first state to be a part of the brand-new Democratic election calendar demonstrated that the long-shot candidacies that are being pushed by Phillips and Williamson aren’t serious threats.
Biden at 81 is facing questions within his party over his age and the ability to attract younger voters as well as progressives and other key groups. But despite his weaknesses as a presidential candidate and a potential Democratic candidate did not emerge this year and Biden is on track to win the nomination.
Pam Joy, a Black waitress aged 62 from Charleston was unable to attend the primary on Saturday, but she stated that she will support Biden in November, despite worries about his age since she typically votes for Democrats.
With the outcome of South Carolina never in doubt, Biden spent Saturday traveling to Los Angeles to attend a event to support his presidential campaign. Biden rang an South Carolina Democratic watch party to speak to supporters on speakers.
“The stakes of this election couldn’t be more important,” Biden said in an announcement following his victory warning against “extreme as well as dangerous voices” at working across the country, which is led by Donald Trump.”
The Biden campaign was already pivoting towards a possible rematch with Trump following his triumph during the New Hampshire Republican Primary. The next step on the agenda in the Democratic primary is Nevada that will vote on Tuesday.
Although South Carolina gave Biden an chance to test his message to Black people, who comprise the majority of the Democratic voter base in South Carolina, Nevada also offers the same chance to Latino voters. Nevada is, in contrast to the heavily Republican South Carolina, is also a key state to be a battleground in this year’s general elections.
It was a big evening for Black voters
The primary on Saturday was South Carolina Democrats’ first since the Democratic National Committee upended its primary calendar to remove Iowa along with New Hampshire as the first and second states to elect starting by naming The Palmetto State.
The argument of the party: Even although South Carolina isn’t in play in the general election, the state’s large Black population is Democrats their most reliable and influential audience, allowing them to set the direction to the presidential nomination.
The turnout for Saturday’s vote is, no surprise, lower drastically from the highly open, competitive Democratic primary in 2020 that Biden did win. The turnout of Democrats on Saturday was less than 24 percent of the turnout in 2020.
However, Michael Tyler, communications director for the Biden campaign, stated that Black voters comprised around 76 percent of early voting within South Carolina this year, contrasted with 56 percent in 2020.
Betty Managault, 82, an old nursing staff member who’s Black and a Democrat, said she chose Biden because Biden was “a good man.” She claimed that it was clear in her head that Biden will have the upper hand in the primary, but that it was crucial for her to cast a vote.
“My ancestral ancestors died for me in order to have the right to vote,” she said while sitting at a counter selling sweet grass baskets she had made.
South Carolina – with a boost from the state’s most well-known Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. – famously saved Biden’s presidential bid in 2020 following his first defeats at the polls in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.
“Now in 2024 those in South Carolina have spoken again,” Biden said in an announcement following his victory on Saturday, “and I have no doubt that you’ve put us on a path to regaining the presidency and making Donald Trump a loser – again.”
In the lead up to an election in the general elections, Biden must work accomplish to ensure that Black voters vote for Biden at the same level that they were in 2020. Suffolk U.S. survey this month showed that Biden only has the support of 63 percent from Black voters, which is a stark drop in comparison to the 87% he received in 2020.
In the event that Black supports continue to fall behind this could be devastating to Biden’s chances for the fall.
What’s the next step for Biden’s challengers?
It’s pretty evident that we are now in the clear: Williamson, the self-help author and Phillips who is a congressman from Minnesota do not pose a threat to Biden and raises questions about how long they’ll plan to run.
Biden has not paid attention to both issues and has not suffered any consequences for it.
Their shocking performance during the election in South Carolina came after Biden was a clear winner in his New Hampshire primary overwhelmingly last month, even when his name didn’t show up on the voter list. Biden was the write-in winner after Phillips was able to base his campaign on the idea of the symbolic New Hampshire win in Biden’s absence.
The blowout defeats that have followed for Phillips who enraged many within his party after he declared his late primary challenge in the month of October, raise the question of whether it’s the right the time to quit.
Phillips however, stated that he’s pushing on after it looked like he’d be third ahead of Williamson.
“Cracking four digits never felt so good!” Phillips stated on the social media website X and formerly Twitter. “Congratulations President Phillips. President, for an old-fashioned whooping. Keep in touch with Michigan.”