Columbia, South Carolina – President Biden secured a victory in the state’s 2024 Democratic primary election Saturday, according to projections by CBS News. He defeated two long-shot candidates and is estimated to win all 55 pledged delegates at stake in the primary.
The state of South Carolina played a crucial role in reviving Biden’s struggling 2020 campaign and is now the first official Democratic nominating contest of 2024. The Democratic National Committee disregarded a longstanding New Hampshire law that requires the state to hold the first presidential primary in the nation, moving South Carolina ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Biden’s name did not appear on the New Hampshire ballot, but he still won the primary as a write-in candidate. However, he won’t receive any delegates out of the Granite State because the DNC sanctioned New Hampshire for defying the primary calendar.
Even though Biden defeated Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips and self-help author Marianne Williamson in South Carolina, the primary was closely watched as a test of the president’s support among Black voters, a demographic that helped deliver his first primary win in any presidential election four years ago.
Biden expressed gratitude to South Carolina voters, acknowledging their role in putting him in the White House. The president emphasized the importance of the state’s voters in his statement, highlighting the significant impact they had on his presidency.
Voters in South Carolina were able to cast their ballots from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and the primary remained open to all registered South Carolina voters, regardless of their party affiliation. The voter registration deadline for the Democratic primary was Jan. 4, while the Republican primary cutoff was Jan. 25. The Republican primary in South Carolina is set to take place on Feb. 24, with former President Donald Trump facing off against Nikki Haley.
The decision to hold the Democratic and Republican primaries on different days was influenced by the national parties’ decisions, as well as state laws mandating the timing of the primaries. Despite facing defiance from New Hampshire, the Democratic National Committee adjusted its 2024 primary calendar to move South Carolina as the first contest, citing the state’s racially diverse electorate. On the other hand, the Republican National Committee chose to keep South Carolina in the same order as past elections, following Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.