Biden Easily Wins South Carolina Primary

Kevin Dietsch/Getty
Kevin Dietsch/Getty

In 2020, Joe Biden turned his flailing campaign around in South Carolina.

In 2024, on Saturday, it’s where he officially won his first delegates.

Minutes after polls closed, the Associated Press called the South Carolina Democratic primary for Biden. Just like the overall battle for the Democratic nomination, it didn’t seem to be much of a race.

Biden also recently won New Hampshire’s unsanctioned primary. But because the Democratic National Committee—with Biden’s prodding—had moved New Hampshire from their normal position as the first in the nation primary to another place in the calendar, and because New Hampshire didn’t abide, no delegates were awarded for that contest.

In South Carolina, 55 delegates were up for grabs. While the specific breakdown of those delegates could take a while to sort out, it’s clear Biden once again crushed his competition, primarily Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) and self-help guru Marianne Williamson.

Marianne Williamson

Marianne Williamson speaks at a campaign event.

Brianna Soukup/Portland Press Herald via Getty

The delegates will be divvied up proportionally, but Biden’s win in a state where he continues to enjoy strong popularity among Democrats marks the beginning of the 2024 Democratic primary—and perhaps, unofficially, the end.

Even though Biden could use a jolt coming out of South Carolina—there continue to be warning signs about Biden’s popularity—his campaign remains steadfastly focused on the general election.

His approval rating has been languishing below 40 percent for months. A majority of voters blame him for a surge of migrants and asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the public remains divided over American military involvement in the Middle East.

And yet Democrats never really had a serious discussion about nominating anyone except for Biden in 2024.

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips speaks to a crowd in South Carolina.

Sean Rayford/Getty

Although Biden appears to be growing his lead over Trump among women voters and American sentiment on the economy is improving, his re-election outlook is bleak on a number of key fronts. In head-to-head polling against Donald Trump, Biden appears to be the underdog—even with an economy that’s humming.

Trump led Biden in all seven of the major swing states tracked by Morning Consult—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—in a poll released on Wednesday.

Even with the improved consumer sentiment—and some strong economic data to support President Biden’s case after many experts predicted a looming recession that never materialized—only 26 percent of the American public said they feel like the economy has stabilized in a CNN poll on Friday.

Biden has already gone from strenuously avoiding Trump’s name in his speeches to name dropping him constantly, calling the former president “a loser” and “Donald 'Herbert Hoover' Trump” during his remarks last Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina, where he mentioned Trump by name 22 times, according to Axios.

Biden told the Columbia crowd “you’re the reason Donald Trump is a defeated former President. You’re the reason Donald Trump is a loser. And you’re the reason we’re going to win and beat him again.”

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