In a pivotal move, Democrats marked the beginning of their presidential nomination process with the first primary in South Carolina on Saturday, setting the stage for US President Joe Biden’s quest for an easy victory.
Biden, buoyed by his recent triumph in an unsanctioned primary election in New Hampshire, is now focusing on securing a win in South Carolina. Despite not appearing on the ballot, the President emerged victorious last month, as reported by The Guardian.
South Carolina Takes Center Stage
The Democratic National Committee’s decision to replace Iowa with South Carolina as the leadoff spot for the presidential primary came after a “long and sometimes contentious process,” according to the Associated Press. Biden, advocating for South Carolina to take the lead, succeeded in positioning the state ahead of Nevada in the primary calendar.
Vice President Kamala Harris emphasized the significance of South Carolina, declaring, “South Carolina, you are the first primary in the nation, and President Biden and I are counting on you.” The President and First Lady Jill Biden recently campaigned in the state, underscoring its importance in their strategy.
A Look Back at 2020: Biden’s Crucial Win in South Carolina
In the 2020 Democratic primary, Biden’s victory in South Carolina played a pivotal role in revitalizing his campaign. The win convinced his rivals that he was best positioned to win with Black voters and defeat Donald Trump. Black voters, constituting 11 percent of the national electorate in the 2020 general election, overwhelmingly supported Biden.
The state’s demographics, with 26 percent Black residents, make it a crucial battleground. Many Black Democrats in South Carolina continue to support Biden, influenced by his role as vice president to the nation’s first Black president, Barack Obama.
Black Voters and Biden’s Appeal
Black voters in South Carolina voiced various reasons for supporting Biden, including his administration’s defense of abortion rights, appointments of Black jurists, and other minorities to federal courts. Concerns about the age of the 81-year-old President Biden were raised by some voters, echoing broader sentiments in public polling.
Despite concerns about age, voters like LaJoia Broughton, a 42-year-old small business owner, expressed their preference for Biden, citing fears that former President Donald Trump’s unfounded claims about the 2020 election could threaten democracy.
Charles Trower, a 77-year-old voter, admitted the challenges posed by the age of both candidates but affirmed his preference for Biden over the alternatives. With the South Carolina primary underway, Biden aims to alleviate concerns and secure a substantial victory.
The GOP’s South Carolina primary is scheduled for February 24, adding to the anticipation surrounding the unfolding 2024 US presidential election. As the political landscape takes shape, all eyes are on South Carolina’s role in determining the trajectory of the Democratic nomination process.