President Joe Biden speaks at the National Prayer Breakfast at the Capitol on February 1, 2024 in Washington.
In a widely expected result, Biden will defeat his two closest rivals, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips and author Marianne Williamson, as he claims his first delegates in an attempt to win back his party's nomination. Biden South Carolina won all 55 delegates in the primary.
This year marks the first time South Carolina has appeared on the front of the Democratic nomination calendar — a change that has largely been made. Because of Biden's insistence.
Biden, who was in Los Angeles for a fundraiser Saturday evening, said in a statement that South Carolina put him on the path to victory while predicting his victory.
“In 2020, it was the voters of South Carolina who proved the pundits wrong, breathed new life into our campaign and put us on the path to winning the presidency,” he said. “Now in 2024, the people of South Carolina have spoken again and I have no doubt that you have set us on a path to win the presidency again — and defeat Donald Trump again.”
DNC lifts South Carolina over Iowa and New Hampshire
For decades, Iowa and New Hampshire have cast first votes in Democratic presidential primary battles. But the Democratic National Committee It decided to move those states back In the calendar, he faced criticism that his overwhelmingly white electorate did not reflect a more diverse Democratic base nationally.
Iowa Democratic Party officials embraced the changes. Option to hold a mail-in caucus Ballots have been mailed to voters since January 12 and must be postmarked again by March 5 — Super Tuesday, when more than a dozen other states are scheduled to hold their primaries.
New Hampshire officials pushed back, citing a state law requiring its flagship to be the nation's flagship — a A brutal democratic contest With the Republican primary on January 23rd.
However, the Democratic National Committee punished Granite State by removing delegates to the party's 2024 convention. Biden did not file to appear on the state's primary ballot because the state did not comply with the calendar set by the DNC. But the president's loyalists launched a successful write-in campaign on his behalf 64% of votes.
Biden to secure South Carolina's first primary in the 2024 Democratic race Visited the Palmetto State Twice last month, Vice President Kamala Harris led a get-out-the-vote event at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg on Friday.
“You've got my back, and I hope I've got yours,” Biden told a Sunday luncheon at Brookland Baptist Church in Columbia last weekend.
The president was not in South Carolina on Saturday, having gone on a fundraising swing through Southern California and Nevada. Before his departure, he made brief remarks leading up to the general election at his re-election campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.
“This is not just propaganda. This is still a work in progress. We cannot lose this campaign for the good of the country, we cannot,” Biden said.
“I'm saying it from the bottom of my heart. It's not about me,” he said. “It's about the country. I think everybody knows that, and I think it's starting to dawn on people.
“The American people get it. They understand what's going on,” Biden said, framing the race around the defense of democracy.
Kent Nishimura/AFP/Getty Images
Attendees cheer as Biden speaks at a South Carolina Democratic Party event in Columbia on January 27, 2024.
While Biden faces little serious competition for the Democratic nomination, Saturday's primary is important for the president because it marks a return to what propelled him to the Democratic nomination in 2020.
Biden entered the South Carolina primary that year after finishing fifth in the Iowa caucuses, fourth in the New Hampshire primary and second in the Nevada caucuses. However, the Palmetto State's large black population — and Late approval — from influential Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn — helped give Biden a landslide victory that, for the first time, demonstrated strength with a key Democratic constituency that no other primary contender could compete with.
A few days later, Biden The nomination of the party is getting closer By highlighting almost insurmountable representatives across a wide range of states on Super Tuesday.
South Carolina's general elections are dominated by Republicans. Jimmy Carter last won the state for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1976.
But the push by the Biden campaign and its allies in South Carolina is part of a broader effort to win support with black voters, crucial to the president's re-election chances, especially in battleground states like Georgia and “blue wall” states. Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The Democratic primary was held three weeks before Republicans voted on February 24. The GOP primary could be former South Carolina Gov. Nikki HaleyA last chance to slow down the former President Donald TrumpMarch for the third consecutive Republican presidential nomination. But recently Monmouth University-Washington Post poll He showed that he was trailing Trump by 26 points in his home state primary.
This story and topic have been updated with additional improvements.
CNN's Betsy Klein, Kevin Liptak, Terence Burlij and Ethan Cohen contributed to this report.