Biden wins South Carolina Democratic primary, Edison predicts By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at South Carolina’s First in the Nation Dinner at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia, South Carolina, U.S., January 27, 2024. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo
By Trevor Hunnicutt, Jarrett Renshaw and Liliana Salgado
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Saturday won the South Carolina Democratic primary — the first officially sanctioned race of the party’s nominating season — with early returns showing him dominating two other candidates, according to Edison Research projections.
While Biden, 81, faced little opposition, the vote was being closely watched amid concerns about his popularity, especially with Black voters.
Edison Research made the prediction soon after polls closed on Saturday.
With over 50% of votes counted, the Biden campaign said: “In 2020, it was the voters of South Carolina who proved the pundits wrong, breathed new life into our campaign, and set us on the path to winning the presidency.
“Now in 2024, the people of South Carolina have spoken again and I have no doubt that you have set us on the path to winning the presidency again — and making Donald Trump a loser — again,” the campaign said in a statement.
Shortly before the polls in South Carolina closed, Biden arrived in Los Angeles, where he was expected to meet with Black entertainers.
Four years ago, it was South Carolina’s Black vote in the state’s primary that helped ignite his campaign and ultimately propel him to the White House.
Biden, an unpopular incumbent who faces little competition for his party’s nomination in subsequent state primaries leading up to the Nov. 5 U.S. election, appeared on track for an overwhelming victory in South Carolina.
Besides campaign fears that South Carolina’s heavily Black electorate might not be energized this time around, there also were doubts about his age and concerns about high consumer prices and security along the U.S.-Mexican border.
Democratic officials interviewed by Reuters expected somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 total primary votes, after a county-by-county tour of the Southern state aimed at exciting voters and multiple events featuring Biden or Vice President Kamala Harris.