South Carolina primary is Democrats’ first this election, giving Biden unsurprising win

South Carolina’s Democratic primary Saturday delivered unsurprising results with an overwhelming win for President Joe Biden.

The Associated Press called the race for Biden early in the evening, with only about 6% of the polls reporting. Of that, about 1-2% of the votes had gone to the long-shot Democrats on the ballot, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips and author Marianne Williamson, with Biden picking up the rest.


US President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden for President 2024 campaign headquarters on February 3, 2024 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

The state’s primary is the first in the election season to count towards the Democratic nomination, after Biden and other party leaders picked it to lead off the 2024 primary calendar

The decision was made to test-drive efforts to mobilize Black voters, who are a key part of the Democratic vote in South Carolina and central to Biden’s strategy for victory in November.

Biden’s reelection campaign has said it was using the state’s primary to test strategies and messages that best motivate Black voters to the polls for the November general election

South Carolina has a far more racially diverse population compared to the traditional first-in-the-nation states of Iowa and New Hampshire, which are overwhelmingly White.

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Though the state is solidly Republican, South Carolina’s diverse primary voters mirror the Democratic coalition that Biden must hold together to win another term.

From South Carolina, the Democratic nominating calendar moves to Nevada, which holds its primary on Tuesday, and then to Michigan on Feb. 27.

The Republican primary in South Carolina is Feb. 24. 

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press contributed.