As the South Carolina Democratic primary approaches on February 3rd, party members are optimistic that the Palmetto State will once again play a pivotal role in propelling Joe Biden toward the White House.
Reflecting on history, four years ago, South Carolina handed a resounding victory to the former vice president, sweeping all 46 counties and securing the party’s nomination, ultimately leading to the defeat of Donald Trump in the general election.
South Carolina’s significant Black Democratic voting bloc was instrumental in Biden’s triumph, prompting the Democratic National Committee to rearrange the primary calendar, moving South Carolina to the forefront despite objections from party officials in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Biden is eager to reignite the momentum of his 2020 campaign. He engaged in weekend campaigning, joining longtime Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn at a church service in Columbia, the capital city, and mingling with patrons at the Regal Lounge barbershop.
Additionally, he headlined the state party’s “First-in-the-Nation” celebration dinner, directly addressing Black voters, acknowledging their pivotal role in his political journey: “I wouldn’t be here without the Democratic voters of South Carolina.”
Christale Spain, the first Black woman to hold the position of Democratic Party chair, remains confident in the turnout for Biden during the upcoming primary weekend. She views this primary as “unprecedented,” characterized by contestation rather than fierce competition.
Despite challenges from Dean Phillips and author Marianne Williamson, who vie for the nomination, they are expected to garner only a fraction of the votes compared to Biden.
Spain, elected as state party chair in April, believes that the narrative surrounding Biden’s perceived decline in support among Black voters, particularly Black men, stems not from a lack of enthusiasm for the incumbent president but rather from a deficit of information regarding Biden’s contributions to South Carolina and the broader Black community.