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South Carolina’s 2024 Democratic Primary Takes Place Today. Here’s What You Need to Know

South Carolina's 2024 Democratic Primary Takes Place Today. Here's What You Need to Know
Credits: Spectrum News

In South Carolina’s 2024 Democratic presidential primary, President Biden faces competition from two less likely candidates, Representative Dean Phillips from Minnesota and self-help author Marianne Williamson.

Pivotal in rejuvenating Biden’s 2020 campaign, the state serves as the first official Democratic nominating contest of 2024.

This positioning resulted from the Democratic National Committee’s decision to move the primary ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire, bypassing New Hampshire’s longstanding law that mandates it holds the first presidential primary.

South Carolina's 2024 Democratic Primary Takes Place Today. Here's What You Need to Know

South Carolina’s 2024 Democratic Primary (Credits: Bridge Michigan)

Despite not featuring on the New Hampshire ballot, Biden won as a write-in candidate. However, due to New Hampshire’s defiance of the DNC’s primary calendar, he won’t receive any delegates from the Granite State.

The South Carolina primary, a significant test of Biden’s support among Black voters, is anticipated to be closely observed. In the 2020 primaries, Black voters played a crucial role in delivering Biden’s first primary win, rescuing his campaign after lackluster performances in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.

During his South Carolina campaign, Biden acknowledged the state’s voters for their instrumental role in his presidency, stating on January 27, “If you ever doubt the power to change America, you are the reason I am president.”

The South Carolina Democratic primary features President Joe Biden, Representative Dean Phillips, and self-help author Marianne Williamson. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and voters in line at closing time can cast their ballots.

The primary is open to all registered South Carolina voters, regardless of party affiliation. However, those participating in the Democratic primary cannot vote in the Republican primary later in the month.

The voter registration deadline for the Democratic primary was January 4, while the Republican primary was January 25.

The Republican South Carolina primary is scheduled for February 24, where former President Donald Trump will compete against Nikki Haley. Early voting for the Republican primary runs from February 12 to February 22, with polling places open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on the primary day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The discrepancy in the timing of the Republican and Democratic primaries results from decisions by the national parties and, at times, state laws with mandates about timing.

The Democratic National Committee adjusted its 2024 primary calendar, positioning South Carolina as the first contest due to its racially diverse electorate.

Despite New Hampshire holding its primary in January in defiance of the DNC, Biden chose not to appear on the ballot. The Republican National Committee maintains the traditional order, with South Carolina following Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada in the GOP primary lineup.

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