President Joe Biden has again won the South Carolina presidential primary, his first formal primary win of the election season.

President Joe Biden has again won the South Carolina presidential primary, his first formal primary win of the election season.

Amid low voter turnout, the Associated Press projected that Biden also won all 55 of the state’s Democratic delegates. Another seven delegates are pledged by party leaders and elected officials, such as South Carolina’s lone Democratic congressman, Jim Clyburn. Neither Dean Phillips, the congressman from Minnesota, nor author Marianne Williamson received at least 15% of the statewide vote or 15% of the vote in any congressional district, the threshold necessary to win delegates.

The president sent out a statement shortly after the results were called in his favor, specifically highlighting Black voters, who comprise 26% of state residents and a significant portion of the Democratic voting base in South Carolina.

“As I said four years ago, this campaign is for everyone who has been knocked down, counted out and left behind. That is still true today. With more than 14m new jobs and a record 24 straight months – two years – of the unemployment rate under 4%, including a record low unemployment rate for Black Americans, we are leaving no one behind,” he 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.

Biden continued: “When I was elected president, I said the days of the backbone of the Democratic party being at the back of the line were over. That was a promise made and a promise kept. Now, you are first in the nation.”

The Democratic National Committee changed the national election calendar last year to designate South Carolina as the first official contest for the Democratic presidential nomination, taking the privilege away from the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Biden did not participate in the New Hampshire primary, which state Democratic officials held over the objections of the national committee.

Marvin Pendarvis, a Democratic state representative from North Charleston, said the primary was important, regardless of turnout.


“Everyone probably wondered why was it so important that we got turnout, even when we knew that Joe Biden was going to win South Carolina. It’s because we are first in the nation. It’s because we want to maintain that status going into 2028. And it is big for our party to be able to showcase why South Carolina was chosen to be first: because we are representative of the Democratic party, not only in our diversity of values, but also how we look and how we come together as Democrats.

“We’re the ones that spearheaded Joe Biden to get into office in 2020,” Pendarvis added. “We’ll do it again in 2024.”

South Carolina’s primaries are open, allowing any registered voter to participate, though voters much choose only one primary – Democratic or Republican – to vote in. Of South Carolina’s 3.3 million registered voters, about 13% participated in the 2016 Democratic primary, which was won overwhelmingly by Hillary Clinton, while 16% voted in the 2020 primary that separated Biden from the pack.

South Carolina’s Republicans go to the polls on 24 February, when former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley faces former president Donald Trump.

Biden’s statement ended on a warning about the upcoming contest: “The stakes in this election could not be higher. There are extreme and dangerous voices at work in the country – led by Donald Trump – who are determined to divide our nation and take us backward. We cannot let that happen. We’ve come a long way these past four years – with America now having the strongest economy in the world and among the lowest inflation of any major economy. Let’s keep pushing forward. Let’s finish what we started – together.”

New Hampshire’s Democratic presidential primary may end up counting, after all.

Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison suggested on Saturday that he’s open to finding a way to seat New Hampshire’s delegates at this summer’s nominating convention, after President Joe Biden won the state’s unsanctioned primary last month.

Doing so would be a remarkable — but not unprecedented — about-face for the DNC, which stripped the Granite State of its favored position on the nominating calendar, elevating South Carolina to the lead-off spot for this cycle at Biden’s request.

The change prompted a bitter intraparty feud. But if New Hampshire’s delegates are seated come summer, the state might have the venerable South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn to thank for it.

Minutes after Biden was projected to win South Carolina’s primary on Saturday, Clyburn, standing beside Harrison at a watch party there, called on the DNC to seat New Hampshire’s delegates, citing the New Hampshire law requiring the state to hold its primary a week before any similar contest.

“I believe, Jaime, that it’s time for us to ask our Rules committee not to hold the state law in New Hampshire against our Democrats,” Clyburn said. “They worked hard, and they won a victory. And I would like to see as a sign of us all coming together. … Let the Rules committee figure out a way.”

Harrison shook Clyburn’s hand. “When the boss speaks,” Harrison said, laughing, “We’ll have to work on that, congressman.”

Later, Harrison told reporters, “We at the DNC, we’ll look at what we have to do, and we’ll get back to the congressman.”

The decision about whether to count New Hampshire’s Democratic delegates is up to the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee. The panel passed rules heading into this election cycle that could cost New Hampshire half its delegates for breaking with the party’s nominating calendar. But the party has backtracked on sanctions before — easing penalties on Florida and Michigan in 2008 after they broke party rules and held their primaries too early.

Harrison’s Saturday night remark comes two days after the RBC pushed off until a later date a discussion about whether to sanction New Hampshire.

Jim Roosevelt, who co-chairs the Rules committee, told POLITICO that he “appreciate[d]” Clyburn’s view and that the panel “will take that into account” when it revisits the issue.


Kathy Sullivan, a longtime New Hampshire Democratic operative who helmed a super PAC that aided the Biden write-in effort, predicted Clyburn’s support “will carry a lot of weight with the DNC.”

“Half of the [New Hampshire] delegates elected so far are young people, and they are really looking forward to going to [the] convention,” Sullivan said.

Jim Demers, another New Hampshire-based Democratic operative who helped lead the Biden write-in effort there, expressed gratitude for Clyburn’s support.

“New Hampshire and South Carolina voters have demonstrated significant unity and support for President Biden’s reelection, and I hope the DNC will recognize that by seating our delegates,” Demers said.

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley said he looks forward to “winning in November, having a great convention and we will continue to work with D.C. folks about getting there.”

Biden began pushing in late 2022 to make South Carolina — a more diverse state that propelled him to the nomination in 2020 — the first primary for this cycle. The move blindsided some of New Hampshire’s top Democrats and prompted bipartisan outrage in the state.

Republicans who control the state’s government refused to change the law requiring it to hold the first primary. In response, the president passed on putting his name on the ballot in New Hampshire, forcing allies to wage a write-in campaign on his behalf.

Biden won New Hampshire’s Democratic primary decisively, with 64 percent of the vote on a write-in campaign compared to 20 percent for his next-closest competitor, Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who was on the ballot. This past week, Biden met with New Hampshire’s all-Democratic congressional delegation in what appeared to be an attempt to smooth things over.

Manny Espitia, a former Democratic state representative in New Hampshire who helped with the write-in campaign, said seating the state’s delegates would be “a wonderful move” that “shows that the efforts of New Hampshire voters writing in and supporting the president is being recognized.”