Washington Examiner

Biden relies on South Carolina to convince skeptics for a second term

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley isn’t ‍the only‌ White House candidate counting on South Carolina.

President ‍Joe Biden is looking for strong support from the Palmetto State on⁤ Feb. 3‌ to officially‌ launch ​his reelection bid. As the first⁤ sanctioned primary contest on the Democratic side, Biden is seeking a⁢ boost from his⁤ base, especially among black voters, to temper voter concerns about his age and ⁤his handling of the⁢ economy and border.

To build momentum‍ for the ⁣“first in the nation” primary, Biden will travel​ to Columbia, South Carolina, on Saturday, one‌ week before voters cast ballots in the 2024 cycle.

Biden proposed bumping up the Palmetto State in the primary order ‍after the state, and its black voters in particular⁣ helped resuscitate the president’s ⁤2020 campaign following poor showings in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada that year.

The Biden campaign sees South Carolina as the proper backdrop to counternarratives about ‍his declining support from black and⁤ young voters and to downplay the imminent coronation of former President‍ Donald Trump back atop the Republican Party.

“The President is excited to return to South Carolina and ​spend time with voters ahead of the historic, first ⁣in ‍the national⁣ Democratic primary,” ⁢Biden ⁤campaign principal deputy campaign manager Quinton Fulks said in a statement. “President Biden has long believed that our nominating process should reflect our party’s rich diversity, and he’s​ following through on that‌ commitment and on his commitment to black voters, the backbone of the Democratic Party.”

Still, failing to‍ secure a total ​victory in South Carolina could portend a very real enthusiasm problem ahead of a likely rematch with Trump in November. Voters routinely sound the alarm about Biden’s age — he would be 82 when sworn in for a potential second term — and polls show that some Democrats are concerned about his economic stewardship and‍ mishandling of the border crisis.

The president⁢ easily secured victory in the New Hampshire primary this past week over Rep. ⁣Dean Phillips ‍(D-MN), thanks to a strong write-in campaign, but‍ will not be awarded any delegates at the party’s nominating ⁢convention this summer after the Granite State declined to abide by the Democratic National⁣ Committee’s primary calendar.

“Success in November depends more upon a voting demographic like you find in South​ Carolina than that which you would find in Iowa or New Hampshire,” Rep. Jim Clyburn⁣ (D-SC), a co-chairman of Biden’s 2024 campaign and a critical ‌ally in 2020, said in ⁤a statement.

On Saturday,‌ Biden and​ first lady Jill Biden will take part in the South Carolina⁣ Democratic Party’s “First ⁣in the Nation” celebration and ‌dinner. ‌That trip follows multiple campaign stops from Gov. Gavin Newsom ⁤(D-CA), himself a potential future Democratic‌ presidential candidate and Joe⁤ Biden’s top campaign attack dog this cycle.

Joe Biden last visited South Carolina on Jan. 8, where‍ he delivered remarks at Mother Emanuel AME‌ Church in Charleston, ⁢the site ‌of 2015’s racially motivated⁢ mass shooting that left ⁣nine members of the congregation dead.

Joe Biden’s remarks that day‌ highlight⁤ the⁤ precarious status‌ of his candidacy. The president had been introduced⁢ by‍ Clyburn before⁤ pro-ceasefire protesters interrupted his remarks and urged the president to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cease his military ​operations in Gaza.

Those protests have only escalated as Joe Biden ⁢ramped up his⁢ campaigning. The president again encountered activists during his remarks accepting a coveted union endorsement from ⁢the United Auto Workers in Washington,​ D.C., ‌this past Wednesday, ​and ​Joe Biden’s abortion rights rally in northern Virginia the day ‍prior ​saw 14 protesters interrupt his remarks 13 separate times.

The Biden campaign has previously suggested that the ⁤president hopes his performance in South Carolina ​will reenergize black voters across the South and the nation as a whole. Democrats now eye ⁤Georgia and North Carolina in particular as particularly winnable, with the Southeast⁤ representing a ⁣potential new “blue wall” Democrats can rely on in future elections.

“President Biden and Vice President Harris have delivered historic ⁤funding for HBCUs ‍to ⁣the tune of $7 billion, brought Black unemployment to a record low, increased Black wealth by​ 60% since before the pandemic, and so much more,” Fulks said. “Our message is clear: we won’t take any voter for granted and will be showing⁣ up, investing, and earning⁣ every single vote to win this November.”

South Carolina also represents a test for Joe Biden’s political opponents in both parties.

Phillips, who took the president’s decision to skip the New‍ Hampshire primary as an opportunity to launch his own campaign, needs ‍“nothing short of a miracle” in South‌ Carolina to keep his long-shot presidential bid alive, a Democratic operative⁣ familiar with Joe Biden’s campaign strategy told⁣ the Washington⁣ Examiner.

On‌ the other side of the aisle, Trump ⁢looks to squash Haley, his final opponent in the race for the Republican nomination and herself a South Carolina native, ahead of the state’s GOP primary later on Feb. 24. After placing third in Iowa and​ second in New Hampshire, Haley has staked any chance of comeback on her home state.

⁢ How has President Biden’s response and handling of the situation in Gaza affected ⁣his support⁣ within his own party?

Ry campaign ⁤in Gaza. Biden’s response⁤ and handling of the situation drew ‌both praise​ and ⁢criticism, further highlighting the challenges he‍ faces ‌in maintaining broad support​ within his own party.

As ⁢Biden seeks to solidify his base⁤ in South Carolina, he will need to ⁣address these concerns head-on. The state’s large black population has been a reliable source of support for Democratic candidates in ⁣the past, and Biden will need their ⁣enthusiasm and turnout to secure victory in the 2024 general election.

In⁢ addition to his visit⁢ to Columbia, Biden has also made efforts ‍to engage with ⁤black ⁤voters across the state. His trip to‍ Mother ‍Emanuel ⁢AME‌ Church in Charleston was a powerful symbol of his commitment to racial justice and reconciliation. However, the incident ⁤with the protesters ⁤served as ‍a reminder that Biden’s support within the ‌black community is⁢ not monolithic,⁢ and he will need to navigate the diverse perspectives and priorities within this ⁤key‍ demographic.

Furthermore, Biden’s economic ​stewardship and ‌handling of the border crisis have​ been subjects‌ of concern among some Democrats.‌ While his policies⁤ have enjoyed broad support among ⁤the party’s progressive base, more moderate ‍and conservative Democrats have‌ expressed⁢ reservations. These concerns could potentially⁣ impact Biden’s ability ​to generate turnout and enthusiasm among South ‍Carolina voters, particularly those who are more centrist.

Ultimately, Biden’s success⁢ in South Carolina ​will serve as​ a litmus⁣ test for ⁣his broader reelection campaign. Winning the support of black voters and ⁢tempering concerns‍ about his ​age and leadership will be crucial in⁢ securing victory over ​a likely rematch with former ⁣President Donald Trump.⁢ As the first sanctioned primary contest on the Democratic side, South‌ Carolina will set the tone for the rest ​of the primary season ⁣and shape voter perceptions of ‌Biden’s electability.

The president’s⁤ visit to South Carolina on Feb. 3⁣ will be a pivotal moment in his reelection bid. It will provide ‌him with⁣ an opportunity to connect with voters, address their concerns, and‌ build momentum as the primary season gets ⁢underway. With the support of key ‍allies‍ like Jim ⁤Clyburn ‌and a dedication to diversity and inclusivity within the Democratic​ Party, Biden ‍hopes to solidify his ⁣standing in South Carolina and ‍lay the foundation for ‌a successful⁤ campaign ahead.

“South Carolina has always played a critical role ⁢in presidential politics, and that has not changed. It ​is a state where candidates must demonstrate strength‌ and ⁢appeal to a diverse electorate, and President⁣ Biden is ​fully committed to doing just that,” Fulks said.

As the political landscape⁢ continues to ⁣evolve, South Carolina remains a crucial ​battleground for candidates ​from both ‍parties. Nikki Haley may be​ counting on the state as a key part of her presidential ambitions, but she is ⁢not the only ​one. President Biden⁣ recognizes the importance of‍ South Carolina and is actively working to ⁣secure the support of its voters. The upcoming primary and⁤ the ⁣president’s visit to the state will shed light‌ on his ability ‍to rally his base and overcome the challenges that⁤ lie ahead. Only time ​will tell if Biden can successfully position himself for a successful reelection campaign.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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