After a strong showing in South Carolina during the 2020 presidential primary helped resurrect his sagging White House bid, President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party repaid the state by granting it the status of the first sanctioned Democratic primary of the 2024 election.
While that meant his name did not appear on ballots in the actual first primary, which was held last week in New Hampshire, Biden’s re-election campaign apparently still believes that the strategy represents his best shot at reversing poll numbers that show he is on track to become a one-term president.
Democratic challenger Dean Phillips is running a TV ad across New Hampshire comparing President Biden to Bigfoot. https://t.co/BCCU5k3loK
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) January 22, 2024
With just days left until South Carolina Democrats have an opportunity to vote, Biden spokesperson Quinton Fulks issued a statement expressing why the state plays such a big part in what is becoming an increasingly desperate campaign.
“The President is excited to return to South Carolina and spend time with voters ahead of the historic, first in the national Democratic primary,” he wrote. “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 his commitment to black voters, the backbone of the Democratic Party.”
Biden, who infamously told Black Americans who did not support his campaign in 2020 that they “ain’t Black,” is once again counting on Black in the Palmetto State to rescue him from his own widespread unpopularity.
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), who was instrumental in turning out Blacks in his state to support Biden four years ago, is now the co-chair of the president’s current campaign.
“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,” Cyburn declared.
A New York Times/Siena College poll late last year, however, signaled that Biden might not have the overwhelming support of Black voters he would need to compensate for losses in other demographics.
Across six important battleground states, pollsters found that 22% of Black respondents planned to support former President Trump, which was the highest level of support a GOP candidate had received in roughly 50 years.
Overall, Biden’s support among Black Americans has fallen more than 20 points — from more than 80% to less than 60% — over the course of his first three years in office.