Biden registers for South Carolina primary – 2023-11-10

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris made a surprise visit to South Carolina Friday to hand over registration paperwork for the state’s Democratic presidential primary.

The February 3 contest is the first time President Joe Biden will face voters as part of his re-election campaign and is an early enthusiasm test for a commander-in-chief who’s been dealt a series of recent polls that show declining support among Black voters.

Biden faces long-shots Dean Phillips, a Minnesota congressman, and self-help guru Marianne Williamson.

The filing in South Carolina marks a return to a state that Biden credits with catapulting him to the White House in 2020. A strong primary turnout in a state where the majority of Democratic voters are Black would calm fears about his electability among the party.

Harris spoke to supporters and tried to connect with those voters.

“We got in office and have now invested billions of dollars in increasing access to capital for our small businesses with an emphasis on minority business owners understanding what they do, strength of our economy.”

Biden ousted Iowa and New Hampshire as the states holding the first two contests on the Democratic Party’s nominating calendar in favor of South Carolina. Iowa and New Hampshire are two largely white states which both rejected him in 2020.

South Carolina though is expected to remain in the Republican column in the general election. Jimmy Carter was the last Democrat to win the state in 1976.

Recent polls show the multi-racial coalition that propelled Biden to the White House is fraying due to concerns about his age and lack of progress on key issues like criminal justice and voting rights.

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