President Joe Biden is not heading to South Carolina to compete for his presidential nomination, as he is already the presumptive nominee. However, he does have an important electoral appointment as it is the start date of the Democratic primaries. The state’s voting centers opened at 7:00 am (Eastern time) and will be operating until 7:00 pm.
The reason why the Democrats start their primaries later than the Republicans is because the Democrats set their electoral calendar that changes the start of their primaries. The Democratic Party approved an agenda that eliminates Iowa as the first election (which is a caucus) and New Hampshire as the first primary election.
The change was based on President Biden’s proposal for a new primary calendar. The argument was that the order of the Democratic primaries should be adjusted to start with states that have more racially diverse populations and thus have weight in the first presidential races. About 9 out of every 10 voters in Iowa and New Hampshire in 2020 were white, and in fact they are majority white states.
The new primary calendar puts an end to the half-century-old start of the New Hampshire primaries and the Iowa caucuses. The new primary calendar was criticized since the start of the proposal by the state of New Hampshire, where state law says it holds the first presidential primaries every four years.
Biden visited South Carolina in recent days to try to win back black voters, who show less enthusiasm for him than they did in the 2020 primaries. South Carolina is a solidly Republican state, which from 1980 onwards has always elected Republican presidential candidates. This state was crucial for Biden in the previous election.
Biden’s campaign is running television ads in South Carolina highlighting Biden’s initiatives which it hopes will boost enthusiasm among Black voters. The Democratic National Committee also launched an advertising campaign in South Carolina and Nevada, which is the next state on the Democratic primary calendar, to increase enthusiasm for Biden among Black and Latino voters.
While Trump has seen a slight improvement in support levels among Black and Latino voters, Biden’s team is more concerned that a lack of enthusiasm for Biden will depress turnout among voters who are critical to the Democratic coalition.
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