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South Carolina’s role as primary influencer

Staff Report //February 21, 2020//

South Carolina’s role as primary influencer

Staff Report //February 21, 2020//

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The Palmetto State, with the earliest primary below the Mason-Dixon Line, has become known as a bellwether for presidential elections. This year, the Democratic Primary will be held Feb. 29, after the first three primaries and caucuses:

  • Iowa: Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders tied, though Mayor Pete got one more delegate; they’ve both asked for a recount.
  • New Hampshire: Sanders and Buttigieg tied again.
  • Nevada: They’re caucusing today. No clue how that one will turn out.

After the S.C. primary is Super Tuesday, where the national picture begins to really take shape. That’s when we may find out whether South Carolina has as much influence as we think we do for a small, early primary state.

There is no Republican Primary since President Donald Trump is the presumed nominee, though he did just announce a rally at the North Charleston Coliseum on Feb. 28.

The Democratic debate is set for Tuesday, and there are a few other primary-related events scheduled for throughout the week.

Regardless of the primary outcome, we thought we’d take a look at some historic data for the state and for selected S.C. counties. And don’t forget to vote, even if you just write in yourself. (Check online to be sure you’re registered.)

Voter turnout for past 3 election years

In 2016, both parties held primaries because President Barack Obama was finishing out his second term; same in 2008, as President George W. Bush was transitioning out of office. Obama was the incumbent in 2012.