Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Columbia, South Carolina today to file President Joe Biden’s paperwork to appear on the ballot in the state’s Democratic primary, using the moment to appeal to a key group of voters.
South Carolina is the state that turned around Biden’s fortunes in the 2020 Democratic primary and propelled him to the nomination. Biden as president put plans in motion to move the Palmetto State to the start of the Democratic primary calendar.
The trip will give the campaign the opportunity to court Black voters, an important constituency for Biden in 2020 and one that will again be key to his reelection hopes. While Biden likely won’t need a similar rescue in the primary from Black South Carolinians in 2024 as he did in 2020 – he is facing a longshot challenge from Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips but is expected to win the Democratic nomination – Black voters will form a key part of his coalition in the general election against former President Donald Trump or any other GOP contender.
The state could mark an early test of Biden’s ability to generate enthusiasm among Black voters. CNN polling released this week found registered Black voters nationwide favored Biden 73% to former President Donald Trump’s 23% – a narrowing in support compared to the 2020 contest.
“South Carolina Democrats represent the backbone of the Democratic Party and propelled Joe Biden to the Democratic nomination and eventually the White House,” said Michael Tyler, the communications director for Biden’s campaign.
“The President is honored to have Vice President Harris and his campaign co-chair Congressman Clyburn officially make him a candidate, once again, in what is now proudly the first-in-the-nation primary. The Biden-Harris coalition will be out in full force in South Carolina and will be how we defeat MAGA extremism once again in 2024.”
The White House announced Friday morning that the vice president would travel to Columbia, South Carolina, to deliver remarks at a campaign event, where Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina would also be speaking.
The vice president’s team had kept the plans largely under wraps until today. Her public schedule released Thursday night showed Harris was planning to be in Washington, D.C. on Friday with no public events. Clyburn was set to file the paperwork on behalf of campaign.
The Biden campaign filed paperwork for the president to appear on the Nevada primary ballot last month. But Biden will not appear on New Hampshire’s primary ballot after the state decided to move forward with its primary election plans despite changes by the Democratic National Committee to the primary calendar.