U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the U.S. economy and his administration’s effort to revive American manufacturing, during his visit in Flex LTD, a factory that makes solar energy microinverters, in West Columbia, South Carolina, July 6, 2023.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Joe Biden has won the South Carolina Democratic primary, NBC News projects.
As of 9:00 p.m. ET and with 60% of votes in, Biden led with 96% of the vote.
“Congratulations, Mr. President, on a good old fashioned whooping,” Phillips wrote on X as the vote came in.
Biden likened his victory Saturday to his 2020 primary win, which helped pave the way to his nomination.
“In 2020, it was the voters of South Carolina who proved the pundits wrong, breathed new life into our campaign, and set us on the path to winning the Presidency,” Biden said in a statement following the results.
“Now in 2024, the people of South Carolina have spoken again and I have no doubt that you have set us on the path to winning the Presidency again — and making Donald Trump a loser — again.”
Biden will be awarded all 55 Democratic delegates in South Carolina, NBC News projected. Neither Phillips or Williamson is expected to meet the 15% threshold of the vote statewide, or in any congressional district, to be awarded delegates.
The party’s eventual nominee will need 1,968 total delegates nationwide to secure the nomination.
The state’s Republican presidential primary will be Feb. 24, pitting South Carolina’s former governor, Nikki Haley, against former President Donald Trump.
Biden’s win was widely expected, given his incumbent advantage and sizable lead in polls going into Election Day.
The president also has a track record of success in Democratic primaries in the Palmetto State: His 2020 victory in that year’s primary helped pave his way to the nomination.
But what mattered more than winning delegates today was Biden’s margin of success.
Results are still coming in, but the eventual tally will offer the Biden campaign and the Democratic party, their first ballot box measure of how well the president is faring among key Democratic party constituencies.
His projected landslide victory will also offer his campaign tailwind as he heads into the next contest in Nevada on Tuesday, where 36 delegates are up for grabs. The president has a campaign event scheduled in Las Vegas on Sunday.
South Carolina holds open primaries, which means any voter registered in the state is permitted to vote in either party’s primary. The Palmetto State was this year’s first official, delegate-awarding primary, going against tradition.
Historically, New Hampshire has held the first Democratic primary. But the Democratic National Committee switched the official order under the direction of Biden.
The president did not win the 2020 Democratic primary in New Hampshire.
The DNC argued that South Carolina’s demographic diversity was more representative of the Democratic Party than New Hampshire, which would make the state a more accurate reflection of a campaign’s health.
This is breaking news. Check back for more updates.