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Biden’s Absence In South Carolina Primary Raises Questions

Holland McKinnie
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Joe Biden’s decision to skip the Democratic National Committee’s celebration of the South Carolina primary victory has left many wondering if there’s more to the story than meets the eye. While the mainstream media may downplay the significance of his absence, the voters in the Palmetto State seem unfazed by his no-show.

The Washington Examiner interviewed South Carolinians voting early this past week, and the consensus was clear — Biden’s absence wouldn’t sway their votes. One voter remarked, “Wasn’t he just here?” while another dismissed it as a non-issue, saying, “This is just something y’all are trying to pull out of thin air, making a big stink about nothing.”

Even though Biden had recently made appearances in the state, he sent Vice President Kamala Harris as his surrogate to cap off the campaign. Harris, along with Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison, delivered speeches at a rally at South Carolina State University, a historically Black college.


Harris took the opportunity to denounce President Donald Trump, using inflammatory language and invoking Maya Angelou. Her rhetoric only served to highlight the divisive tone that has characterized the Biden administration.

While Biden’s opponents have also been active in South Carolina, it’s essential to note that the GOP primary in the state won’t take place until Feb. 24. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley has been holding events, and the Trump campaign organized a rally featuring Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), though Trump himself won’t be present.

The Biden campaign provided no specific reason for the president’s absence at the South Carolina victory party. However, Dr. Danielle Vinson, a political science professor at Furman University, suggested that the president may be staying away because South Carolina is not a swing state. She said, “In South Carolina, we know who’s going to win in November.”


While Biden didn’t return to South Carolina for the primary night, he did engage in campaign activities elsewhere. He traveled to Florida and Michigan and will head to the West Coast for Los Angeles and Las Vegas events. This robust campaign schedule suggests that Biden is looking beyond South Carolina, focusing on states more likely to be competitive in the general election.

South Carolina has played a significant role in Biden’s political career. In 2020, he received a crucial endorsement from Rep. Clyburn, which helped him secure a comfortable win in the state and set him on the path to the White House. However, some Democrats have called for reshuffling the primary calendar, arguing that states like Iowa and New Hampshire don’t adequately represent the country’s diversity.

Biden’s request to the Democratic National Committee to change the primary schedule was approved in 2022, placing South Carolina first. Despite backlash from New Hampshire Democrats, Biden secured a victory there as a write-in candidate.

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