SOUTH CAROLINA (WBTV) - Former Vice President Joe Biden is projected as the winner of the 2020 South Carolina Democratic presidential primary.
Polls showed former Vice President Joe Biden as the leading candidate in South Carolina. He recently received an endorsement from South Carolina congressman Jim Clyburn.
Biden’s Saturday victory comes during the fourth Democratic primary contest of the 2020 election season.
Only Biden and California billionaire Tom Steyer planned to mark primary night in the state, as the rest of the field stumped across the spectrum of Super Tuesday states that vote next week.
On Saturday night, Steyer announced that he is dropping out of the presidential race following his projected third place finish in South Carolina. Steyer invested heavily in the Palmetto State, building a campaign infrastructure and spending more than $17 million on ads there. He had the most staff in South Carolina, with 102 staffers, and spent 23 days campaigning in the state.
About 40% of voters in South Carolina picked health care as the top issue, while 22% said the economy and jobs are most important. That’s according to an AP VoteCast survey of the electorate. Fourteen percent of voters identified climate change.
Other candidates on the ballot included Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Tulsi Gabbard. Some Democratic candidates running for president were not on the ballot in South Carolina because they did not file. No write-in candidates were permitted in the primary.
Nearly every candidate spent time in South Carolina this week tackling numerous issues including healthcare concerns and the widespread fear of the coronavirus.
Senator Bernie Sanders is still believed to be a frontrunner in the race for the Democratic nomination. Sanders made several stops in South Carolina during the week. Tom Steyer had been polling close to Sanders in South Carolina. On Friday afternoon, Steyer sat down with some potential voters for lunch in downtown Columbia.
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar along with South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg were also on the ballot, but did not poll high in South Carolina. Sen. Warren and Biden were joined by celebrity supporters at their South Carolina rallies.
Buttigieg hosted a town hall at the Rock Hill Sports and Event Center Thursday night. Along with numerous rallies, Sen. Amy Klobuchar took part in CNN’s Charleston Town Hall.
From York County, to the towns of Georgetown, Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Conway, candidates touched on climate change, fair wages and securing their party’s nomination.
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is making a run at the presidency, but made a late-entry into the race so he was not be on the ballot in South Carolina.
The final debate before South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary took place on Tuesday. It also was the last debate before Super Tuesday on March 3.
There was no Republican presidential primary in South Carolina this year because the party chose not to have one.
Chris Whitmire with the South Carolina Election Commission says voter turnout for the primary has been steady in some areas and light in others across South Carolina. Wanda Hemphill, the Director of Voter Registration and Elections in York County, says turnout has been heavier in the Fort Mill area, and Rock Hill saw a steady turnout as well.