President Joe Biden wins South Carolina Democratic primary, NBC News projects

US President Joe Biden comments on the US economy and his administration’s efforts to revive American manufacturing, during his visit to Flex LTD, a factory producing solar-powered microinverters, in West Columbia, South Carolina, on July 6, 2023.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Joe Biden won the South Carolina Democratic primary, NBC News projects.

As of 9pm ET and with 60% of the vote, Biden was leading with 96% of the vote.

The other two Democrats in the race, House Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., and self-help author and 2020 Democratic candidate Marianne Williamson each won about 2% of the vote.

“Congratulations, Mr. President, on the good old shout,” Phillips wrote on X as the vote unfolded.

Biden compared his victory on Saturday to his 2020 primary victory, which helped pave the way for his nomination.

“In 2020, it was South Carolina voters who proved the experts wrong, breathed new life into our campaign, and put us on the path to winning the presidency,” Biden said in a statement after the results.

“Now, in 2024, the people of South Carolina have spoken again and I have no doubt that you have put us on the path to winning the presidency – and making Donald Trump a loser – again.”

Biden will receive all 55 Democratic delegates in South Carolina, NBC News predicts. Neither Phillips nor Williamson are expected to reach the threshold of 15% of the vote statewide, or in any congressional district, to win 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 held Feb. 24 and will pit former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley against former President Donald Trump.

Biden’s victory was widely expected, given his incumbency lead and sizable lead in polls heading into Election Day.

The president also has a track record of success in Democratic primaries in the Palmetto State: His victory in that year’s 2020 primary helped pave his path to the nomination.

But what mattered more than winning delegates today was Biden’s margin of success.

Results are still coming in, but the final tally will offer the Biden campaign and the Democratic Party the first measure at the ballot box of how well the president is performing among key Democratic Party constituencies.

His expected landslide victory will also give his campaign an edge as he heads into the next contest in Nevada on Tuesday, where 36 delegates are up for grabs. The president is scheduled to hold a campaign event in Las Vegas on Sunday.

South Carolina holds open primaries, meaning any registered voter in the state can vote in either party’s primary. The Palmetto State was the first official primary this year that awarded delegates, bucking tradition.

Historically, New Hampshire has held its first Democratic primaries. But the Democratic National Committee changed the official order at Biden’s direction.

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. Come back for more updates.

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