US elections: Biden wins South Carolina Democratic primary

Joes Biden in his homes state of Delaware, 3 February

US President Joe Biden has secured an overwhelming win in South Carolina’s Democratic primary.

With nearly all ballots counted from Saturday’s vote, he won all 55 pledged delegates, according to projections by the BBC’s US partner CBS.

It was the first official Democratic primary ahead of this year’s presidential election.

Mr Biden – who faces little competition within his party – pledged to make Republican Donald Trump a “loser”.

The president recalled how South Carolina voters “breathed life” into his 2020 campaign and said he had “no doubt” they would set him on the path to winning the presidency in 2024.

Democrats Marianne Williamson and Dean Phillips trailed far behind Mr Biden, with preliminary figures suggesting they had only secured 2% of the votes each.

More than a quarter of South Carolina’s population is black, and it was the state’s black voters who helped to secure Mr Biden’s bid for the Democratic nomination in 2020 by handing him his first win.

“You’re the reason I’m president,” Mr Biden told a mostly black crowd in the state in January.

“You’re the reason Donald Trump is a loser, and you’re the reason we’re gonna win and beat him again.”

Mr Biden formally announced his 2024 re-election bid in April 2023, when he told voters the country was in a pivotal moment and he needed more time to “finish this job”.

President Biden pushed hard to change his party’s rules so that South Carolina would be the first state to vote in the nomination process.

A Biden campaign adviser told the BBC the move was intended “to make sure the process reflected the diversity of our party”.

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