Washington: US President Joe Biden kicked off his inevitable claim on the Democratic nomination for the president post with a win in the first of the party’s primaries held in South Carolina, a state that had changed the trajectory of his 2020 campaign.
“The truth is I wouldn’t be here without the Democratic voters of South Carolina, and that’s a fact,” Biden said at a campaign event last week in South Carolina. “So, I want to start with a very simple message: From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Multiple US media outlets on Saturday night declared Biden the projected winner shortly after the close of polling.
Biden has a lock on the nomination despite his low approval ratings. His rivals for the ticket are Dean Phillips, member of the House of Representatives, and self-help author Marianne Williamson. Robert Kennedy Jr, nephew of President John F Kennedy, a Democrat, has declared himself an Independent and is drawing as much attention among conservatives as liberals.
The Democrats changed their primaries schedule this year and switched from the traditions first — Iowa for caucuses and New Hampshire for primaries — to South Carolina as their first state in the primaries contest. This state had turned the fortunes of Biden’s 2020 campaign with a thumping win that erased the slate of Iowa and New Hampshire outcomes and set him on course to the nomination and the presidency,
Biden’s projected win in the state marked the start of his march to re-nomination and a second term.
Biden’s Republican rival is likely to be his predecessor and 2020 rival, former President Donald Trump unless the latter is convicted and jailed in any of the many cases going on against him. Or, if Nikki Haley, the Indian American Republican politician who served as two-term governor of South Carolina and then as ambassador to the UN, is able to convince Republican voters to choose her over Trump in the remaining primaries.