President Biden holds a campaign event in Nevada Sunday, two days ahead of the crucial western battleground state’s presidential primary.
Biden’s stop this weekend in Las Vegas comes a day after he quickly cruised to a landslide victory in South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary and scored his second straight convincing win in his party’s 2024 nominating calendar.
The president, moving toward an all-but-certain nomination, on Saturday grabbed roughly 95% of the vote in the Palmetto State as ballots continued to be counted into the night.
“In 2020, it was the voters of South Carolina who proved the pundits wrong, breathed new life into our campaign and set us on the path to winning the presidency,” Biden said in a statement soon after the race was called.
BIDEN AIMS TO SOLIDIFY SUPPORT AMONG BLACK VOTERS AT THE BALLOT BOX
President Biden speaks at the First in the Nation Celebration held by the South Carolina Democratic Party at the State Fairgrounds Jan. 27, 2024, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr.)
“Now, in 2024, the people of South Carolina have spoken again, and I have no doubt that you have set us on the path to winning the presidency again — and making Donald Trump a loser — again.”
Biden trounced his two long-shot Democratic primary challengers, Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota and Marianne Williamson, the bestselling author and spiritual adviser who’s making her second straight White House run.
A week and a half earlier, the president wasn’t on the ballot in New Hampshire because the state’s Democrats held a primary in violation of the Democratic National Committee’s 2024 nominating calendar. But he still won 64% of the vote, thanks to a well-funded write-in effort by top Granite State Democrats.
No delegates were up for grabs in New Hampshire’s unsanctioned primary, but 55 were at stake in South Carolina’s primary, with Biden expected to win the lion’s share.
South Carolina, where Black voters play an outsize role in state Democratic politics, for the first time led off the party’s official presidential nominating calendar.
And much of the credit goes to Biden, who orchestrated an upending of the Democratic National Committee’s long-running nominating calendar to place the Palmetto State first.
For Biden, there was a bigger mission this weekend in South Carolina than just winning the primary and collecting delegates.
President Biden greets a seated customer as Landry Phillips and Chynna Phillips, owners of the Regal Lounge barber shop and spa, look on in Columbia, S.C., Jan. 27, 2024. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The president is aiming to solidify his support among Black voters in South Carolina and across the country. Those voters, who four years ago boosted Biden first to the Democratic nomination and ultimately into the White House, appear less energized in 2024.
The president’s approval ratings among Black voters, who are a crucial part of the Democratic Party base, have eroded over the past three years, which is a significant concern for his re-election chances.
DNC CHAIR TELLS NIKKI HALEY SOUTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATS ‘ARE NOT BAILING YOU OUT’
And while Black voters overwhelmingly cast ballots for Democratic candidates in the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans made gains.
Former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner for this year’s Republican nomination, is making a play for Black and Hispanic voters.
Trump often points to endorsements from Black celebrities as a sign of his support in the Black community. And Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, a former 2024 GOP White House candidate and the only Black Republican in the Senate who endorsed Trump last month, has become a top surrogate for the former president.
Sen. Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, right, speaks while standing next to former U.S. President Donald Trump during a campaign event in Concord, N.H. Jan. 19, 2024. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
While Trump suggests “there is much more enthusiasm now” for him among minority voters, there’s little polling evidence to back up his claims.
But even a slight shift of voters from Biden to Trump — or the possibility of some Black voters frustrated with a lack of progress on key issues sitting out the 2024 election — could potentially make the difference in crucial battleground states like Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that Biden narrowly won in 2020.
Black voters carried Biden to a landslide victory in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary four years ago, igniting his 2020 campaign after earlier setbacks.
Joe Biden is flanked by his wife Jill and Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, as Biden gives his victory speech following a landslide victory in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary Feb. 29, 2020. (Fox News)
In a sign of the importance of the Black vote, the president kicked off his re-election bid last month at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine Black parishioners were killed in a 2015 mass shooting.
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But some Democratic leaders have been raising concerns regarding the president’s underwhelming support among some Black voters.
The president enjoys the backing of the DNC as he seeks a second term in the White House, and national party chair Jaime Harrison, back in his home state, told Fox News Digital on Saturday morning in Columbia, South Carolina, that “this president wanted to send a signal to Black folks, not only here in South Carolina, but across the nation, that we see you, we hear you and you matter.
“That is why it’s important for the president and the vice president and the first lady and the second gentleman to come into a state and to show up even when they know that they’re going to win. And that they’re going to win decisively.”
Biden was in California for meetings and campaign fundraisers as the results were tabulated in South Carolina.
But he called into a South Carolina Democratic Party celebration after the race was called.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“What happened?” he joked on the call. “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it. And you’re not rid of me. I’m coming back.”
Next up is Nevada, where 36 delegates are up for grabs in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. While Biden and Williamson are on the ballot in the Silver State, Phillips is not since he declared his candidacy for president in late October, after the state’s filing deadline had passed.
Spanish-speaking voters, with whom Republicans have also made gains, play an influential role in Nevada elections.
In a strange twist, there are two Republican presidential nominating contests in Nevada. A GOP primary will also be held Tuesday and a Republican caucus on Thursday.
In 2021, when Democrats controlled Nevada’s governor’s office and legislature, the state switched from running caucuses to a state-run primary. But the state GOP objected and eventually decided to hold caucuses. No delegates will be at stake in the primary, while all 26 will be up for grabs in the caucus.
Former President Trump is the only remaining major candidate running in the caucus, while former U.N. Ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is the sole major GOP contender on the primary ballot.
Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.