South Carolina 2024 Democratic primary results: Biden projected to win

ABC News projects that President Joe Biden will win the South Carolina Democratic primary, based on an analysis of the vote so far.

Biden will have 55 pledged delegates after his projected win. In the Democratic primary, a candidate will need to win 1,969 of the 3,936 pledged delegates awarded as part of the primary process.

Biden praised the voters of the Palmetto State and hearkened back to how South Carolinian voters benefitted his run in 2020.

"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. 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 said in a statement Saturday night.

PHOTO: President Biden Delivers Remarks At Flex LTD In West Columbia, South Carolina (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
PHOTO: President Biden Delivers Remarks At Flex LTD In West Columbia, South Carolina (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Biden also posted a video Saturday night on X following his projected win in which he thanked voters for their support.

"South Carolina, we did it again. You did it for me again. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 2020, and now again in 2024. Now, let's go win the whole thing. Let's win it all," Biden said.

In a campaign statement, Rep. Dean Phillips—who lags far behind Biden in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary--said that the results show a "lack of voter enthusiasm" for a potential rematch between Biden and former President Donald Trump.

"I congratulate the President for getting the most votes tonight. But the lack of voter enthusiasm for a Trump-Biden rematch is being reflected in each and every Democratic primary result this election," Phillips wrote.

The campaign's statement hinges this on the expected turnout for South Carolina's primary being lower than the votes Biden got in 2020's presidential primary.

In a statement on Saturday night, Democratic National Committee chair Jaime Harrison called the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary "a historic victory for Black and rural voters who have too often been sidelined."

The South Carolina Republican Party encouraged Republican voters to vote in record-breaking numbers in the upcoming Republican primary in order to send a message to the president.

"Joe Biden is killing the American Dream with high inflation, open borders and a lackadaisical attitude towards terrorism and antisemitism. Let me be crystal clear, it's not just that the American People don't want four more years of Joe Biden, it's that we won't survive them," SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick said in a statement.

The presidential primaries are held in February in South Carolina -- starting with Saturday's Democratic race.

The Republican primary is Feb. 24.

Voters can vote in either primary, but only in one.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time. Voters must bring a photo ID to their polling place.

Early voting was held from Jan. 22 to Feb. 2 for the Democratic primary and will be from Feb. 12-22 for the Republican primary. Early voting centers are open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time.

Qualified voters -- including those who have a physical disability and are age 65 and older -- can also request an absentee ballot. The ballots must be returned by 7 p.m. local time on the day of the respective primary.

State significance

South Carolina traditionally holds the first-in-the-South primaries for Republicans and Democrats.

There are 50 Republican delegates and 55 Democratic delegates up for grabs.

Biden headed into South Carolina hoping to show he remains overwhelmingly popular with his party despite his poor or mediocre polling and weak approval rating overall. He is being challenged by long-shot candidates Phillips, a representative from Minnesota, and author Marianne Williamson.

Trump will face former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in her home state. While Haley has said she wants to show her campaign has built momentum, despite losing to Trump in two previous states, he remains strong in polls tracked by 538.

Trump won the state in the 2020 general election, with 55% of the vote.

Republican officials in the state voted in 2019 to cancel their presidential nominating contest in 2020, virtually paving a smooth pathway to the nomination for Trump.

Trump also won the state's 2016 Republican primary with 32.5% of the vote. He went on to win the 2016 general election there by 14 points over Hillary Clinton, increasing the margin for Republicans compared to the party's two previous nominees.

ABC News' Oren Oppenheim contributed to this report.

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