Biden Takes South Carolina

News: US News
by Jim Ellis  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  February 5, 2024   

Despite win, Democrat voters turn out in record low numbers

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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - In the recent South Carolina Democratic presidential primary, President Joe Biden secured a resounding victory with 97% of the vote, far surpassing Marianne Williamson's 2.1% and Dean Phillips' 1.7%. He won all 55 national Democratic delegate votes and led in each of the state's 46 counties.

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President Joe Biden

Despite this, voter turnout was notably low, with approximately 131,000 ballots cast. That's merely 24% of the turnout seen in the 2020 primary.

This reduction suggests a potential lack of enthusiasm for the upcoming national election, especially considering the minimal campaign efforts by Williamson and Phillips.

The Democratic candidates are now preparing for the Nevada primary, where a similar outcome is anticipated. Unlike the Republican process, the Democratic primary will feature all candidates due to its delegate apportionment structure.

In contrast, the Republican caucus in Nevada, set for two days after the primary, is expected to favor former President Trump, especially since Nikki Haley has opted for the primary route.

The Republican primary in South Carolina is scheduled for Feb. 24, followed by primaries for both parties in Michigan on Feb. 27. The candidates will then proceed to the Super Tuesday elections on March 5.

New Jersey Senate Update

In New Jersey, a recent Democratic primary poll shows U.S. Rep. Andy Kim leading his opponents, though his support has decreased to 32% from earlier polls that had him between 40-48%.

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Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University poll also indicates that Kim is ahead of New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy by 32-20%, while incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez is barely ahead of labor union official Patricia Campos-Medina, polling below 10%.

Demographically, Kim is popular among White and Asian voters, while Murphy leads among Black and Hispanic voters. In New Jersey, Whites make up just under 53% of the population, Hispanics about 22%, blacks 15.4% and Asians 10.5%.

Financially, both Kim and Murphy reported $2.7 million in cash on hand at the end of 2023, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Despite his indictment, Menendez has over $6.1 million, largely from funds raised prior to his indictment.

In New Jersey's primary elections, county political party endorsements are crucial for resources and ballot placement, with endorsed candidates appearing on a different ballot page than non-endorsed candidates.

Currently, Tammy Murphy has an institutional advantage with endorsements from eight county parties and the state Democratic Party chair, compared to none for her opponents. Menendez's only notable endorsements are from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the League of Conservation Voters.

The New Jersey primary is set for June 4. Menendez, facing serious federal charges, maintains he will run for reelection, but his final decision is expected just before the March 25 candidate filing deadline. His candidacy may become a factor in any potential plea deal negotiations related to his charges.

Missouri's Hawley Up 13

Emerson College recently unveiled the inaugural Missouri polling data for this year, revealing that Republican Sen. Josh Hawley is leading by 13 points in the state's U.S. Senate race. The poll positions Hawley ahead with 43% against Democrat Lucas Kunce, an attorney and veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, who has garnered 30% support.

Kunce, who previously sought the Senate seat in 2022, had a strong fundraising campaign, amassing $5.7 million. Despite this financial backing, he did not secure the Democratic nomination, losing to philanthropist Trudy Busch Valentine, who entered the race later.

Kunce is now poised to potentially secure the Democratic nomination this time around, having nearly matched his previous fundraising efforts. Nonetheless, he faces a formidable challenge in Hawley, particularly in a state where the Democratic Party is unlikely to compete at the presidential level.

Given Hawley's established position and the prevailing political sentiment that is not in favor of the Democrats in Missouri, it is anticipated that this Senate race will not develop into a major battleground.

Pennsylvania's Casey Again Posts Double-Digit Edge

The latest survey from Franklin & Marshall College indicates a significant lead for Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. over his Republican challenger, former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, in the Pennsylvania Senate race. The poll shows Casey ahead by 12 points, with a 47-35% margin.

This data contrasts with findings from Susquehanna Polling & Research, which conducted a poll during a similar period but reported a narrower gap between the candidates, suggesting only a four-point lead for Casey.

His double-digit lead in the F&M poll aligns more closely with results from other polling organizations. The Bullfinch Group recorded a 15-point advantage for Casey, and Quinnipiac University noted a ten-point difference. These consistent findings suggest that Casey is maintaining a significant lead in the race.

While the Pennsylvania Senate race has the potential to intensify, especially if the presidential race in the state remains tightly contested, current polling suggests that the Democratic candidates, including Casey, are holding an advantage in both the Senate and presidential contests.

Jim Ellis, creator of The Ellis Insight website and senior political analyst for the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, analyzes and reports on U.S. electoral politics. He has a background in political consulting, managing political campaigns and action committees. Ellis is a regular speaker and media contributor on electoral topics, appearing on various radio shows and TV programs. He hosts Church Militant's The Ellis Insight — a video podcast identifying emerging campaign and election trends.

 

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