Saturday, February 3, 2024

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Did Anyone Notice That Joe Biden Just Won The South Carolina Primary?

In case you missed it, President Joe Biden won the

Democrats’ 2024 South Carolina primary held on 

Saturday, February 3 with more than 95% of the


Intended to be the first official primary for the

Democrats, it was preceded by a meaningless

Iowa caucus with no results until March and an

unofficial New Hampshire primary in which the

president was not even on the ballot, but won

easily nonetheless with write-in votes.

Biden has only two opponents in the race for

the Democratic nomination, Marianne Williamson

and Congressman Dean Phillips. Phillips did

receive 19% of the vote in New Hampshire, but

tallied less than 2%, and trailed Williamson slightly.

The rest of the Democrats’ primary season is

almost certainly a foregone conclusion. Mr.Phillips 

has complained he has been excluded from

several primary ballots, but his highly-publicized

protests have gone unheeded by the Democrats’

political establishment which has successfully

discouraged any major Democrat from running

this year — intending that the incumbent

president is renominated for a second term

without the omplication of a potentially bitter and

divisive contest.

However, Mr. Biden remains a notably unpopular

figure in  almost all opinion polls, and has had a

negative favorability for most of his first term. Even

more significant, he trails his potential major  

Republican opponents in match-up polls in virtually

all of the battleground states he won in 2020, and

even trails in the overall national popular vote —

which signals a landslide against him in the key

electoral college vote which determines the winner

of the presidential race.

These polls, and the president’s unfavorability have

a great many Democrats calling for Mr. Biden to

announce his retirement before the Democrats’

national convention in Chicago in August — making

it possible to replace him on the ticket before the

general election in November.

Mr. Biden’s supporters and strategists have so far

strongly resisted the calls for his retirement, citing

the likelihood now that Donald Trump will be the

GOP nominee in November, and that the president

has already defeated Mr. Trump, and claiming he

would do it again.

They also cite some current economic data that

the economy is improving, a current strong stock

market, and some improving inflation and 

unemployment numbers.

On the other hand, there is little evidence so far

that this data has improved his standing with 

voters — many of whom in both parties and 

among independents who feel price inflation 

and job security is worse.

Although there is more enthusiasm for Mr. Trump

among Republican base voters than there is for

Mr. Biden among the Democrats’ base, the former

GOP president is a controversial figure for many

voters who would prefer another conservative

nominee. With several criminal trials and ballot

challenges ahead for him, his appearance on the

November ballot is no certainty.

With so much dissatisfaction for the likely major

party nominees, the 2024 is now likely to see

considerable activity by third party nominees.

These nominees almost certainly will not win the

presidency in 2024, but they are likely to have a

profound impact on who will win — and perhaps

even when the winner is determined.

As demonstrated in the 2000 presidential election,

it doesn’t take many votes for third party

candidates to have huge impact, and already

several of these likely to be on many state ballots,

including the No Labels Party which says it intends

to field a ticket featuring a prominent Democrat and


Citing 2016 or 2020 is therefore not likely to be

particularly useful in 2024

For the first time in memory, the actual primary 

season of the presidential election is drawing little

public interest. The real outcomes are much ahead.


Copyright (c) 2024 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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