All Political Roads Lead to South Carolina?

United States Senator Tim Scott (R-SC)

( – According to a new report, the state of South Carolina has found itself somewhat unexpectedly in a “kingmaker role” for the outcome of the 2024 presidential election campaigns.

That is because the state was recently made first on the Democratic primary calendar, while it may have two homegrown candidates for the Republican nomination, The Associated Press writes.

It notes that South Carolina was already important in the last few presidential election cycles as the first southern state to hold major party primaries.

However, now the Democrats have elevated it to their top primary spot, ahead of Iowa and New Hampshire, after earlier this month, the Democratic National Committee approved a proposal to that end by President Joe Biden.

As a result, the Democrats’ presidential nomination cycle now features South Carolina first, followed by New Hampshire, Nevada, Michigan, and Georgia.

The report notes that Biden prevailed in the 2020 Democrat nomination race thanks to South Carolina.

“You brought me back,” the future Democrat president told supporters in the state back then.

“We see how South Carolina Democrats set President Joe Biden and me on a path to the White House. … Thank you, South Carolina,” Vice President Kamala Harris told a fundraiser in the state last year.

South Carolina Democrats have already begun selling merchandise flaunting the state’s new status, reading, “South Carolina Democrats Pick Winners.”

The state Democratic Party chair, Trav Robertson, who announced his retirement after six years on the post last week, underscored the financial advertising impact of South Carolina’s early position.

“We have long advocated that South Carolina’s position in this process has been extremely beneficial to North Carolina and Georgia and to Tennessee. The impact of this is going to be felt for a generation,” Robertson said.

Meanwhile, one South Carolina candidate – former governor and US ambassador Nikki Haley – has already launched her campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

“It’s a great day in South Carolina!” Haley said, using the catchphrase that she, as governor required that state Cabinet agencies use on public phone lines.

GOP US Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina has endorsed Haley’s nomination bid. In contrast, other top South Carolina Republicans – such as Gov. Henry McMaster, Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, and US Sen. Lindsey Graham – have endorsed former President Donald Trump.

At the same time, however, South Carolina’s junior US Senator, Tim Scott, “has been making moves that seem to put him on the verge of formalizing his own 2024 bid,” the report points out.

It also stresses that Scott’s potential candidacy has already led to certain “awkwardness among the state’s Republicans,” as many of them have been supporters of both him and Haley.

“Generally, a Scott Republican and a Haley Republican are pretty similar creatures, but it is a game of addition, so both candidates are being deferential… You won’t find them criticizing each other, but ultimately, it is uncomfortable to choose between friends,” commented Catherine Templeton, who served in Haley’s gubernatorial administration.