2020 South Carolina Primary

2020 South Carolina PrimaryThe South Carolina primary is tentatively set for Saturday, February 29, 2020. The “first-in-the-South” primary gives a voice to Southern states in the presidential nomination process. South Carolina often helps to begin significantly narrowing down the field of candidates following contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The South Carolina Republican Party has decided not to hold a primary similar to the election years in 1984 and 2004 when a Republican incumbent was running. The real action in 2020 will be on the Democratic side where South Carolina will be the first big southern state to weigh in on the Democratic field.

Live 2020 Primary Results

2020 South Carolina Democratic Primary

For the latest and most up-to-date information on the 2020 South Carolina Democratic Primary, visit the South Carolina Democratic Party.

Date: Saturday, February 29, 2020

Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm ET. Anyone in line at 7:00 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

Find Your Polling Place

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Delegates: 63 (54 pledged, 9 super)

Latest Polls

RCP Average2/23 - 2/27--34.322.313.79843.2Biden +12.0
Emerson2/26 - 2/27550 LV41251111562Biden +16
Post and Courier2/23 - 2/27543 LV282416111245Biden +4
Data for Progress (D)2/23 - 2/271416 LV34251313753Biden +9
Monmouth2/23 - 2/25454 LV3616156841Biden +20
East Carolina U.2/23 - 2/241142 LV3123206822Biden +8
PPP (D)2/23 - 2/24866 LV362177836Biden +15

Detailed Polling Results

Allocation: Proportional – Some delegates are allocated statewide and some are allocated by Congressional District.

Primary Type: Open (a voter may vote in either party primary, regardless of party affiliation)

State Authority: South Carolina State Election Commission

Historical Winners: (by year)

2016: Hillary Clinton (D)
2008: Barack Obama (D)
2004: John Edwards (D)
2000: Al Gore (D)

2020 South Carolina Republican Primary

The 2020 South Carolina Republican primary has been canceled by the South Carolina Republican Party. Please visit our canceled 2020 Primary & Caucus page for more details. For the latest information, visit the South Carolina Republican Party website.

Date: Canceled 

Original Date: Saturday, February 15, 2020

Delegates: 50

Historical Winners: (by year)

2016: Donald Trump (R)
2012: Newt Gingrich (R)
2008: John McCain (R)
2000: George W. Bush (R)
1996: Bob Dole (R)

What is the South Carolina Primary?

The South Carolina Primary is state-sponsored primary voting day. Voters will go to their typically voting locations in their precincts to make a choice for their respective party presidential nominee.

The South Carolina Primary, similar to New Hampshire and Iowa, is considered one of the “early states” in the presidential nomination process. While New Hampshire holds the “first-in-the-nation” primary title, South Carolina holds the “first-in-the-south” title as it is the first Southern state in the calendar to vote for presidential candidates running for their respective party nomination.

Often South Carolina is considered the “tie-breaker” between Iowa and New Hampshire if the states differ on candidate selection. For example, in the 2012 cycle, all Iowa and New Hampshire split with Iowa selecting Rick Santorum, and New Hampshire selecting Mitt Romney. Interestingly, neither of those two candidates won South Carolina with that prize going to Newt Gingrich which served to bolster his campaign further into the primaries.

South Carolina has a history of usually selecting the candidate who will go on to become the nominee. This was true in 1996, 2000, and 2008. However, 2012 broke that streak when Newt Gingrich did not get much further than South Carolina, in terms of primary victories.

In the 2016 cycle, Hillary Clinton won a considerable bloc of African-American voters which started her run of big victories in other southern state primaries, though South Carolina served as her first foothold in the south.

2020 Primary Schedule