Harris Returns to South Carolina to Boost Midterm Voting

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COLUMBIA, SC — Vice President Kamala Harris visits two historically black colleges in South Carolina to apply for voter registration, while focusing on places and demographics critical to Democrats’ chances of retaining Congress in midterm elections.

Harris will travel to Orangeburg on Tuesday to speak at a meeting at South Carolina State University, an HBCU where President Joe Biden addressed graduates last year. She will also host a roundtable with students from nearby Claflin University.

The trip to South Carolina, her third trip to the state as vice president, is part of Harris’s expanded itinerary ahead of the midterms. She spoke on reproductive rights in Chicago on Friday and will travel to Wisconsin on Thursday to speak at the Democratic Attorneys General Conference. Earlier this month, she traveled to Houston for the National Baptist Convention.

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Harris’ travels are intended to prevent, or at least limit, a decline in voter turnout among voters of color and youth, key parts of the Democratic coalition.

In South Carolina, where the South’s first presidential election is taking place, black voters play an outrageous role in the Democratic constituency. During a visit to the state in June, Harris expressed his appreciation for South Carolina Democrats, whose main support for Biden in the first-in-the-South primary in 2020 helped turn his campaign around and build momentum in later years. matches leading to the party’s nomination. .

Harris’ arrival in South Carolina comes shortly after Biden’s noncommittal response to TBEN’ “60 Minutes” when asked if he would run again in 2024.

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“My intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again,” the president said in a lengthy interview that aired Sunday. “But it’s just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I will run again? That remains to be seen.”

Biden noted in the interview that declaring his intention to seek reelection would put him in violation of campaign finance laws, which would have hampered Democratic National Committee spending ahead of the midterm elections.

White House officials said Biden continues to lay the groundwork for a run in 2024. However, allies acknowledge he could always decide not to seek re-election before a formal announcement, which is expected in the first half of 2023.

Earlier this year, Biden pledged to spur Harris as his running mate for the 2024 re-election campaign. Her visit comes as Republicans considering their own White House bids — including former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – continue to traverse the state.

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Some South Carolina Native Republicans have also tested the 2024 waters. Nikki Haley, who served the state as governor for six years before joining the Trump administration as a UN ambassador, lives in the Charleston area and has visited other states that vote early, as has US Senator Tim Scott.

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The Bharat Express News writers Chris Megerian and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.

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Meg Kinnard can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.