Home Politics 2024 South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary

2024 South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary

by Scott Kacsmar
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nikki haley south carolina rally republican primary

The South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary will take place on February 24, 2024. It is the 5th Republican contest during this primary season, following the Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary, the Nevada primary and caucus and the United States Virgin Islands caucuses.

It will uphold South Carolina’s reputation for being the “first in the South” presidential primary, but it also could be the last call for Nikki Haley as she looks to get a win, in her home state, over  Donald Trump, the heavy favorite at the best political betting sites.

We have prepared a quick guide for what to expect from the South Carolina primary for Republicans.

When Is the South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary?

The vote for the Republican primary in South Carolina will take place on Saturday, February 24, 2024. Most primaries take place on a Tuesday, so this being a weekend vote is unique among the states.

Who Votes in the South Carolina Primary?

This is interesting as South Carolina has no party registration rule, so anyone (Democrat, Republican, or independent) can vote in the Republican primary this Saturday. The only rule is if you voted in the Democratic primary earlier this month, then you cannot vote in the Republican one as well.

Joe Biden won the February 3 primary for the Democrats with 96% of the vote. So, if voters wanted to do their best in turnout to vote against Donald Trump, they probably should have skipped the Democratic one and voting for Biden, who is likely to earn the nomination anyway as the incumbent president.

South Carolina Republicans have a heavy lean towards evangelical voters, which Trump has done well with over the years in his political career. In 2016, Trump received 34% of the evangelical vote in South Carolina, beating out Ted Cruz (26%) and Marco Rubio (21%).

Donald Trump-1200-5000
Nikki Haley+1200
Ron DeSantis+8000
Tucker Carlson+12,500
Ivanka Trump+20,000
Any Other Candidate+1200

Donald Trump: The Big Favorite

Even when he loses, Donald Trump still finds ways to win as he is the heavy favorite to win again in South Carolina this week.

But it was not the best week for former president Trump as a Friday ruling in a New York court said that he must pay $355 million in a civil fraud judgment after he fraudulently inflated his net worth to get better loan terms.

A day later, Trump found himself at an event called Sneaker Con where he was selling gold Trump Sneakers with a hefty price tag of $399. They are reportedly sold out too.

Sneaky Trump

Trump may have more votes than dollars coming his way this year as he continues to lose judgments while still having a stranglehold over the Republican party. According to the latest election betting odds, Trump still has an 88.7% chance of winning the GOP nomination compared to just 5.2% for Nikki Haley.

FiveThirtyEight projects Trump with 64.7% of the vote in South Carolina to just 31.6% for Haley, which could be the deathblow of her campaign if the numbers shake out that way.

Nikki Haley: The Other Choice

There will be a total of 7 names on the ballots in South Carolina, including some of those who already suspended their campaign (Chris Christie, Ron DeSantis and Vivek Ramaswamy).

But the only real choices with any chance of winning are Trump and Nikki Haley. The latter is the hometown choice as Haley served as Governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017.

Haley has continued to insist that she doesn’t need to beat Trump in South Carolina to stay viable for Super Tuesday, but it would look rather embarrassing for her to get crushed in her home state. A huge loss to Trump here could spell the end of Haley’s presidential campaign.

With DeSantis dropping out, Haley was able to get 43.2% of the vote in the New Hampshire primary. It was a respectable bump, but Trump still won that race with 54.3% of the vote. If he gets near 65% of the vote in South Carolina, that might just do it for Haley.

Since 1980, every Republican to win the South Carolina primary has gone on to win the party nomination except for in 2012 when Newt Gingrich beat Mitt Romney but did not earn the party nod.

Haley’s campaign is on life support as BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review to learn more) has Trump’s odds to lose in South Carolina at +3300. Trump has +400 odds to beat Haley in South Carolina by 30-to-34.99 percentage points.

A close race would seemingly be a miracle.

What Likely Happens?

It would seem we are on a collision course for Biden and Trump to rematch in November as many pundits agree this is the weakest primary season in modern U.S. history. A foregone conclusion for both parties at this point.

If Trump crushes Haley in South Carolina to get most of the 50 delegates, then maybe common sense will hit her that it’s just not happening for her in 2024 and she’ll end her campaign. Maybe she’ll get lucky, and something will cause Trump to not run by November, but she can’t go into Super Tuesday (March 5th) where 36% of the Republican delegates are up for grabs if she can’t even stay within 30 percentage points in her home state.

So, in that sense, South Carolina should be decisive as it usually is in determining the Republican nominee. But you could argue there was never really a chance for any of these candidates this year as long as Trump was on the ballot.

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Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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