OKATIE, S.C. (WSAV) – Democrats have been campaigning in the Lowcountry for months now, and it all came to a head on Saturday.
With all precincts reporting in Jasper and Hampton counties, Joe Biden came out on top with more than 50% of votes in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary.
Tom Steyer, who has since announced he’s ending his bid, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders followed.
In Beaufort County, however, Sanders came in second with Steyer in third.
The results were somewhat of a surprise to Beaufort County Democratic Chairman Mayra Rivera, who noted that the campaigns of former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusettes, spent a great deal of time in the Lowcountry.
In terms of voter turnout, she said there was no surprise, as voter turnout has been increasing in Beaufort County in recent years.
“We have a 60% increase in absentee voting and we have increases with a lot of precincts, 100%, 150% up,” Rivera said. “We also had a lot of precincts with younger voters and African Americans that went to vote.
“So its good news for us, we are turning blue.”
Minority voters headed to the polls in droves Saturday — and political experts believe their support helped catapult Biden to victory.
Although not as influential in South Carolina, the Latino vote had an impact on some key primary election states.
News 3 spoke with voters who said their top issues are immigration reforms, healthcare and the economy.
“Education is very important too,” added Mario Martinez.
“We as Latinos, as you know, our culture is based on family and to make sure that our kids are able to go to college and have a good education is important because that will guarantee their success in the future,” he said.
The Hispanic vote helped Sanders win in Nevada, so all eyes will be on states like California and Texas as Super Tuesday nears.