The second round of democratic presidential debates is a little over two weeks away. There are over two dozen candidates in the running for the party’s nomination. In South Carolina, voters have been courted by almost all of the candidates, since the beginning of the year.
California senator Kamala Harris has visited the state nine times, most recently in the Pee Dee region, a mostly rural area. During her July 6-7 visit, Harris held at meet-and-greet in Darlington; town halls in Florence and Horry County; and also stopped by an African-American owned business in Marion.
It’s all a part of her campaign’s effort to meet “voters where they're at on the ground in their communities,” said Laphonza Butler, Senior advisor to the Kamala Harris Campaign.
“She has heard from voters all across the country and particularly in South Carolina about issues of the safety of their children; health care and the quality of education.”
Butler has campaigned for Harris in South Carolina, and has been instrumental in shaping the Senator’s campaign team and strategy there; which includes cutting through the dialogue of the crowded field and potential barrier of running against presumed front runners with more name-recognition by talking to as many voters as possible.
“Vice president Biden; everyone knows he was the vice president to President Obama. This is his third time running for president. He has been in office and serving in a place of public service for more than four decades. Senator Warren has done an incredible job, working on behalf of the 99% for decades as well. I think what we’re seeing in early polls is a real curiosity about Senator Harris- people who are inspired by what their hearing but want to hear more.”
Before the June debates, Butler said regardless of poll numbers (at the time) that put Harris trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Harris campaign felt like it was in a strong place.
“I think the more people in South Carolina, and folks across the country, get to know who Senator Harris is
and how she thinks about solving everyday problems with government, I think expect those numbers to go up.”
With a viewership of over 18 million, the former state prosecutor challenged fellow candidates on healthcare, race and other topics, during the June 27 live event. Afterwards, poll numbers did go up, according to CNBC:
Harris’ average support jumped to 14.7% on Wednesday, up from 7% on June 25, the day before the two-day debate started. An average of 27.2% of respondents supported Biden as of Wednesday, a drop from 32.1% on June 25.
The second round of democratic debates is two weeks away, where again, millions are expected to tune in.
June 24, 2019
If you want to know what issues voters in South Carolina are concerned about, attending one of the Democratic Party state convention events this past weekend would have been a great place to start.
Thousands of people, who will help reduce the staggering number of democratic presidential hopefuls through the state’s first-in-the-South primary in February, attended Rep. Jim Clyburn's (D-SC) "world famous" fish fry and several meet-and-greets with candidates over the course of the weekend. Through interviews with several of them, South Carolina Public Radio learned their concerns were as diverse as the candidates themselves.