South Carolina's Primary Is Over. Now It's NC's Turn To Vote.

Mar 2, 2020

Almost immediately after the South Carolina primary, North Carolina votes March 3 — one of 14 states that’s part of Super Tuesday. Political reporter Steve Harrison joins WFAE "Morning Edition" host Lisa Worf to talk about what's ahead.

LISA WORF: OK, let’s start with the news of the day, with Pete Buttigieg dropping out. What does that mean for North Carolina tomorrow?

STEVE HARRISON: Well, let’s start with why he’s out. He did so well in the first two contests, but then faltered in Nevada and South Carolina. Exit polling showed him getting 2% of the African American vote.

Buttigieg wasn’t going to win North Carolina — a recent Marist poll had him at 7% in the state.

But there are hundreds – maybe thousands – of people in Charlotte wondering today who they are going to vote for. I covered one of his rallies in Rock Hill (South Carolina) in the fall. There were probably 1,000 people there, and a good chunk of them were from Charlotte.

And Buttigeig’s announcement brings me to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She was in Charlotte Saturday night at the University Hilton, and she was speaking at a fundraiser for the state Democratic Party.

She didn’t quit, but she ended her speech with that sounded like her laying the groundwork to do so.

AMY KLOBUCHAR (RECORDING): "In the words of my friend John McCain, the last time I saw him before he died, when he was in his ranch, he showed me the words that said 'There is nothing more liberating than fighting for a cause larger than yourself.'"

WORF: Let’s go back to former Vice President Joe Biden’s stronger-than-expected victory in South Carolina on Saturday. Now that it’s been a couple of days since that win, is there any more detail on what happened – and why the other Democrats did so poorly?

HARRISON The Washington Post yesterday did a great analysis of who voted in South Carolina. Turnout was really high – 528,000 people. That’s much more than the 373,000 people who voted four years ago when it was a Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders showdown.

So, for Democrats, that’s a great sign because remember: After the Iowa caucuses, the party was worried because turnout was really "meh." It was about the same as in 2016.

And the Post story noted that the biggest increase in South Carolina was from predominantly white precincts.

So Biden did well overall, and exit polls showed that he even defeated Sanders among white voters.

WORF: And the polls showed a much closer race. Any idea what happened?

HARRISON: They did show a closer race, with Sanders closing in on Biden, but then the former vice president pulling away a little in the final polls. But nowhere near the huge margin that Biden had.

INSIDE POLITICS

Go behind the headlines with WFAE political reporter Steve Harrison in his weekly newsletter, Inside Politics. Steve will provide insight about and analysis of local and statewide politics. Readers will gain an understanding of political news on the horizon and why it matters. 

While you're at it, go ahead and take a listen to our companion podcast: “Inside Politics: The RNC in Charlotte,” hosted by Steve Harrison and Lisa Worf.