On Saturday, South Carolina voters will head to the polls for the state’s Republican primary election, marking another key moment in the 2024 presidential race. With only two major Republican candidates left, here’s what to know ahead of tomorrow’s faceoff.

How Does It Work?

South Carolina has traditionally held an open primary election, allowing registered voters to participate in either the Democrat or Republican elections regardless of party affiliation. However, unlike New Hampshire (which held its primary in January), South Carolina does not often see large numbers of voters crossing party lines or Independents swinging back and forth.

Early voting in the state begins in mid-February, and the South Carolina Election Commission reports that around 205,000 ballots have already been cast in that two-week window. An additional 12,000 absentee ballots have also already been returned.

The Democratic primary was held earlier this month, with incumbent President Joe Biden winning easily.

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Who’s In?

In a sight rarely seen this early in the primary cycle, only two major candidates are still in the running in South Carolina: former President Donald Trump, the clear frontrunner, and Nikki Haley, who served two terms as South Carolina’s governor.

Despite her home-field advantage, Haley has trailed behind Trump by more than 60 points in recent state and national polls, leaving Haley on uncertain footing in her own backyard. Haley previously lost to Trump by significant margins in Iowa and New Hampshire and suffered a crushing defeat to the “None of These Candidates” option in Nevada.

Poll: Nikki Haley is Headed for Home Field Loss in South Carolina Primary

The Latest Polls

According to the latest FiveThirtyEight polling averages, Trump holds a massive lead ahead of the primary with 63.6 percent of the vote compared to Haley’s 32.9 percent. These numbers are more or less reflected in national polling data as well, which shows Trump’s lead is steadily growing despite his ongoing legal challenges.

Despite these dismal numbers, Haley has pledged to remain in the race until at least Super Tuesday on March 5, when she hopes to secure enough delegates to remain competitive in the remainder of the race.

The South Carolina Republican primary election will be held on Saturday, February 24th. Stay tuned to VT.com for updates and results.

Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Valuetainment.com. Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

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