Thousands pack Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center to hear from 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls

Thousands pack Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center to hear from 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Thousands of people packed the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center to hear from the 2020 presidential democratic candidates Saturday.

Candidates each received seven minutes to speak and share their message across to voters.

Analysts said South Carolina plays a large role in the nomination process, in part because of the state's early primary date.

South Carolina voters will cast their ballot February 29, three days before Super Tuesday when the majority of the U.S will vote for their nominee.

Analysts also said candidates are likely to target South Carolina because of the diverse electorate.

According to recent polling from the Post & Courier and change research, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders are the top five candidates for the Palmetto State.

While some candidates touched on specific South Carolina ties, like the four-year anniversary of the Emanuel 9, the biggest applause lines came from their national messages.

“I believe in America where teachers are paid their value,"Senator Kamala Harris said. "I believe in America where no politician tells a woman what to do with her body. I believe in an America where healthcare is a right and not a privilege of just those who can afford it."

Senator Kamala Harris kept the energy high with an escorted entrance that included a drumline.

Others, like Beto O’Rourke, had a number of supporters following him in chanting.

Candidates, however, all agreed on the need to turn South Carolina from a red state to a blue state.

"It is time for big structural change in America," Elizabeth Warren said. "The time for small ideas is over. So, here’s how I see it. It’s time for big plans and, yeah, I got some big plans.”

Despite differences in tone and policy, they all agree on getting President Trump out of the White House.

"In America, we need an economy and a government that works for all of us not just wealthy campaign contributors and the one percent," said Bernie Sanders.

“I’ve never been more optimistic of this country. We have to pick our heads up,” said former Vice President Joe Biden. "I remember the phrase from John Kennedy a while ago when he says because we are unwilling to postpone, I am unwilling to postpone any longer the potential of this nation. It’s totally within our power to change it.”

During the Democratic Convention, WIS received the following statement from the South Carolina Republican Party about their reaction to the convention:

“South Carolinians continue to thrive under the policies championed by President Trump’s administration, but 2020 Democrats are flooding the state with plans to undo the success and economic prosperity voters have come to enjoy. While they hash out who’s moving furthest to the left this weekend, South Carolinians will be quick to reject their agenda that diminishes the quality of their health care, cuts jobs, and depletes their bank accounts.”
RNC Spokesperson Joe Jackson

The candidates now head to Miami to face off in the Democratic debates, a two-night event which begins June 26 and will be hosted by NBC.

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