Democratic presidential prospects to swarm South Carolina

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — There’s no set date for South Carolina’s pivotal 2020 presidential primary. But that won’t stop a half dozen potential Democratic contenders from swarming the state over the next week.

The invaders include former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Their goal is to connect with voters and political operatives.

The first-in-the-South primary can be a make or break contest for White House contenders from both parties. And the packed schedule of visitors illustrates the prominent role the state could play in the next presidential election.

South Carolina’s significant black population offers Democratic candidates an opportunity to test their messages in a way that’s not possible in other early-voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire, which have fewer minority voters.

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