SOUTH CAROLINA 9 Electoral Votes 
link to clickable map
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, South Carolina State Election Commission)
Total Resident Population, July 1, 2019 est.

Total Registration, Nov. 2020
3,513,225 >

South Carolina has: 46 counties.
Largest counties: Greenville, Richland, Charleston, Spartanburg, Horry, Lexington.

Governor: Henry McMaster (R) assumed office Jan. 24, 2017, elected in 2018.  
State Legislature: South Carolina General Assembly  House: 124 seats   Senate: 46 seats
Local: Local Government, Municipalities, 2  NACO
U.S. House: 5R, 2D - 1. J.Cunningham (D) | 2. J.Wilson (R) | 3. J.Duncan (R) | 4. W.Timmons (R) | 5. R.Norman (R) | 6. J.Clyburn (D).| 7. T.Rice (R).
U.S. Senate: Lindsey Graham (R) seeking re-election in 2020, Tim Scott (R) re-elected in 2016.
U.S. Senate: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) first elected to the Senate in 2002, fended off a strong challenge from former SCDP chair and attorney Jaime Harrison (D) by 1,369,137 votes (54.44%) to 1,110,828 (44.17%) and 32,845 (1.31%) for veterinarian Bill Bledsoe (C).
U.S. House:
All seven Members sought re-election
State Rep. Nancy Mace (R) defeated freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham (D) in SC-1 (coastal SC from Seabrook Island to the NC border) taking the balance from 5R,2D to 6R,1D.
State Legislature:
46 Senate seats and all 124 House seats were up.  The balance in the Senate went from 27R,19D to 30R,16D and the House from 78R,44D and 2v to 81R,43D.
Ballot Measures:

 State of South Carolina
State Election Commission

SC Democratic Party
SC Republican Party
SC Libertarian Party
SC Green Party
Constitution Party of SC

The State (Columbia), p
Post and Courier (C'ston), p 
TV, Radio


The Palmetto State
General Election -- Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Voter Registration Deadlines:
Oct. 2, 2020 - in person
Oct. 4, 2020 - online or by fax or email
Oct. 5, 2020 - by mail (postmark)
Election Calendar

Absentee Voting:
For the June primary and runoff all
voters were able to vote absentee due to the state of emergency brought about by the pandemic (+).  For the general election, the legislature passed H.5305, expanding absentee voting due to COVID-19, with wide bipartisan support; Gov. McMaster signed the bill into law on Sept. 16.  Litigation over the witness requirement for mail-in/absentee ballots went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reinstated the requirement in an Oct. 5 ruling.  A lawsuit filed in early October sought to establish a cure process for absentee ballots missing signatures (+).

53% voted absentee; 47% on Election Day:
Absentee in person: 893,000
Absentee by mail: 441,000
Election Day votes: 1,199,000

Official Results >

Hawkins/Walker (Grn.)
+Trump/Pence (Rep.) 1,385,103
De La Fuente/Richardson (All.) 1,862
Jorgensen/Cohen (Lib.)
Biden/Harris (Dem.) 1,091,541

Ballots Cast: 2,533,010.
Overview: The Feb. 29 presidential primary set Joe Biden on the path to the Democratic nomination, but Republicans were all but certain to carry South Carolina in the general election as they have in every election since Jimmy Carter won the state in 1976.  Trump-Pence won with a plurality of 293,562 votes (11.68 percentage points), carrying 33 counties to 13 for Biden.  Trump flipped Clarendon and Dillon Cos..  +
   Two former governors figured in the 2020 presidential campaign. 
Former Gov. Mark Sanford (R) waged a short-lived campaign for the Republican nomination, pulling out in Nov. 2019. Former Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as U.S. Ambassador to the UN through Dec. 31, 2018, was seen as a likely 2024 candidate for president (or if Trump had decided to pull out of the 2020 race, the most likely figure to join the ticket).  In  Feb. 2019 she formed Stand for America, an "advocacy group promoting public policies that strengthen America’s economy, culture, and national security." >
   Libertarian presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen is a South Carolina resident and lecturer at Clemson University.
   The U.S. Senate race between Jaime Harrison and Lindsey Graham attracted national interest and was the fourth most expensive Senate race of the cycle, with total spending of $278.3 million.
[State Primary: June 9, 2020
Democratic Presidential Primary -- Saturday, February 29, 2020
Main South Carolina Primary Page
Biden 262,336 (48.65%), Sanders 106,605 (19.77%), Steyer 61,140 (11.34%), Buttigieg 44,217 (8.20%), Warren 38,120 (7.07%), Klobuchar 16,900 (3.13%)... Total 539, 263. details

63 Delegates: 35 District, 12 At-Large, 7 PLEO, 9 Unpledged.

no primary held

General Election Winners in South Carolina, 1992-2016
1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
  and the details...

General Election -- Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Voting Eligible Population*: 3,706,769.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 56.7%.

Voter Registration Deadline: Oct. 8, 2016.

Absentee Voting: >

Official Results >

Clinton/Kaine (Dem.)
Castle/Bradley (Const.)
McMullin/Johnson (Ind.)
Stein/Baraka (Grn.)
+Trump/Pence (Rep.)
Skewes/Lacy (Amr.)
Johnson/Weld (Lib.)

Ballots Cast: 2,123,584.
Overview: Republicans carried South Carolina as they have in every election since Jimmy Carter won the state in 1976.  A couple of polls in August did show the two major party candidates tied here, and South Carolina Democrats made an effort, but the Trump-Pence ticket garnered a plurality of 300,016 votes (14.27 percentage points), carrying 31 counties to 15 for the Democrats.  All in all the things were quiet after the intensity of the primaries nine-plus months earlier.  Volunteers made their way to the neighboring battleground state of North Carolina to help out there.  The only visit noted was Green nominee Jill Stein's trip on Oct. 4; she held rallies in Spartanburg and Columbia.  The Post and Courier, South Carolina's most circulated newspaper, was one of about nine major newspapers to endorse the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.
Clinton  | 
General Election -- Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Voting Eligible Population*: 3,311,044.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 58.0%.

Official Results >

+Romney/Ryan (Rep.)
Johnson/Gray (Lib.)
Obama/Biden (Dem.)
Goode/Clymer (Const.)
Stein/Honkala (Grn.)

Ballots Cast: 1,981,516.
2012 Overview
Romney-Ryan won South Carolina with a plurality of 206,704 votes (10.47 percentage points), carrying 25 counties to 21 for Obama-Biden.  South Carolina borders on battleground North Carolina and is relatively close to Florida.  There were also a few visits. Joe Biden attended a fundraiser in the Charleston area on May 8 (he also made a brief, low-key visit on Oct. 16 to attend a vigil for Peatsy Hollings in Charleston).  Ann Romney did a fundraiser in Spartanburg on June 11, Mitt Romney did a press avail. and a fundraiser in Greenville on Aug. 16, and Paul Ryan did a fundraiser in Greenville on Oct. 26.  Gary Johnson spoke at Winthrop University in Rock Hill on Sept. 5 and Jim Gray did several events in the Charleston area on Oct. 20.
Obama  | 

General Election -- Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Voting Eligible Population*: 3,279,329.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 58.6%.

Official Results >

McKinney/Clemente (Grn.)
4,461 (0.23)
+McCain/Palin (Rep.) 1,034,896 (53.87)
Barr/Root (Lib.)
7,283 (0.38)
Nader/Gonzalez (Pet.) 5,053 (0.26)
Obama/Biden (Dem.) 862,449 (44.90)
Baldwin/Castle (Const.)
6,827 (0.36)

Total voting: 1,941,480
2008 Overview
McCain-Palin won South Carolina with a plurality of 172,447 votes (8.97 percentage points); the Republican ticket carried 26 counties to 20 for Obama-Biden.
Obama/Allies  |  McCain/Allies  |  Nader

General Election -- Tuesday, November 2, 2004
Voting Eligible Population*: 3,055,098.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 53.0%.
Official Results >

Peroutka/Baldwin (Const.)
Brown/Hebert (Un.Cit.)
Nader/Camejo (Indep.Pty) 5,520 (0.34)
Cobb/LaMarche (Grn.)
+Bush/Cheney (Rep.)
Badnarik/Campagna (Lib.)
Kerry/Edwards (Dem.)

Total Voting: 1,631,148
2004 Overview
Bush won with a plurality of 276,275 votes (17.08 percentage points).  Bush won 31 counties to 15 for Kerry.
General Election -- Tuesday, November 7, 2000
Voting Eligible Population*: 2,944,326.
VEP Highest Office Turnout Rate: 47.0%.
Official Results >               

Gore/Lieberman (Dem.)
Phillips/Frazier (Const.)
Nader/LaDuke (Un.Cit.)
Buchanan/Foster (Ref.)
Hagelin/Goldhaber (NLP)
+Bush/Cheney (Rep.)
Browne/Olivier (Lib.)

2000 Overview
South Carolina, the scene of such great activity during the Republican presidential primary in February, saw a very quite campaign on the presidential level in the fall.  None of the principals visited.  Bush carried the Palmetto State with a comfortable plurality of 220,307 votes (15.94 percentage points).  Bush won 31 counties to 15 for Gore.  Heath Thompson ran Republicans' Victory 2000 effort; Remle Beard was Gore-Lieberman state director.  One issue on the ballot that did generate considerable debate was Amendment 1 to lift a ban on lotteries; it passed. 

1992 and 1996 General Elections
Archive Pages: 2016 | 2012 | 2008 | 2004 | 2000 1992
Bush (Rep.)............577,507
Clinton (Dem.)........497,514
Perot (Petition).......138,872 
Others (3)..................6,634

Dole (Rep.).............573,458
Clinton (Dem.)........506,283
Perot (Ref./Pat.).......64,386 
Others (3)..................7,562