Joe Biden was the choice of Democrats across South Carolina, with small-city and rural Democrats favoring the former vice president by even greater margins than the rest of the state.
Biden earned 45 percent of the vote or better in the suburbs of the state’s only major metropolitan area (the South Carolina counties surrounding Charlotte, North Carolina) and medium-sized metros. In small metros (ones with populations under 250,000) and nonmetropolitan areas, Biden earned over half the vote.
Second-place finisher Bernie Sanders’ support dropped slightly as voters became more rural. The Vermont senator earned about 22 percent of the Democratic vote in major and medium metro counties, and 15 percent of the vote in nonmetropolitan areas.
Modest support for Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren weakened as counties became more rural.
Amy Klobuchar did best with the voters around Charlotte (9 percent). Her performance faded in medium and small metros and recovered only modestly to 5 percent among nonmetropolitan voters.
Nearly two-thirds of the 528,000 Democratic votes in Saturday’s primary came from medium-sized metropolitan areas – metros with a population of 250,000 to under 1 million. Twelve percent of the vote was from residents of metropolitan areas of 50,000 or fewer. Sixteen percent of the vote came from nonmetropolitan counties.