In South Carolina, Harris urges students to vote in midterms

Sep 19, 2022, 9:06 AM | Updated: Sep 20, 2022, 3:10 pm
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to students at Claflin University, one of two historically blac...

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks to students at Claflin University, one of two historically black universities she visited in Orangeburg, S.C. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. Harris pushed for voter registration as her party seeks to hold onto majorities in Congress. (AP Photo/James Pollard)

(AP Photo/James Pollard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris visited two historically Black colleges in South Carolina to push for voter registration as she focuses on places and demographics that will be key to Democrats’ chances to hold on to Congress in the midterm elections.

In remarks Tuesday to first-year students at South Carolina State University, an Orangeburg HBCU where President Joe Biden addressed graduates last year, Harris highlighted what she characterized as the need for young voters to participate in political pushes to protect voting rights and oppose efforts to restrict abortion.

“Once again, your nation turns to you,” Harris said, highlighting the fight for civil rights by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn — a S.C. State alumnus and South Carolina’s lone congressional Democrat — when he was arrested during protests while in his early 20s. “Because to move America forward, we need you. We need your passion, your purpose and your excellence.”

The South Carolina trip, Harris’ third to the state as vice president, is part of her increased travel schedule ahead of the midterms. She talked reproductive rights in Chicago on Friday, and she’s heading to Wisconsin on Thursday to speak at the Democratic Attorneys General Conference. Earlier this month, she traveled to Houston for the National Baptist Convention.

Harris’ trips are designed to prevent, or at least limit, any drop-off in turnout among voters of color and young people, important parts of the Democratic coalition. Earlier Tuesday — National Voter Registration Day — she participated in a roundtable with students at Claflin University, another HBCU, where she touted the administration’s actions around race and education and emphasized the need to invest in mental health.

“We recognize that over the last couple of years through the pandemic, we literally told people to isolate, which means people were literally by themselves,” Harris said. “Suffering from all that the pandemic represented in terms of loss of life, loss of normalcy, for so many people, loss of job. And so the effects of that all still linger in a very profound way.”

In South Carolina, which holds the first presidential balloting in the South, Black voters play an outsized role in the Democratic voting electorate. During a June visit to the state, Harris expressed appreciation for South Carolina Democrats, whose key support for Biden in the first-in-the-South primary in 2020 helped turn around his campaign and build momentum in later contests that led to the party’s nomination.

Harris’ arrival in South Carolina follows shortly after Biden’s noncommittal response to CBS’ “60 Minutes” when asked if he would run again in 2024.

“My intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again,” the president said during a wide-ranging interview that aired Sunday. “But it’s just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.”

Biden noted in the interview that declaring his intention to seek reelection would put him afoul of campaign finance laws, which could have complicated spending by the Democratic National Committee ahead of the midterms.

White House officials said Biden is continuing to lay the groundwork for a 2024 run. Allies, though, acknowledge that he could always decide against seeking reelection before a formal announcement, which is expected in the first half of 2023.

Earlier this year, Biden committed to tapping Harris as his running mate for the 2024 reelection campaign. Her visit comes as Republicans considering White House bids of their own — including former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — continue to crisscross the state.

Some native South Carolina Republicans have also been testing the 2024 waters. Nikki Haley, who served the state for six years as governor before joining the Trump administration as U.N. ambassador, lives in the Charleston area and has been visiting other early voting states, as has U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.


Associated Press writers Chris Megerian and Zeke Miller in Washington and James Pollard in Orangeburg, S.C., contributed to this report.


Meg Kinnard can be reached on Twitter at

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - A woman uses an ATM machine in the main town of the Aegean Sea island of Rhodes, southeaster...
Associated Press

Inflation hits record 10% in 19 EU countries using euro

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Inflation in the European countries using the euro currency has broken into double digits as prices for electricity and natural gas soar, signaling a looming winter recession for one of the globe’s major economies as higher prices undermine consumers’ spending power. Consumer prices in the 19-country eurozone hit a record 10% […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

New rocket company fails to achieve launch on 2nd attempt

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A year after its first rocket launch failed, a new aerospace company was unsuccessful early Friday in its second attempt to place multiple satellites into orbit. Firefly Aerospace’s Alpha rocket was unable to lift off from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California, and follow a planned arc over the […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Bombing inside Pakistani sweets shop kills 1, wounds 14

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A bomb exploded inside a sweet shop in southwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing at least one person and wounding 14 others, officials said. The bombing happened in the town of Kohlu in Baluchistan province, according to district administrator Qurban Ali. He said authorities transported the victims to a nearby hospital and […]
1 day ago
Policemen walk at Red Square with the St. Basil's Cathedral and Lenin Mausoleum in the background a...
Associated Press

Live Updates: Russia-Ukraine War

KIYV, Ukraine (AP) — KYIV — Ukrainian officials say a Russian missile strike on the city of Zaporozhzhia has killed at least 23 people and wounded 28. Zaporizhzhia Regional Governor Oleksandr Starukh said in an online statement Friday that Russian forces targeted a humanitarian convoy heading to Russian-occupied territory. Online video purportedly of the site […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Mariners take on the Athletics in first of 3-game series

Oakland Athletics (56-100, fifth in the AL West) vs. Seattle Mariners (85-70, second in the AL West) Seattle; Friday, 9:40 p.m. EDT PITCHING PROBABLES: Athletics: Ken Waldichuk (1-2, 7.15 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 21 strikeouts); Mariners: Logan Gilbert (13-6, 3.29 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 170 strikeouts) BOTTOM LINE: The Seattle Mariners host the Oakland Athletics to start […]
1 day ago
Far-Right party Brothers of Italy's leader Giorgia Meloni shows a placard reading in Italian "Thank...
Associated Press

AP Week in Pictures: Europe and Africa

SEPT. 23-29, 2022 War continues in Ukraine, in a week in which more bodies have been exhumed at the liberated area of Izium. Around other retaken areas in Kharkiv, Russian and Ukrainian forces exchanged missile and artillery barrages. In Somalia, the droughts are getting longer and more frequent, displacing Somalis to a camp on the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
In South Carolina, Harris urges students to vote in midterms