For decades, ambitious politicians with eyes on a future presidential run made pilgrimages to Iowa and New Hampshire, casually popping in at fairs and local fund-raising dinners as if they just happened to be in the area.

When President Biden pushed Democrats to place South Carolina first on their presidential primary calendar, the geography for the party’s political strivers changed. They are now working to build support not in mostly white Northern places but in a Southern state with a…


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