Release: WVDP to Cohost Presidential Candidate Forum with South Carolina Democratic Party and Other Southern State Parties

Brittni McGuire Press Releases

D-Recovered (1)


October 29, 2015

Contact: Brittni McGuire,, 304-342-8121

SCDP Contact: Diane May, Communications Director

803-799-7798 /                                                                                     


West Virginia Democratic Party to Cohost Presidential Candidate Forum with South Carolina Democratic Party and Other Southern State Parties

(Charleston, WV) – Earlier this month, the South Carolina Democratic Party announced that Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and US Senator Bernie Sanders will attend the First in the South Presidential Candidates Forum moderated by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Friday, November 6 at Winthrop University.

Today, MSNBC announced extended coverage of the forum, including a special edition of “Hardball with Chris Matthews” aired live from the Winthrop University campus at 7PM EST. The forum will also air live on MSNBC from 8-10PM EST, followed by a post-forum analysis with Maddow and Matthews from 10-11PM EST.

The West Virginia Democratic Party will cohost the event, along with other Southern state parties, Congressman James Clyburn and the DNC’s Southern Regional Caucus.

“We are more than happy to cohost this forum and we’re excited to be a part of a Presidential forum that will be about real issues and real agendas,” said Belinda Biafore, West Virginia Democratic Party Chairwoman. “As always, the difference couldn’t be more clear between the Democratic and Republican candidates for president. Unlike what we have seen from them, our candidates will talk about strengthening the middle class, equal pay for equal work, good education, access to quality healthcare and job creation. We’re just excited that we will be travelling down with our folks to be a part of that.”

“The South Carolina Democratic Party is excited to partner with West Virginia and other Southern Democratic parties in hosting this important forum,” said South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Jaime Harrison. “This forum will give our Presidential candidates the opportunity to speak about the issues that matter to voters in the South and highlight the diversity of the Democratic Party.”

 Interested media may RSVP with the SCDP at this link.

Earlier this year a collation of Southern Democratic state parties conducted a survey whose results indicated that Southern Democrats are in a strong position to win over voters in the South.

Key findings:  

Southern voters view Democrats more favorably overall than Republicans (Democrats 47/49%, Republicans 42/53%), and about as many voters believe Democrats share their values as Republicans (Democrats 40%, Republicans 43%).

Southern white voters have a strongly unfavorable view of the Democratic Party, but blame Republicans for focusing only on the special interests and the wealthy.

Southern white voters say their biggest concern with government is the influence of the wealthy and large corporations. This clear Democratic territory outpaces traditional Republican boogeymen such as welfare or big government.

Defying conventional wisdom, Democrats start at parity with the Republican Party in the South, with a third of voters holding a very unfavorable rating of Democrats (34%) and a third holding a very unfavorable view of Republicans (31%).

Young southerners favor Democrats by 40 points, 65% to 25%. More than half of these likely voters under 30 view the Republican Party unfavorably, 37% favorable to 52% unfavorable.

Taxes and helping the poor are no longer a third rail of southern politics. Only 9% of all voters (and only 7% of white voters) felt that taxes were too high. Only 6% of white voters felt government only worked for the poor.

Among the fastest growing segment of the electorate, 71% of non-white Southern voters view the Democratic Party favorably compared to just 27% for the GOP.

 Full results can be found here.




SCDP Announces Democratic Presidential Candidates Attending the First in the South Candidates Forum  [10-7-15]
The Rachel Maddow Show [10-7-15]