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Politics lures visitors to early-primary states like SC, NH

By MEG KINNARDJuly 24, 2019
FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., walks Columbia's Main Street farmers market ahead of a women's luncheon Reed hosted for her in Columbia, S.C. Tourism is nothing new to South Carolina, known for its historic towns, lush golf courses and gleaming beaches. Home of the first presidential primaries in the South, the state becomes a destination for onlookers eager to catch a glimpse of the political spectacle. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., walks Columbia's Main Street farmers market ahead of a women's luncheon Reed hosted for her in Columbia, S.C. Tourism is nothing new to South Carolina, known for its historic towns, lush golf courses and gleaming beaches. Home of the first presidential primaries in the South, the state becomes a destination for onlookers eager to catch a glimpse of the political spectacle. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Tourism is nothing new to South Carolina, known for its historic towns, lush golf courses and gleaming beaches. But once every four years, the Palmetto State attracts a different sort of caller.

Home of the first presidential primaries in the South, the state becomes a destination for onlookers eager to catch a glimpse of the political spectacle.

This cycle’s South Carolina primary is on Feb. 29, 2020. The state’s mild winter climate can make for a more appealing politician-watching trip than in other early-primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, which are covered in snow and frigid temps during much of the campaign season.

New Hampshire, too, however, draws political junkies from all over, especially nearby Massachusetts and New York. The state’s relatively small size means visitors can easily check out a variety of campaign events across the state.

Since late 2018, more than 20 Democrats seeking their party’s nomination next year have been crisscrossing South Carolina, holding events and meetings with potential voters. As they travel, they’re also encountering visitors in cities like Charleston. Where else could you peel off from a day on the sand to snag a selfie with any number of White House hopefuls?

For more about travel to presidential primaries, check out the latest episode of the “Get Outta Here” podcast.

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