Dem strategist: 'Whoever wins South Carolina will be well on their way to the nomination'

Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright said on Tuesday that whoever wins South Carolina in the party's 2020 presidential primary will likely become the nominee, citing the state's influential African American vote. 

"Sixty percent [of] African American voters will vote in the Democratic primary in South Carolina, 55 percent [of] women," Seawright, founder and CEO of Blueprint Strategy, told Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti and Krystal Ball on "Rising." "I think that is very reflective of the mood and the temperature of our party." 

"And make no mistake, black people will decide who our nominee [is]," he continued. 

Seawright was responding to a Post and Courier-Change Research Poll released on Sunday that found that South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul Buttigieg2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE with 0 percent support among likely primary voters in South Carolina who are black. 

"I think it's a real opportunity for him to really get to know African American voters, not just in South Carolina, but across the country," he said. "Whoever wins South Carolina will be well on their way to the nomination." 

Buttigieg has addressed the skepticism that black voters have voiced about his campaign and the lack of diversity in it. 

"You have to be certain; you have to believe in this project enough to see where it’s going to come up short and care that you’re going to fix it," Buttigieg said. "And I guess I need those kinds of checks. I needed people in my administration whose eyebrows would go up at a meeting when we were all starting to drift into one policy direction when we hadn’t thought about something. And the same should be true of a campaign.”

— Julia Manchester