Home » Who is Jason Palmer, the only Democrat to beat Joe Biden in American Samoa? | US Election 2024 News

Who is Jason Palmer, the only Democrat to beat Joe Biden in American Samoa? | US Election 2024 News

by Marko Florentino
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Palmer won against Biden on Super Tuesday, but he had never visited the South Pacific territory before the caucus.

President Joe Biden has won every Democratic contest on Super Tuesday – except for one; American Samoa. Palmer won with 51 votes out of the 91 ballots cast, while Biden obtained 40 votes.

Here is what we know about Palmer’s victory and American Samoa.

Who is Jason Palmer?

As well as being a hopeful politician, Palmer, a resident of Baltimore, is an entrepreneur. He has been part of various business ventures and nonprofit organisations, with an emphasis on technology and education. The candidate said he believes voters are seeking a presidential candidate who embodies a more 21st-century perspective than Joe Biden.

In February, Palmer distanced himself from Biden on foreign policy and called for a ceasefire in Gaza in a video which was posted on X.

“Israel’s unrelenting attacks on the people of Gaza is inhumane,” Palmer said. “We need to withhold all military aid from Israel until a ceasefire is adopted, we need to be pro-peace in that region,” he added.

Did he ever have a hope of winning against Biden?

Palmer launched his bid for the White House in November. On his official campaign website, he acknowledged he had a very low chance of winning.

“I know I’m a longshot candidate with very little chance of winning,” Palmer said.

“Incumbent Presidents almost always win re-nomination from their party. As a result, our campaign is less focused on winning, and more focused on ideas, solutions and changing the conversation,” he added.

On his website, Palmer explains that he chose to run in the Democratic primary “because (1) I’m a Democrat, and (2) we don’t want to play a spoiler role in this election”.

But Palmer, 52, also said he had never visited American Samoa before his win over Biden there.

“I have been campaigning remotely, doing Zoom town halls, talking to people, listening to them about their concerns and what matters to them,” he said. According to campaign finance records, Palmer personally loaned his campaign more than $500,000.

“You can’t take the money with you when you die,” he said. “But you can change the world while you’re here.”

After Tuesday’s victory, he thanked the community for the support on X. “I found out that I had won because my phone started blowing up with friends and campaign staffers texting me,” he told the Associated Press.

Where is American Samoa?

American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the US located in the South Pacific ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand.

The territory is slightly larger than Washington, DC, and it consists of five main islands and two coral atolls. According to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) about 46,620 residents live on the islands.

American Samoans have representation in the electoral college but don’t have voting rights in the national election in November — just like American citizens in other US territories, including the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. In all, 3.5 million Americans — 98 percent of whom are ethnic or racial minorities — lack the right to vote in presidential elections.

Is this the first time that American Samoa has delivered a surprise result?

No. In 2016, voters opted for uncommitted delegates instead of casting their ballots for either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

In 2020, Michael R Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, secured a victory in the region, representing his sole triumph in the campaign.

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