Joe Biden campaigning in South Carolina in November. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Campaigns are already deploying staff, surrogates and even the candidates themselves to South Carolina to get a jump start on what many view as the most important of the early-voting states.

Driving the news: Joe Biden said that he will be skipping his New Hampshire primary night party to fly to South Carolina this evening, where he will address New Hampshires supporters via livestream as results roll in.

  • Symone Sanders, a senior advisor on Biden's campaign, spent yesterday in the Palmetto State doing TV hits, and canvassing across the state to rally black voters ahead of the Feb. 29 primary.
  • Pete Buttigieg's campaign says he'll be in South Carolina later this week before heading to Nevada, where the caucuses are Feb. 22. It's expecting Quentin Hart — the African American mayor of Waterloo, Iowa — to head to South Carolina to stump for Pete. 
  • Tom Steyer left New Hampshire to spend the day before its primary campaigning in South Carolina, where he's already dumped millions of dollars into his operation.
  • Elizabeth Warren's team had surrogate Sheriff Steve Tompkins of Massachusetts in South Carolina last weekend, as well as Black Womxn For — a group of 100 black women activists — while she spends time in New Hampshire.

The state of play: Biden once had a 31-point lead in South Carolina. A (Charleston) Post and Courier/Change Research poll out Feb. 2 shows him still in first, but with a five-point lead on Bernie Sanders (25%/20%).

  • Tom Steyer was in third (18%).

This story has been updated with the news that Biden is leaving New Hampshire early.

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