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Former Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg greets supporters on Feb. 28. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The first southern U.S. state is picking a 2020 Democratic presidential nominee on Saturday, as South Carolina voters line up at polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST.

Why it matters, via Axios' Fadel Allassan: 61% of South Carolina's Democrats are black, and Saturday's primary is the first major test of African-American support for the candidates.

Pete Buttigieg attends a canvass kick-off event in Columbia, South Carolina on Feb. 29. Photo: Reuters/Eric Thayer
People walk past a polling station on Feb. 29 in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
A woman checks in with a poll worker before joining other voters at Mary Ford Elementary School in North Charleston, South Carolina on Feb. 29. Photo: Joshua Lott/AFP via Getty Images
A campaign event for former Vice President Joe Biden at Wofford University on Feb. 28. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
A couple watch President Trump in an overflow lot during his Feb. 28 Keep America Great rally in North Charleston, South Carolina. Photo: Joshua Lott/AFP via Getty Images
A voter exits a polling station at Mary Ford Elementary School in North Charleston, South Carolina, on Feb. 29. Photo: Joshua Lott/AFP via Getty Images
Voters on Feb. 29 in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Voters on Feb. 29 in Columbia, South Carolina. Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images
A voter at the Charleston County Housing and Redevelopment Authority in Charleston, South Carolina on Feb. 29. Photo: Joshua Lott/AFP via Getty Images
Voters at the Charleston County Housing and Redevelopment Authority in Charleston, South Carolina on Feb. 29. Photo: Joshua Lott/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper: Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's U.S.-China transformation

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump began his term by launching the trade war with China he had promised on the campaign trail. By mid-2020, however, Trump was no longer the public face of China policy-making as he became increasingly consumed with domestic troubles, giving his top aides carte blanche to pursue a cascade of tough-on-China policies.

Why it matters: Trump alone did not reshape the China relationship. But his trade war shattered global norms, paving the way for administration officials to pursue policies that just a few years earlier would have been unthinkable.

McConnell: Trump "provoked" Capitol mob

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was "provoked by the president and other powerful people."

Why it matters: Trump was impeached by the House last week for "incitement of insurrection." McConnell has not said how he will vote in Trump's coming Senate impeachment trial, but sources told Axios' Mike Allen that the chances of him voting to convict are higher than 50%.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP leaders skip Trump sendoff in favor of church with Biden

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in July. Photo by Erin Scott-Pool/Getty Images

Congressional leaders, including House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, will skip President Trump's departure ceremony in Maryland tomorrow morning in favor of attending mass with incoming President Joe Biden ahead of his inauguration, congressional sources familiar with their plans tell Axios.

Why it matters: Their decision is a clear sign of unity before Biden takes the oath of office.