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While the results of South Carolina's Democratic presidential primary will ultimately be decided by rank-and-file voters, the candidates have separately been engaged in a yearlong battle to cultivate influential local officials in hopes of adding their imprimatur to the campaigns — and with it, ideally, the votes of their constituents.

The clipboard-wielding volunteers greeting attendees at campaign rallies, the emails asking for signatures on a candidate's birthday card and the canvassers knocking on doors are all after the same thing: more information from you to refine the campaign's outreach.

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