Who is Jason Palmer? Democrat delivers Biden's 1st primary loss in American Samoa

Jason Palmer is pictured in a media-provided image from his campaign. (Credit: Palmer for President)

A relatively unknown presidential candidate delivered President Joe Biden his first 2024 defeat in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday in the U.S. territory of American Samoa. 

Jason Palmer, a self-described entrepreneur and investor, won American Samoa's caucuses. Out of 91 ballots cast in the territory's caucus, Palmer won 51 and Biden won 40, according to the local party.

He won having never visited the territory before the caucus. 

"I found out that I had won because my phone started blowing up with friends and campaign staffers texting me," Palmer, 52, told the Associated Press late on Tuesday. 

The outcome will hardly derail Biden’s march toward his party’s nomination. On Super Tuesday, specifically, Biden swept every Democratic contest except for American Samoa.

And only six delegates were at stake in the U.S. territory, a tiny collection of islands in the South Pacific with fewer than 50,000 residents. Palmer and Biden each earned three delegates from the race.

"I have been campaigning remotely, doing Zoom town halls, talking to people, listening to them about their concerns and what matters to them," Palmer said.

On the day before the caucus, Palmer posted on X that "Washington D.C. is long overdue for a president who will be an advocate for American Samoa." His account includes pictures of young people holding homemade campaign signs.

Residents of U.S. territories vote in primaries but do not have representation in the Electoral College.

American Samoa has been the site of quixotic victories before. During the 2020 Democratic primaries, billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s only win came in the territory.

Who is Jason Palmer? 

Palmer describes himself on his campaign website as a resident of Baltimore, Maryland, with leadership and executive experience working for companies like Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among others. 

According to Palmer, he also has 25 years of small business experience in addition to his executive-level experience.

He said voters want "someone who is more of the 21st century than Joe Biden" to serve as president.

Palmer has loaned his campaign more than $500,000 of his own money, according to campaign finance records.

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

The Associated Press and FOX News contributed to this report. It was reported from Cincinnati.