Hillary Clinton on the trail
Hillary Clinton speaking at Pannaway Manor in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

As expect­ed, it took only a few sec­onds fol­low­ing the clos­ing of polls in South Car­oli­na for cable and broad­cast news net­works to project that Hillary Clin­ton had won. Though the actu­al num­bers are still trick­ling in, it looks like Clin­ton has scored an impres­sive vic­to­ry. Present­ly, she has around four-fifths of the vote.

South Car­oli­na Demo­c­ra­t­ic Primary
13 of 2240 Precincts Report­ing — 1%
Hillary Clin­ton9,74780%
Bernie Sanders2,43720%
Mar­tin O’Malley370%
Willie Wil­son370%

Clin­ton declared vic­to­ry immediately.

“To South Car­oli­na, to the vol­un­teers at the heart of our cam­paign, to the sup­port­ers who pow­er it: thank you. ‑H,” she tweet­ed.

Sanders, mean­while, wast­ed no time con­ced­ing defeat.

“I con­grat­u­late Hillary Clin­ton on her vic­to­ry in South Car­oli­na,” he said in a state­ment. “Let me be clear on one thing tonight. This cam­paign is just begin­ning. We won a deci­sive vic­to­ry in New Hamp­shire. She won a deci­sive vic­to­ry in South Car­oli­na. Now it’s on to Super Tues­day. Our grass­roots polit­i­cal rev­o­lu­tion is grow­ing state by state, and we won’t stop now.”

Exit polling paid for by mass media out­lets sug­gest that Clin­ton did extra­or­di­nar­i­ly well with black vot­ers, account­ing for her large mar­gins so far.

Sanders did bet­ter with younger vot­ers and white vot­ers, but still lost those demo­graph­ic groups to Clin­ton. He will wind up with a few del­e­gates from South Car­oli­na, but Clin­ton will have a supermajority.

Clin­ton arrived at her vic­to­ry par­ty in high spirits.

Beam­ing, she said: “I am so great­ly appre­cia­tive… Today, you sent a mes­sage. When we stand togeth­er, there is no bar­ri­er too big to break.”

“We are not tak­ing any­thing, or any­body, for grant­ed,” she added, say­ing the time had come to “take the cam­paign national.”

Eight years ago, South Car­oli­na gave Barack Oba­ma a big vic­to­ry in the 2008 Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial con­test, after Clin­ton had beat­en him in New Hamp­shire. This time around, Clin­ton lost New Hamp­shire, but won in South Car­oli­na. That’s a trade her cam­paign can live with, espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing that South Car­oli­na has more del­e­gates at stake than either Iowa, New Hamp­shire, or Nevada.

UPDATE, 6:04 PM: It’s a shel­lack­ing, no question.

South Car­oli­na Demo­c­ra­t­ic Primary
1975 of 2240 Precincts Report­ing — 88%
NameVotesVote %
Hillary Clin­ton232,71174%
Bernie Sanders81,03326%
Willie Wil­son1,2340%
Mar­tin O’Malley6490%

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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