Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the South Carolina primary Saturday, trouncing rival Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who left to state before voting ended.
With 49 percent of the vote counted, Clinton received 74.4 percent of the overall support, compared to Sanders’ 24.9 percent, reports CNN.
The projection came just minutes after election polls closed at 7 p.m. ET in the state where Black voters made up six in 10 primary voters. The campaign hopes to translate the victory into another win next week on Super Tuesday, as the race goes national in 11 early voting states.
Clinton, who entered the stage at a campaign rally to Rachel Platten‘s “Fight Song,” delivered a powerful and ecumenical speech that made several subtle references to Republican front-runner Donald Trump, whom her campaign expects to receive his party’s nomination.
“Today you sent a message: In America, when we stand together, there is no barrier too big to break,” she said.
“We don’t need to make America great again,” Clinton continued. “America never stopped being great. But we do need to make America whole again.”
Her campaign tweeted highlights of the speech:
"Our country was built by people who had each other’s backs. Who understood that, at our best, we all rise together." —Hillary in SC
The victory in South Carolina will allow Clinton to re-claim the psychic mantle of “front-runner,” for better or worse, and to add to her lead in Democratic delegates. Clinton’s advantage among delegates stood at 505 to 71 before Saturday’s primary, primarily due to her advantage among “superdelegates,” the elected officials and other top Democrats who get their own vote at the Democratic convention, along with the thousands of delegates chosen through state primaries and caucuses. The eventual nominee will need 2,383 delegates in all.
Sanders, expecting defeat on Saturday, left the state even before voting was finished and turned his attention to some of the states that vote in next Tuesday’s delegate-rich contests. In a statement, Sanders vowed to fight on aggressively.
“This campaign is just beginning,” he said. “Our grass-roots political revolution is growing state by state, and we won’t stop now.”
Clinton’s victory came at the end of a day that saw Republican candidates firing insults at each other from Super Tuesday states. Donald Trump, working to build an insurmountable lead, was campaigning in Arkansas with former rival Chris Christie and calling Marco Rubio a “light little nothing;” Ted Cruz was asking parents in Atlanta if they would be pleased if their children spouted profanities like the brash billionaire, and Rubio was mocking Trump as a “con artist” with “the worst spray tan in America.”
Check back for more developments to this breaking news story.
SOURCE: The Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO CREDIT: Washington Post