Hillary Clinton won the South Carolina Democratic primary handily on Saturday, according to multiple news outlets, which called the race as soon as the polls closed. Just days before Super Tuesday, her win underscores what many pundits have been saying all along—despite her opponent Bernie Sanders’ surprise success in early states, Clinton still holds critical sway among Southern black voters.
At the stroke of 7pm… pic.twitter.com/jCcI2LK8Nm
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) 28 February 2016
According to preliminary exit polls, more than 60 percent of South Carolina primary voters were black; an astounding 84 percent of them voted for Clinton. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have long been popular among black voters, while Sanders has struggled to make his message resonate in the state.
And we have full exit polls:
60% of electorate are women: Clinton with 74%
62% black: Clinton won with 84%
39% black women: Clinton 86%
— Dr. Michael Bitzer (@CatawbaPolitics) February 28, 2016
Clinton worked hard to consolidate her support in the lead-up to the primary, traveling to far-flung corners of the state and deploying Bill Clinton for good measure. Sanders, by contrast, appeared to be looking ahead to primaries in other states.
The real test for both campaigns comes Tuesday, when 11 states, American Samoa, and Democrats abroad will all vote on their choice for the Democratic nomination.
This story has been updated.