News / USA

    Clinton Win Over Sanders in South Carolina Cements Front-runner Status

    Clinton Overwhelms Sanders in South Carolina Primaryi
    X
    Jim Malone
    February 28, 2016 11:43 AM
    Former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton won a major victory Saturday over rival Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina primary, solidifying her status as the Democratic Party frontrunner. Clinton benefited from huge support from African-American voters, an advantage that could carry over into several of the upcoming Super Tuesday primaries on March 1. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

    Hillary Clinton easily won the U.S. Democratic presidential primary in South Carolina on Saturday, cementing her status as front-runner in her party's race and delivering a key defeat to Bernie Sanders ahead of the crucial Super Tuesday nominating contests.

    Clinton won the backing of almost three-fourths of Democrats who went to the polls in the first Southern state to vote during the presidential candidate nominating season.

    The result was never really in doubt. The only question was whether Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, could narrow what was nearly a 30-percentage-point deficit in recent opinion polls.

    The Sanders campaign quickly released a statement from the candidate congratulating Clinton on her victory. 

    "Tomorrow, this campaign goes national," Clinton told cheering supporters at a primary evening rally here.

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks to supporters after her victory in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary in Columbia, Feb. 27, 2016. (W. Gallo/VOA)
    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton talks to supporters after her victory in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary in Columbia, Feb. 27, 2016. (W. Gallo/VOA)

    Clinton has now won or tied in three of the first four contests in the Democratic nominee selection process and has significant leads in opinion polls in many of the states set to vote next Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters at a Minnesota airport, Sanders said, "In politics on a given night, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Tonight we lost.'' Before addressing a rally in Rochester, Minnesota, where voters will decide between the two Tuesday, Sanders spoke of 11 contests in three days: "We intend to win many, many of them.''

    The South Carolina victory was notable in that it suggests Clinton’s popularity remains strong among minorities, said Jim Guth, a political science professor at Furman University in Greenville.

    “It certainly means she has solidified her pre-existing support, especially among African-Americans, who are a very large part of the primary constituency here,” Guth said.

    Sanders looks ahead

    Sanders had all but given up on winning South Carolina and focused instead on states voting Tuesday.

    "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," Sanders said in his written statement Saturday evening. "Now it's on to Super Tuesday."

    Nearly a quarter of the Democratic delegates will be up for grabs in the Super Tuesday voting on March 1. Voters in 11 states will pick delegates for each of the two political party nominating conventions, making Tuesday the most important day for Republicans as well as Democrats.

    Albert Gates places a sticker on his chest after voting in the South Carolina Democratic primary at a polling place at Sanders Middle School in Columbia, S.C., Feb. 27, 2016.
    Albert Gates places a sticker on his chest after voting in the South Carolina Democratic primary at a polling place at Sanders Middle School in Columbia, S.C., Feb. 27, 2016.

    In her victory speech, Clinton took on front-running Republican Donald Trump, who has said he will make America "great again."

    "America has never stopped being great,'' Clinton said, adding that the country needed to be made "whole again."

    Speaking earlier Saturday to a large crowd in Austin, Texas, Sanders also spoke of the Republican billionaire businessman.

    “We will defeat Trump,” Sanders said. “The American people do not want a president who insults Mexicans, Muslims, women, African-Americans, veterans, and basically anyone who isn’t just like him.”

    Sanders, who draws the bulk of his support from younger voters and whites, now faces an uphill battle, after losing two consecutive states to Clinton.

    “He has to do more than break even when it comes to winning delegates from this point on, and that seems unlikely, especially if he can’t increase the size of his electoral constituency," Guth said.

    Low turnout

    One bright spot for Sanders was the relatively small number of voters who showed up at polling places Saturday in South Carolina, raising the question of whether Clinton can energize her core supporters.

    One of those voters was Columbia resident Evelyn Boyd, who cast a ballot for Clinton.

    “She stands up for the rights of the people. She is not afraid of the foreign governments, because she has worked with them,” Boyd said.

    Edward Suhy, a waiter and bartender who lives in Columbia, supported Sanders.

    “He seems to actually care about people, and I think he has got a really good heart. I am just sick of the status quo every single year,” Suhy said.

    Former U.S. President Bill Clinton campaigns for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as she rallies with supporters at an outdoor plaza in Columbia, South Carolina, Feb. 26, 2016.
    Former U.S. President Bill Clinton campaigns for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as she rallies with supporters at an outdoor plaza in Columbia, South Carolina, Feb. 26, 2016.

    Despite the low turnout, Clinton’s campaign has reason to be optimistic, according to David Woodard, who teaches political science at Clemson University.

    “I think most everybody will forget all that when she finally has a big win like this in a Southern state,” Woodard said. “I think that all adds up for her.”

    Woodard, who is also a Republican political consultant, said Clinton would like to soon focus on her likely Republican opponent in the general election.

    “I think she’d rather face Trump, and I think she might,” said Woodard. “I think [Florida Senator Marco] Rubio is a more formidable opponent, but I also think he has a harder way to get there.”

    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane, listen as Guy Forsyth performs "This Land Is Your Land" at a campaign rally in Austin, Texas, Feb. 27, 2016.
    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife, Jane, listen as Guy Forsyth performs "This Land Is Your Land" at a campaign rally in Austin, Texas, Feb. 27, 2016.

    Republican race intensifies

    Rubio and Trump spent Saturday exchanging fierce personal insults, underscoring the extent to which the Republican race has turned into a political street fight.

    At a rally in Atlanta, Georgia, Rubio mocked Trump, saying the ex-reality television star has the “worst spray tan in America.”

    “Donald Trump likes to sue people. He should sue whoever did that to his face,” Rubio said, drawing laughs from the crowd.

    Trump held a rally in Arkansas with Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor who dropped out of the presidential race and endorsed Trump this week.

    The New York businessman repeatedly belittled Rubio, saying he has a “fresh mouth” and is a “light little nothing.”

    “He’s a very nasty guy,” Trump said of Rubio. “I actually thought [Texas Senator] Ted Cruz was a liar, but Rubio is worse.”

    Trump is leading the polls in almost all of the 11 states set to vote Tuesday. A major victory in those states would mean he is all but certain to gather enough delegates to clinch the nomination, although Cruz leads among Republicans in his home state of Texas, the largest prize on Super Tuesday.

    WATCH: South Carolina Democrats Discuss Presidential Preferences

    South Carolina Democrats Discuss Presidential Preferencesi
    X
    Aru Pande
    February 28, 2016 1:30 AM
    South Carolina Democrats talk about whom they're supporting for president and why.

    You May Like

    In Britain, The Sun Still Doesn’t Shine

    Invoking Spitfires and Merlin, Leave voters insist country can be great again, following surprising 'Brexit' vote last week

    Double Wave of Suicide Bombings Puts Lebanon, Refugees on Edge

    Following suicide bombings in Christian town of Al-Qaa, on Lebanon's northeast border with Syria, fears of further bombings have risen

    US Senators Warned on Zika After Failing to Pass Funding

    Zika threats and challenges, as well as issues of contraception and vaccines, spelled out as lawmakers point fingers

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Simon
    March 04, 2016 1:41 AM
    How many people actually vote in S.A?

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    February 28, 2016 5:14 PM
    Would African Americans be so supportive of Hillary Clinton if they knew she championed "three strikes and you're out?" A highly disproportionate number of African Americans are in prison, many for the rest of their lives as the result of her doing. She and her husband are no true friends of African Americans.

    What African Americans want and need are good jobs and good education. That's their ticket into the mainstream. Hillary Clinton and her husband helped large corporations export many of the jobs African Americans could have had if their welfare had taken precedence over the large corporate donors to the Clintons who wanted to export them to cheap labor markets where pay is next to nothing, workers have no rights, and you can pollute the environment until it is too poisoned to live in.

    by: Solaris
    February 28, 2016 11:59 AM
    A Clinton presidency will not only destroy the US but the whole world. You ask why? because she is not only untruthful but also a hypocrite : lets imagine a wall street irregular than this and more powerful than a relenless drunk with a sharp dagger in his hand.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    February 28, 2016 8:48 AM
    If even part of what is written in Roger Stone's book "The Clinton's War on Women" proves true and is well publicized, I don't think Hillary Clinton will be able to win the general election in November. The accusations of breaches of national security is only one of her problems. There's plenty more to come out about the Clinton Foundation as well. Hillary Clinton represents the very "establishment" voters are rebelling against.

    by: Elman
    February 28, 2016 8:12 AM
    Lady Clinton, fight for Great USA :)

    by: PermReader
    February 28, 2016 7:25 AM
    The tactics of the two envestigators ( one is Jewish socialist ) works at last, and the Dems establishment ,and lured Media are openly happy.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeasti
    X
    June 29, 2016 6:15 PM
    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora