Has ′The Bern′ burnt out? Hillary Rodham Clinton won the Democratic Party South Carolina primary in a landslide. She beat Bernie Sanders by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, getting about 73% of the vote to Bernie′s 26%. About 2 out of 3 Palmetto State voters yesterday were African-American, of which, Hillary Clinton won around 80%. While absentee ballots were slightly higher than in 2008, overall voter turnout was substantially lower, about 370,000, down some 175,000 from ′08. In contrast, last weekend′s GOP primary in South Carolina was a record high, over 740,000, up by more than 300,000 votes. South Carloina has some 3 million registered voters in total.
Despite an initial valiant effort, the Bernie Sanders campaign conceded South Carolina late in the week. Sanders left the state early and began campaigning in Texas and Minnesota for next week′s SEC Super Tuesday contests. Hillary Clinton is expected to win most of those, though Sanders is expected to win in Massachusetts and his home state of Vermont. Bernie is also campaigning hard in Minnesota and Colorado where he may do well, and hopes to deny Clinton a big win in Texas.
Needless to say, Team Hillary owes yesterday′s victory to her party machinery and to the Black vote. South Carolina was always her ′firewall′ in the event of Sanders having upset wins in Iowa and Nevada. Clinton took nothing for granted this time around, after being destroyed in the Palmetto State by Barack Obama in 2008. She had to win the state and by a large margin to set the tone for the rest of the fights ahead.
That Bernie Sanders managed to get 26% of the vote matches exit polling data showing that about that many Democrats want an ′honest′ candidate. The trust factor is still a sore one for Hillary Rodham Clinton, even in South Carolina. But, after last night′s Democratic Party primary, it would appear that nothing can stop Hillary Clinton now from winning the Democrat nomination other than the FBI. Should they recommend to the Justice Department to indict Hillary Clinton, that would be a disaster for her and the DNC.