The RealClear Politics RCP Average for the South Carolina Democratic Primary today has Hillary Clinton up by 27.5% over Bernie Sanders. Clinton will win South Carolina by double digits today, and it is only a media parlor game to parse by how many points. Don’t be like those idiots. It’s always about the delegate math.
The real question is what does South Carolina bode for “Super Tuesday” aka the “SEC Primary”?
The Washington Post reports, In South Carolina, will Clinton’s expected victory shift momentum?
The Democratic presidential contest has moved to South Carolina, where voters began casting their ballots Saturday in a primary that serves as two starkly different milestones for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Clinton is looking for her expected victory here to prove her strong support among African American voters — and to cement her status as the presumptive front-runner heading toward Super Tuesday three days later, when six of 11 Democratic contests will take place in Southern states with large populations of black voters.
Sanders is looking ahead to contests where he has more chance of winning — and a chance, he says, to hang onto the momentum and enthusiasm that his strong liberal message has generated in this unusual election year.
Both Clinton and Sanders are girding for a long primary fight that seemed far-fetched only a few months ago, and they spent at least part of the day outside South Carolina, as they tried to rally voters for Super Tuesday.
On Saturday morning, Clinton left South Carolina for a rally in Birmingham, Ala., but she will return to Columbia later in the day as polls close. Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, was spending the day campaigning in Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama — all Super Tuesday states. Meanwhile, her surrogates in South Carolina, including Rep. Jim Clyburn, the state’s highest-ranking Democrat, plan to fan out to polling locations across the state.
Sanders spent much of the past week campaigning in other states — and attacking Clinton on an array of issues with new gusto. On Saturday morning, he flew to Texas, one of the delegate-rich Super Tuesday states, with planned stops in Austin and Dallas. And later in the day, he will be at a rally in Rochester, Minn., another Tuesday ballot.
In an interview this week, Sanders acknowledged that South Carolina is a “hard state for us, no ifs, buts and maybes.”
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Sanders insisted that he has not written off South Carolina, despite expectations that he will lose by double digits in a red state where black voters are likely to make up a majority of the electorate in the Democratic contest Saturday.
But after a news conference Wednesday morning in this capital city, Sanders left South Carolina for a 48-hour whirlwind through Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota. He returned Friday afternoon for a final push before voting begins at 7 a.m. Saturday.
Sanders drew large, enthusiastic crowds along the way, including close to 9,000 in Tulsa, more than 7,100 in Kansas City, Mo., about 3,600 in a suburb of Cleveland and more than 6,500 in Chicago.
Sanders bristled when asked this week whether his travel schedule was a de facto acknowledgment that he cannot win here.
“We are fighting here in South Carolina as hard as we can,” he said, adding that Clinton just spent two days in California raising money. “I mean, she is not writing off the state.”
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Even Sanders’s biggest boosters in South Carolina are not defining a win as beating Clinton.
Justin T. Bamberg, one of six black South Carolina state lawmakers supporting Sanders, said that a loss by 10 to 15 percentage points would send a message that Sanders was competitive.
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Several of Sanders’s destinations this week were states with contests on Tuesday. Some hold contests later in March. Sanders’s advisers are hoping to pull off five victories in the 11 states that hold primaries or caucuses on Tuesday, all of them with relatively small black populations.
UPDATE: South Carolina results:
Hillary Clinton 73.5% 39 delegates
Bernie Sanders 26% 14 delegates
Based upon available polling, the only states where Sanders currently leads are his home state of Vermont, and a statistical tie in Massachusetts. We’ll see what happens on Tuesday.
It seems clear that Clinton will begin racking up a delegate lead on Tuesday that may prove to be insurmountable in later primaries, especially since she is the clear favorite of Democratic Superdelegates. Survey: Clinton Maintains Massive Superdelegate Lead.
Let’s take a look at the Real Clear Politics polling averages for Super Tuesday. RealClearPolitics – March 1 Democratic Primaries and Caucuses:
Alabama (60) PPP (D) 2/16/16 Clinton +28
Arkansas (37) PPP (D) 2/16/16 Clinton +28.5
Colorado (Caucus)(79) Quinnipiac 11/15 Clinton +28 (old polling)
Georgia (116) RCP Average Clinton +36.8
Massachusetts (116) RCP Average Sanders +.05 (statistical tie)
Minnesota (93) RCP Average Clinton +26 (old polling)
Oklahoma (42) RCP Average Clinton +9
Tennessee (76) RCP Average Clinton +23
Texas (252) RCP Average Clinton +26.3
Vermont (26) RCP Average Sanders +75
Virginia (110) RCP Average Clinton +19.5
Democrats Abroad (Caucus) — no available polling