Home English News Clinton gets much sought-after win in South Carolina, exit polls show

Clinton gets much sought-after win in South Carolina, exit polls show

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Washington (dpa) – Hillary Clinton was the projected winner of the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday over rival Bernie Sanders in the US presidential campaign.

Clinton was projected to win the US southern state by US broadcasters based on their own exit polls. Official returns were expected later Saturday.

Hillary Clinton campaigns in Columbia, South Carolina

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US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, participate in a primary eve campaign rally outside the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, South Carolina, 26 February 2016. The South Carolina Democratic presidential primary will be held on 27 February. 

The former US secretary of state had been expected to win and led Sanders by 26 points in an aggregate of 10 local polls prior to the vote, according to the website realclearpolitics.com.

African-American voters were considered the key to a Clinton victory in South Carolina, and she had a clear lead among them in pre-election polls. The population of the state is 4.8 million and about 27 per cent are black, according to the US Census Bureau.

Clinton held multiple rallies in the state during the past several days. In addition to blacks, she has made voters who belong to labour unions and women her target market.

It was Clinton’s first decisive win after effectively tying Sanders in Iowa on February 1, losing to him in New Hampshire on February 9 and defeating him 52.6 per cent to 47.3 per cent in Nevada on February 20.

There were signs Friday that Sanders had already conceded the state to Clinton. He campaigned in other states on Saturday, while Clinton was due in Columbia, the state capital, on Saturday night, according to the Post and Courier, a leading newspaper in the state.

In recent campaign stops in the state Clinton moved to connect closely with her former boss, President Barack Obama.

“I am a proud defender of President Obama. I was honoured to serve as his secretary of state. We became not just partners but friends,” she said Friday at a rally. “And I am not going to let Republicans rip away the progress we made.”

On the Republican side Donald Trump scored a commanding win in South Carolina on February 20.