No big surprise Saturday as Hillary Clinton cruised to an overwhelming victory against Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina primary.
The win was reaffirming, but the percentages are what sent ripples across the fields of both parties. Clinton secured 73 percent of the vote to 26 percent for Sanders.
She almost won by 50 points! It’s unheard of to win contested elections by that kind of majority.
Most telling was Clinton garnered 84 percent of the African-American vote, which makes up 62 percent of the Democratic electorate in the Palmetto State.
Sanders cannot compete if Clinton receives anywhere near this level of support from minority voters. Nor is any Republican candidate likely to be able to hang with Hillary if African-American, Latino and other minorities, along with a vast majority of female voters, all join the Democrat’s cause.
The Nevada victory served to correct the course of the Clinton campaign, and illuminated a voting pattern that Sanders could not overcome. South Carolina validated Clinton’s message and launched Hillary into Super Tuesday, where she could essentially lock up the nomination.
This is a shocking development in a short period of time. Going into Nevada, polling had Sanders near even with Clinton, and it appeared he could have a pathway to the Democratic nomination, or at least would contest it deep into the spring.
Now it feels like Clinton has nearly wrapped up the nomination. Sanders has been relegated to campaigning in states like Minnesota, where the population is majority white.
The delegate count between Clinton and Sanders was roughly even, but they start coming in droves on Tuesday. If you factor in the pledged super delegates, Clinton now is up 543 to 85.
“Despite what you hear, we don’t need to make America great again. America never stopped being great,” Clinton said. “But, we do need to make America whole again. Instead of building walls, we need to be tearing down barriers.”
That is a powerful message of inclusion. Beyond concern the Sanders campaign must have, all Republican candidates and supporters best be taking notice of the surge behind the Clinton campaign.
Super Tuesday is tomorrow and Hillary is amped to take this fight nationwide.