The Democratic Party Presidential Preference Primary Election In South Carolina- 2016: The Returns
Mark Skogman Senior Reporter Spectrum 360 Media
’16 Feb. 27 Sat. 22:53
Saturday, 27 February 2016 is the day that South Carolina conducted the Democratic Party Presidential Preference Primary Election. The candidates? U. S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Former U. S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Also listed on the Democratic Party ballot were Martin O’Malley and Willie Wilson. Martin O’Malley ended his campaign weeks ago and is no longer a candidate.
The polls were open in South Carolina from 7AM to 7PM. At 7:01PM tonite, MSNBC declared Hillary Clinton as the winner of the South Carolina Democratic Party Primary election. Yes, that is correct, 7:01PM with 1% of the vote reported. As of 10:45PM, the South Carolina State Election Commission reports that Hillary Clinton has received 73.44% of the vote with 269,356 votes cast and Bernie Sanders has received 26.00% of the vote with 95,369 votes cast.
The consensus before the election with many people was that Hillary Clinton would probably win the Primary election with many African American voters supporting Clinton. African Americans comprise 27.8% of the population of South Carolina as of 2014 according to the U. S. Census Bureau.
My information based on the experiences of Bernie Sanders campaign volunteers in the Charleston area was that there were many undecided voters in the one to two weeks before the election with many voters open to voting for Bernie Sanders and that they were encountering a small number of Clinton supporters. This however was anecdotal and not in any way a scientific poll. On Fri., 12 Feb. ’16 MSNBC National Correspondent Joy Reid reported from Columbia, South Carolina that when accompanying Sanders canvassers in the field and talking to African American voters she was finding no Clinton supporters. She did concede that this experience was contradicting published poll results indicating strong support for Clinton in South Carolina.
Tonite, we found out what the reality on the ground was and it indicates that polling prior to election day was accurate and that Hillary Clinton has won the election. African Americans age 65 or over voted for 96% for Clinton and 3% for Sanders. African Americans under age 30 voted 56% for Clinton and 43% for Sanders. These figures were according to South Carolina exit polls. The delegate count as of today indicates that Clinton won 24 delegates and Sanders won 8 delegates. The total delegate counts for each candidate stand at Clinton with 93 delegates and Sanders with 60 delegates. Remember that as of this date, it is still early in the process with 2383 delegates needed for the nomination and it is still three days before the so called “Super Tuesday” states vote on Tues., 01 March.
One other thing is also certain. In looking at the voter turn out in South Carolina, there is not a single county in the state indicating a voter turn out higher than 24.31% as of this time. The 24.31% figure happened in Fairfield County in northern South Carolina. The state wide voter turnout rate was 12.51%. Senator Sanders has stated throughout his campaign that when the voter turn out is high he will win and when voter turn out is low he will lose. With this level of voter participation, the probability that he would win was low and he did lose. What will the results of Super Tuesday be? All of us will find out in three days.