Clinton deals strong blow to Bernie Sanders momentum

Following a narrow win in Iowa and a major loss in New Hampshire and a close victory in Nevada, Hillary Clinton destroyed Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina primary on Saturday. Clinton took 39 delegates in South Carolina leaving 14 delegates for Senator Bernie Sanders. The crushing defeat puts Clinton back in the driver’s seat for the Democrat nomination as Sanders fared poorly among African-American voters.

Eight years ago, Barack Obama’s landslide victory in South Carolina gave him a lead in pledged delegates that he never relinquished, although Clinton would win some states and stay in the race until after the primaries ended in June. Sanders and Clinton will fight in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia. The Associated Press calculated that Clinton would win at least 31 of South Carolina’s 53 convention delegates; Sanders would win at least 12. Nationwide, she has a huge lead among the so-called superdelegates, elected officials and party leaders in the Democratic establishment.  Clinton led by a huge margin, 73.5% to 26%, and was ahead by a staggering 174,000 votes.

Clinton’s victory slows down Sanders momentum as she has failed to build on the triumph to prove he can connect with the Democrat’s crucial bloc of minority voters. Clinton won more than 80% of South Carolina’s African-American voters. Clinton’s victory speech included several racial themes as she targeted violence against black youths and attacked authorities in Michigan over the water scandal.

We also have to face the reality of systemic racism that more than half a century after Rosa Parks sat, and Dr. King marched and John Lewis bled, still plays a significant role in determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind.”

As Sanders arrived in Minnesota he acknowledged that you don’t always win.

Tonight we lost. I congratulate Secretary Clinton on her very strong victory. Tuesday, over 800 delegates are at stake and we intend to win many, many of them.”

Sanders spent less time in the state than Clinton, but made a late run there on Friday, taking aim at her positions on trade and relationship with Wall Street. He also highlighted his opposition to the death penalty, saying its use had been responsible for the taking of innocent lives, including those of people of color.

Voters are still concerned about Clinton’s honesty and trustworthiness, according to exit polls. Nearly 4 in 10 disagreed while most white voters said Clinton could be trusted. Clinton is now primed for Super Tuesday, an 11-state Democratic matchup that includes a sweep of Clinton-friendly country in the Deep South.

 

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