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South Carolina Looms Large

South Carolina Looms Large
Trump seems likely to take New Hampshire. South Carolina is next in line. (AP)

By Tuesday, 09 February 2016 08:00 AM Current | Bio | Archive

As final polls show Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders likely winners in the New Hampshire primaries, speculation is rampant over the next target: South Carolina.

According to the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, Trump leads Texas Sen. Ted Cruz by a healthy margin of 36 to 20 percent. The same poll showed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 14 percent, Jeb Bush 9 percent, and Dr. Ben Carson 8 percent.

Republicans will hold South Carolina's primary on Feb. 20 and Democrats will select their national convention delegates on Feb. 27.

The “Trump effect” is particularly noteworthy in South Carolina, as it is one of the few states in which the controversial contender has active support from established Republican figures.

Two weeks ago, Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster became the highest elected official in the nation to endorse Trump for president.

The co-chairman of Trump’s campaign in the Palmetto State is former State Sen. John Russell, son of the late Democratic Gov. and Sen. Donald Russell, and Trump’s senior adviser in the state is Ed McMullen, veteran conservative activist and former president of the South Carolina Policy Council.

Among Democrats, the latest CBS/YouGov poll showed Hillary Clinton leading Bernie Sanders in South Carolina by a margin of 60 to 38 percent. These results were especially heartening to Sanders because they were the best showing the Vermont senator and self-styled “Democratic socialist” has managed against Clinton in South Carolina.

Last fall, virtually every poll of South Carolina gave the former secretary of state a 40-point lead over Sanders. His improved showing in the poll was in large part due to his increased strength among black voters. Where CBS/YouGov showed Clinton leading Sanders among black voters in the state by a margin of 82 to 14 percent, the latest poll found that the margin for Clinton had tightened — 76 to 22 percent.

In 2008, Barack Obama demolished Clinton by a margin of 55 percent to 28.5 percent in the South Carolina primary. In highly controversial remarks at the time that were considered racially insensitive, Bill Clinton reminded voters that the Rev. Jesse Jackson also won the state’s primary when he ran for president in 1988.

Amid widespread criticism of the former president among black Democratic leaders, Hillary Clinton told reporters: “If anyone was offended by anything that was said, whether it was meant or not, whether it was misinterpreted or not, then obviously I regret that."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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As final polls show Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders likely winners in the New Hampshire primaries, speculation is rampant over the next target: South Carolina.
trump, hillary, south carolina
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 08:00 AM
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