Clinton trounces Sanders in South Carolina

Ron Kampeas

Hillary Clinton greeting supporters at a caucus day event as her husband, former President Bill Clinton, looks on at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, Feb. 20, 2016. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton greeting supporters at a caucus day event as her husband, former President Bill Clinton, looks on at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, Feb. 20, 2016. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Hillary Rodham Clinton swept to victory in South Carolina, the fourth early nominating state for Democrats, making it harder for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to pave his way to the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton led Sanders by almost 50 percentage points, 73.5 percent to 26 percent, in primary voting on Saturday in a state where there was high African American turnout.

Favorability among blacks is likely to favor Clinton as the candidates head into March 1 primaries voting, or Super Tuesday, when 11 states run contests for Democrats. Eight of the states are in the South, where blacks are likely once again to be a substantial portion of the turn-out. Sanders has failed to make the inroads among minorities necessary to overtake Clinton.

“Tomorrow, this campaign goes national,” Clinton said in her victory speech.

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Victories on Tuesday may propel back to inevitability Clinton, the former secretary of state thought to be the front-runner but who has faced a surprisingly strong challenge from Sanders, the first Jewish candidate to win a primary. Sanders was thought to have dented Clinton’s chances when he won earlier this month decisively in New Hampshire and drew her to a tie in Iowa. She defeated him in Nevada.

Republicans vote in 13 states on Tuesday, and the four challengers to Donald Trump, the real estate billionaire who is leading in the polls and has won three of the four early states so far, may face pressures to drop out if they cannot steal some of Trump’s thunder. Sen. Ted. Cruz has suggested he will leave the race if he fails to win his home state of Texas, which is in contention on the day.

Trump, meanwhile, appears to be sensitive to the barrage of attacks his rivals have unleashed on him in recent days as it appears likelier he will win the nomination. In the last debate before the Tuesday contest, on Feb. 25 in Houston, all four rivals lambasted Trump for saying he would be neutral in brokering Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Trump on Saturday posted on Twitter a photo from 2004, when he was Grand Marshall in the Salute to Israel parade in New York.

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