Hillary Clinton demolished socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders in the South Carolina primary on Saturday. While Clinton’s victory was expected, the magnitude of her landslide was suprising. Clinton beat Sanders by around a 50-point margin.
Clinton’s landslide was fueled by almost universal support from the state’s large African-American population. Clinton captured 87 percent of the black vote, nine points higher than Barack Obama won in the 2008 primary in South Carolina. In that election, Obama won 78 percent of the black vote.
Black voters also made up a far larger share of the primary vote on Saturday than they did in 2008. This year, 61 percent of Democrat primary voters were black. In 2008, 55 percent were black.
Hillary Clinton managed to pull off something fairly remarkable. She not only increased over Obama the share of blacks voting, she won more of their support than he did.
Clinton did even better among black women. She won the support of 89 percent of black women voting in South Carolina. Her level of support was 12 points higher than Obama won in 2008. Again, black women made up a larger share of the vote this year than in 2008.
Candidates running unopposed often don’t secure this level of support from major voting blocks.
Bernie Sanders managed to win voters younger than 30, but by just eight points. Sanders also won the support of white men, but they only made up 14 percent of the electorate. Sanders also won, by 25 points, voters who participated in their first Democrat primary. These voters only made up 13 percent of the electorate, though.
If the results in South Carolina extrapolate to other states in the South on Super Tuesday, Clinton can expect to run the tables in the “SEC primary.” Even if black voters make up a smaller share of the electorate in other southern states, Sanders simply can’t overcome its monolithic support for Clinton.