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Clinton wins in South Carolina primary: Clemson community comments on candidate’s success

In Saturdays primaries, Clinton clinches a big win against Bernie Sanders in hopes to secure the Democratic nomination.
Courtesy of pennstatenews/Flickr

In Saturday’s primaries, Clinton clinches a big win against Bernie Sanders in hopes to secure the Democratic nomination.

The results of this Saturday’s Democratic primary provided Hilary Clinton a much-needed victory over fellow candidate Bernie Sanders.

In sharp contrast to the past three Democratic primaries — the narrow Clinton victory in in the Iowa caucus, the huge loss to Sanders in New Hampshire and the close Clinton victory in the Nevada caucus—South Carolina has proven to be the first major win for the former secretary of state, and could potentially change the democratic nomination. Clinton has now captured three of the first four democratic primaries and seems to be just getting started.

The former first lady and secretary of state beat opponent Bernie Sanders with a margin 73.5 percent to 26 percent, and came out ahead by more than 174,000 votes. Her victory, driven by her foothold on 80 percent of the African American vote, proved her advantage had much to do with her appeal to the minority population — the same appeal that Sanders seems to lack. In fact, the African American support for Clinton in this Saturday’s primary surpassed Senator Obama’s 78 percent in 2008. 

But for Clinton’s strong advantage in the minority sector, Sanders’s “secret weapon” is the young vote. The Vermont senator won 63 percent of votes among Iowans under the age of 35, and in Pickens County, the county in which Clemson University students cash their ballot, Clinton beat Sanders by only 11.4 percent — a 55.4 percent to Sanders’s 44.1 percent.

Professor of Political Science and author of “The New Southern Politics,” Dr. David Woodward, credited Clinton’s win to the minority vote, claiming that 65 percent  of those who voted in the Democratic primary were African-American. He stated that Clinton may have come away with the Democratic win, but it was clear that the majority of Clemson student values weren’t connected with Clinton’s own policies, nor with democratic policies at all. 

“We can clearly see that Clinton’s values do not reflect that of our own students. Our campus is mostly conservative … but I can see how people would prefer Clinton over Sanders. She’s a public figure and not a socialist.”

In terms of Clinton winning the democratic nomination, Woodward predicts her success will depend on the republican nomination — “If it’s Trump verses Clinton, Clinton will win. If it’s Clinton verses Rubio, Rubio will win.”

However, Clemson’s Sanders supporters still have hope for their candidate. Will Bar To’oma, senior philosophy major, explained that the election still has a long way to go, saying, “I wish Bernie had won, but we still have 46 states to go before the general election. There’s still a good chance for him to win enough delegates to be the nominee if other states, less conservative than South Carolina, for him.”

Eleven of those 46 states will host their primaries this Tuesday, Super Tuesday. The results will prove further which Democratic candidate has what it takes to win the nomination.

As for candidate Hilary Clinton, the recent South Carolina victory seems to have given her just the fuel she needed to feel confident about keeping her spot in front of Sanders. 

“Tomorrow, we are taking this campaign nation,” said Clinton in her victory speech. 

“We are going to compete for every vote in every state — we are not taking anything or anyone for granted.”

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