South Carolina Democratic Primary – What to expect

February 27, 2016
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The state of South Carolina is holding its Democratic primary today and while the stakes are high for both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the two candidates have taken very different approaches to the race for the Palmetto State nomination.

Bernie Sanders must deliver a great speech

While the former First Lady is hard on the campaign trail together with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, Senator Sanders is not in South Carolina at all, choosing instead to campaign in the Northern states, where he has better odds of winning.

The candidates are entering this Democratic primary with very different situations. After being defeated in Nevada, it may have come to light that Senator Sanders has not yet managed to garner the support of other ethnic groups.

New Hampshire, the state where he has won his first and only victory up-to-date, is regarded as a “white” state. The loss in Nevada has also canceled a good portion of the momentum his campaign had gained after the victory in New Hampshire and the almost-tie in Iowa. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand seems to be the favorite among African Americans.

The past can affect Hillary Clinton once again

This is confirmed by Congressman Jim Clyburn’s endorsement of the former First Lady. It is also a statement that whatever issues black voters may have had with the Clinton family, following the former President’s outbursts during the 2008 campaign, have now been put to rest. But it has not been just smooth sailing for Hillary Clinton as she has tried to reach out to black voters.

Her labeling of troubled young African Americans as “super predators” in a speech she gave as First Lady has come back to haunt her, with one Black Lives Matter activist confronting her in South Carolina about her choice of words.

The Democratic front-runner starts as favorite

What exactly is at stake in the Democratic primary of South Carolina? Hillary Clinton’s win here will give her several more delegates increasing the lead she currently has over Bernie Sanders. But her win would have more of a symbolic value, as it would massively reduce any momentum that Bernie Sanders may have left.

Other than this, there is really not much to gain for her, as she already starts out as the favorite among African Americans. For Bernie Sanders, winning South Carolina would require a miracle. This is probably the reason why he has moved on to campaign further north. His interest in South Carolina lies more towards keeping as close as possible behind Hillary. Such an outcome would prove that he actually has the ability to garner the support of minorities, as well.

So far, he is a favorite of young voters, male voters and white voters, as indicated by CNN. The odds of Super Tuesday are not massively in favor of Sanders, but then again, the South isn’t really the battleground of choice for the socialist Senator of Vermont. The best he can do in the remaining Southern states is to keep as close to Hillary as he can in the poles. Staying on this path will mean a good amount of momentum as he moves into the Northern states where he will be the favorite.

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