Barack Obama's voters now back Hillary Clinton

Feb 29, 2016, 06:19 IST | Agencies

With the African-American voters lifting Hillary Clinton to a staggering win in South Carolina, experts believe the support could carry over to other states too

Columbia: Hillary Clinton yesterday crushed Bernie Sanders in the crucial Democratic primary in South Carolina, restoring her position as party's undisputed frontrunner as the race for the White House barrels toward key multi-state contests billed as the "Super Tuesday" showdown.

Hillary Clinton addresses a rally in South Carolina
Hillary Clinton addresses a rally in South Carolina. Pic/AFP

Clinton crushed Sanders by almost 50 per cent points, drawing huge support from the black voters who had abandoned her here eight years ago for Barack Obama. She won the support of nearly 9 in 10 of the minority African-American voters.

The victory is her strongest yet in the 2016 primary contest after she narrowly won the Iowa caucuses and was crushed by Sanders in the New Hampshire primary. She won the Nevada caucuses earlier this week by five percentage points.

Today's win gives Clinton (68) a decisive advantage ahead of the "Super Tuesday" showdown, when the Democratic Party's primary would be held in 11 states. "Tomorrow (Monday), this campaign goes national. We are going to compete for every vote in every state, we are not taking anything and not taking anyone for granted," said the former secretary of state in a victory speech at a raucous rally.

With almost all counting done, Clinton bagged a massive 73.5 per cent votes as against just 26 per cent by Sanders. Political pundits believe the massive support she received from black voters could carry over to other states next week including Alabama, Texas and Georgia. According to an MSNBC exit poll, Clinton won 87 per cent of the black votes.

She has assiduously cultivated black voters and campaigned alongside black surrogates, and visited the African-American churches and the historically black colleges.

After the win, Clinton offered a vision for America based on "love and kindness" in stark contrast to the sometimes divisive campaign led by Republican frontrunner Donald Trump. "I know it sometimes seems a little odd for someone running for president these days and in this time to say we need more love and kindness in America," she said. "But I am telling you from the bottom of my heart, we do."

In a pointed dig at him, she said: "Despite what you hear, we don't need to 'make America great again'. America has never stopped being great. But we do need to make America whole again."

"Instead of building walls, we need to be tearing down barriers. We need to show, by everything we do, that we really are in this together," Clinton said.

'Don't bet against US'

Renowned investor Warren Buffett has a message for presidential candidates lamenting the supposed decline of the country: the United States is better than ever. The billionaire stock picker waded into the campaign yesterday in an annual letter to shareholders of his holding company Berkshire Hathaway by dismissing what he called a “negative drumbeat.” “For 240 years it’s been a terrible mistake to bet against America, and now is no time to start,” he said.

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