— -- Hillary Clinton is now in firm command of the Democratic race for president after a loud statement of a victory in South Carolina.
Clinton leaves the state with a growing delegate lead that she is increasingly unlikely to ever surrender. Bernie Sanders leaves with neither momentum nor math on his side, and without a clear path to capturing the nomination.
“Tomorrow, this campaign goes national,” Clinton said tonight in her victory speech.
Indeed, she’s better positioned for a national campaign. She also has a regional advantage that’s likely to become evident on Super Tuesday, where seven of the 11 states with Democratic contests are in the South.
The first four contests give Clinton three wins and one lopsided loss. They also answer some of the broadest questions about her ability to turn out Barack Obama’s old base – answers that are starting to break in Clinton’s favor.
African-American voters constituted a larger share of the electorate in South Carolina this year than they did in 2008, despite the obvious historic nature of Obama’s candidacy. Clinton carried black voters by more than 70 percentage points on Saturday, a week after winning African-Americans in Nevada by north of 50 points.