Donald Trump emerged victorious from the South Carolina Republican Primary on Saturday by a large margin, edging out other GOP candidates Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz with roughly a third of all votes cast. The primary itself was a clean sweep, with Trump taking all 50 South Carolina delegates. Trump now takes a commanding 33 percent lead in GOP primaries, with Rubio and Cruz battling for second place.
As previously reported,Trump’s win came concurrent with Jeb Bush’s dropping out of the Presidential race entirely. Trump mocked former Pres. George W. Bush for participating in his brother’s campaign. Trump now emerges a favorite to represent the Republican party with two consecutive primary wins, already having won in New Hampshire on Feb. 9.
Trump’s victory was, unsurprisingly, bracketed by notable incidents on his campaign trail. The billionaire directed shots at both George W. Bush and Pope Francis, and regaled an audience with a tale of United States soldiers having defiled Muslim corpses in the Philippines.
Trump referred to the primary race as both “mean” and “vicious,” but stated that his final victory in South Carolina was “beautiful.” Trump spoke in front of a booming crowd of supporters in Spartanburg after the win, looking ahead to March’s primaries and repeating his promise to “make America great again.”
Trump also spoke of the key elements of his campaign, including a stronger military force, securing the Mexican border with a wall and defeating ISIS. He also vowed to remove the federal government from making decisions concerning local education.
A South Carolina win is pivotal for any GOP candidate. The winner of this state has gone on to claim the nomination in every race since 1980, with the sole exception of 2012. Trump told CNN that he predicts he and Hillary Clinton will battle for the Presidency, and he expects the “greatest turnout in history” for voters. Clinton narrowly defeated Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at the Nevada Democratic Primary with 52.6% of the vote.
As for Trump, he heads into Nevada on Feb. 23 and Super Tuesday on March 1 as the GOP front runner.