HILLARY CLINTON’S Southern fire-wall is intact and imposing. That was the meaning of South Carolina’s Democratic primary on February 27th, which, with 90% of the vote counted, the former secretary of state had won by a massive 48-point margin. She beat Bernie Sanders by 74% to 26%. This has given her campaign huge momentum ahead of “Super Tuesday” on March 1st, when a dozen states will hold primaries and caucuses.
Mrs Clinton’s victory was founded on near blanket support from the black voters who constitute over half of South Carolina’s Democratic electorate. She won a staggering 87% of their votes—a bigger share than Barack Obama won in 2008 when campaigning to be America’s first black president. There is a pleasing symmetry to this. A decision by many black South Carolinians to drop Mrs Clinton in favour of Mr Obama in 2008 made a hugely significant contribution to his winning the Democratic nomination. By now proving immune to Mr Sanders’s left-wing blandishments, they appear to have done Mrs Clinton much the same service. She can expect to do similarly well in the several Southern states, including Alabama,...Continue reading