2016 South Carolina Republican primary

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South Carolina Republican primary, 2016

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Candidate Donald Trump Marco Rubio Ted Cruz
Home state New York Florida Texas
Delegate count 50 0 0
Popular vote 239,851 165,881 164,790
Percentage 32.5% 22.5% 22.3%

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Candidate Jeb Bush John Kasich Ben Carson
Home state Florida Ohio Florida
Delegate count 0 0 0
Popular vote 57,863 56,206 53,326
Percentage 7.8% 7.6% 7.2%

South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary Election Results by County, 2016.svg
Election results by county.
  Donald Trump
  Marco Rubio

The 2016 South Carolina Republican primary took place on February 20 in the U.S. state of South Carolina, marking the Republican Party's third nominating contest in their series of presidential primaries ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

The Democratic Party held its Nevada caucuses on the same day, while their South Carolina primary would only take place a week later on February 27.

The states delegates are allocated in this way. 29 delegates are awarded to the winner of the primary. After that, 3 delegates are awarded to the winner of each of the seven congressional districts.[1]

Forums and debates[edit]

January 9, 2016 – Columbia, South Carolina The Kemp Forum was held in the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center by the Jack Kemp Foundation. Bush, Carson, Christie, Fiorina, Huckabee, Kasich, and Rubio attended. The forum was moderated by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senator Tim Scott.[2][3]

January 14, 2016 – North Charleston, South Carolina

Candidate Airtime[4] Polls
Trump 17:12 34.5%
Cruz 17:52 19.3%
Rubio 14:19 11.8%
Carson 8:26 9.0%
Christie 14:25 3.5%
Bush 12:36 4.8%
Kasich 12:26 2.3%
Candidate Airtime Polls
Fiorina 12:06 2.8%
Paul N/A 2.3%
Huckabee 13:00 1.8%
Santorum 12:18 0.0%

On December 8, 2015, it was announced that Fox Business Network would host an additional debate two days after the State of the Union address.[5] The debate was held in the North Charleston Coliseum in North Charleston, South Carolina. The anchor and managing editor of Business News, Neil Cavuto, and anchor and global markets editor, Maria Bartiromo, reprised their roles as moderators for the prime-time debate, which began at 9 p.m. EST. The earlier debate, which started at 6 p.m. EST, was again moderated by anchors Trish Regan and Sandra Smith.[6][7]

On December 22, 2015, Fox Business Network announced that in order to qualify for the prime-time debate, candidates had to either: place in the top six nationally, based on an average of the five most recent national polls recognized by FOX News; place in the top five in Iowa, based on an average of the five most recent Iowa state polls recognized by FOX News; or place in the top five in New Hampshire, based on an average of the five most recent New Hampshire state polls recognized by FOX News. In order to qualify for the first debate, candidates must have registered at least one percent in one of the five most recent national polls.[8]

On January 11, 2016, seven candidates were revealed to have been invited to the prime-time debate: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, and Donald Trump. The participants were introduced in order of their poll rankings at the debate.

Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum participated in the undercard debate. Rand Paul was also invited to the undercard debate, but said, "I won't participate in anything that's not first tier because we have a first tier campaign."[9][10] The candidates were introduced in order of their poll rankings. The first question was to assess the economy. The next questions asked Fiorina about the role of the US in the world, Santorum about the Iran deal, and Huckabee about the solution to Afghanistan's problems.

February 13, 2016 – Greenville, South Carolina The ninth debate, and second debate in the month of February, was held in another early primary state of South Carolina, and aired on CBS News. The debate was moderated by John Dickerson in the Peace Center, began at 9 p.m. ET and lasted for 90 minutes.[11]


Primary date: February 20, 2016
District conventions: April 2016
State convention: May 7, 2016
National delegates: 50

South Carolina Republican primary, February 20, 2016
Candidate Votes Percentage Actual delegate count
Bound Unbound Total
America Symbol.svg Donald Trump 240,882 32.51% 50 0 50
Marco Rubio 166,565 22.48% 0 0 0
Ted Cruz 165,417 22.33% 0 0 0
Jeb Bush 58,056 7.84% 0 0 0
John Kasich 56,410 7.61% 0 0 0
Ben Carson 53,551 7.23% 0 0 0
Chris Christie (withdrawn) 0 0 0
Carly Fiorina (withdrawn) 0 0 0
Rand Paul (withdrawn) 0 0 0
Mike Huckabee (withdrawn) 0 0 0
Rick Santorum (withdrawn) 0 0 0
Jim Gilmore (withdrawn) 0 0 0
George Pataki (withdrawn) 0 0 0
Lindsey Graham (withdrawn) 0 0 0
Unprojected delegates: 0 0 0
Total: 740,881 100.00% 50 0 50
Source: The Green Papers

Following a poor result in the primary, Jeb Bush announced the suspension of his campaign.[12]


  1. ^ Carrejo, Cate. "Is The South Carolina Primary Winner Take All? There's A Lot At Stake In The Palmetto State". Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  2. ^ "GOP forum will focus on issues, not 'drama'". Post and Courier. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  3. ^ "In Kemp Forum on Poverty, a Broader GOP Outreach to Voters". WSJ Blogs - Washington Wire. 2016-01-12. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  4. ^ Sprunt, Barbara. "On The Clock: Who's Talking The Most In Tonight's Debate?". NPR.org. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  5. ^ "Fox Business Network To Air Additional GOP Debate Days After SOTU". Talking Points Memo. December 8, 2015. Retrieved December 8, 2015.
  6. ^ "FOX Business Network Announces Moderators for GOP Primary Debates on Jan. 14". Fox Business. January 5, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  7. ^ "TV Listings & Channel Guide | AT&T U-verse". uverse.com. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  8. ^ "FOX Business Network Announces Entry Criteria for GOP Primary Debates on Jan. 14". Fox Business. December 22, 2015. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  9. ^ Jackson, David (January 11, 2016). "Fox Business invites 7 Republicans to debate; Paul and Fiorina relegated". USA Today. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  10. ^ Rafferty, Andrew (January 11, 2016). "Rand Paul Says He'll Boycott Debate After Missing Main Stage". NBC News. Retrieved January 11, 2016.
  11. ^ "CBS News announces details for 2016 debates". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
  12. ^ "Jeb Bush drops out of White House race". POLITICO. Retrieved 2016-06-21.