South Carolina primary

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The South Carolina primary is an open primary election which has become one of several key early-state presidential primaries in the process of the Democratic and Republican Parties choosing their respective general election nominees for President of the United States.

Historically, this primary election has been much more important in the Republican Party's nomination process, considered a firewall that could permanently eliminate any/all serious rivals to the winner.[1] It is meant to force the various factions of the party to decide quickly on and unite behind a single candidate and avoid wasting precious time and resources on a drawn-out battle between their own candidates, that would divert the party's focus from working to defeat the Democrats' likely nominee.

Since its 1980 inception, the winner of the Republican South Carolina primary has always become the eventual Republican National Convention nominee for that fall's general election,[2] with one exception, the 2012 primary, in which eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney finished second, behind winner Newt Gingrich (who would go on to suspend his campaign before that summer's convention began).

South Carolina has cemented its place as the "First in the South"[3][4] primary for both parties. For the Democrats, the 2008 primary took on added significance because it was the first nominating contest in that cycle in which a large percentage (55 percent, according to an exit poll[5]) of primary voters were African Americans.[6]

Republican results[edit]

Democratic results[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Scherer, Michael (2008-01-09). "Huckabee Looks to South Carolina". TIME. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  2. ^ Rudin, Ken (2008-01-16). "South Carolina's Role as GOP Kingmaker". NPR. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  3. ^ "5 Things to Watch in South Carolina's Republican Primary". ABC Newa. February 20, 2016. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  4. ^ "South Carolina's Key Role in the Presidential Race". U.S. News & World Report. February 17, 2016. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  5. ^ "Election Center 2008: Primary Exit Polls - Elections & Politics news from". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  6. ^ "January 7, 2008". The Nation. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  7. ^ , "[1]". The Atlantic.
  8. ^ "Jackson's Triumph in South Carolina Illustrates Dramatic Change Since Vote in '84". New York Times. 1988-03-14. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  9. ^ "THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: South Carolina; Bush and Clinton Score Big Victories". New York Times. 1992-03-08. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  10. ^ "2000 Democratic Presidential Caucus Results - South Carolina". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  11. ^ "Primary Results by State - Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  12. ^ "South Carolina Primary Election Results - Election Guide 2008 - Results - The New York Times". Retrieved 2012-01-05.

External links[edit]