This primary wasn’t ever in question, with Hillary Clinton handily defeating Bernie Sanders. Clinton’s victory was assisted by the African-American vote in South Carolina, creating a large margin of defeat in the first diverse state in the Democratic Primary.
With the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary the next event, this primary doesn’t give much insight into how the 2020 candidates might fare, including the one defeated handily in 2016, Bernie Sanders. The three takeaways from this map for me that link to 2020:
- The turnout was depressed in 2016 as compared to 2008 (as pictured in the image used to link to this post). Use the turnout trend checkbox above to show the changes in each county’s turnout of registered voters in the democratic primary. This will serve as a barometer to see if South Carolina is in play in 2020 if the turnout nears or exceeds 2008 proportions (not saying it will happen).
- If Bernie Sanders can finish even second, I believe that shows that his candidacy has transformed from fringe afterthought to the runaway leader. Even though Sanders’ result percentages will probably be similar statewide between the two elections, this would be more impressive as Clinton-Sanders in 2016 was a binary decision, unlike the plethora of candidates in 2020.
- The 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary in South Carolina is a much more interesting map for 2020 analysis as it reflects a race in which there are more than 2 competitive candidates (prize to the reader who remembers that John Edwards was once competitive early in 2008 here as a native son)!