South Carolina Democratic Polls 2016: Hillary’s Race to Lose

Hillary Clinton polls, Hillary Clinton South Carolina, South Carolina polls

Hillary Clinton, here at a campaign event in South Carolina, has a comfortable lead in the state’s polls. (Getty)

After a close Iowa win for Hillary Clinton and runaway victories for Bernie Sanders and Clinton in New Hampshire and Nevada, the pledged delegate count is tied before Saturday’s contest in South Carolina. The polls in South Carolina, according to RealClearPolitics, have greatly and consistently favored Clinton, as have the FiveThirtyEight forecasts.

Pledged Delegate Count 2,383 Needed to Win
Hillary Clinton 51
Bernie Sanders 51

Here’s a look at the state of the race:

The Polls

New polls echo a year-long trend suggesting that Hillary Clinton will take the lion’s share of South Carolina delegates:


Emerson Released February 25
Hillary Clinton 60%
Bernie Sanders 37%


Clemson  Released February 25
Hillary Clinton 64%
Bernie Sanders 14%

The last time a poll showed less than a 20-point lead for Clinton was in mid-February shortly after the New Hampshire primary.

RealClearPolitics compiled recent polls into an average of polling results:

RealClearPolitics Averages
Hillary Clinton 58.3%
Bernie Sanders 31.7%

The Forecasts

Election forecaster FiveThirtyEight uses a “polls-plus” forecasting model that includes national poll trends, the results of previous states, and endorsements to pick up on details that impact voters in ways that don’t necessarily register in the polls. They use this model not only to predict a winner but forecast a likely range of each candidate’s share of the votes. This forecast greatly favors Hillary in South Carolina:

FiveThirtyEight Polls-Plus Forecast Chance of Victory Likely Vote Share
Hillary Clinton >99% 67.2%
Bernie Sanders <1% 28.6%

If this projection holds out, Clinton will take roughly 40 of South Carolina’s 59 pledged delegates and a 19-point lead in the race. Their polls-only forecast, which weights each poll according to methodological rigor and past accuracy, also favors Clinton:

FiveThirtyEight Polls-Only Forecast
Hillary Clinton >99%
Bernie Sanders <1%

The Betting Markets

While polls take a while to conduct and forecasts can’t be updated until polls are, the betting markets react as quickly as day-to-day. While they’re based on reaction to outside observations and may not reflect the will of the voters, they can be an early sign of momentum from one side or the other. The betting markets for South Carolina greatly favor Clinton:

PredictWise Betting Aggregation
Hillary Clinton 97%
Bernie Sanders 3%

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