Decision Desk has called the South Carolina Democratic primary for Joe Biden. This was the last major Democratic election before Super Tuesday. The polls closed at 7 p.m. Eastern and the call was made based on polling conducted in South Carolina. Exact vote counts are reflected in the charts below. Heavy is sharing live results for the South Carolina primary, provided by Decision Desk, along with updates on what’s happening in South Carolina throughout the night. Fox News also called the race for Joe Biden, and so has CBS and NBC.
In the first section, you’ll see the live results along with a live delegate tracker. In the second section, you’ll see news about the election, updated throughout the night.
Democratic Primary Results – Updated Live
Heavy has partnered with Decision Desk to show the live results of the Democratic caucus as they come in. Go here if you don’t see a results table below.
A delegate tracker is below. This tracker currently shows the delegates from all the elections so far, but it will be updated to include South Carolina’s results once they are in.
In this story below, you’ll find updates about what’s going on in the election today. Polling locations close at 7 p.m. Eastern Eastern and some results will be known within an hour.
1:30 a.m. Eastern: Decision Desk is now estimating 33 delegates for Biden and 12 for Sanders. There are 54 delegates total up for grabs from this election.
11:49 p.m. Eastern: Decision Desk is now estimating that Biden has won at least 30 delegates in South Carolina and Sanders has won at least nine.
9:30 p.m. Eastern: Decision Desk is currently estimating 27 delegates to Biden from South Carolina and four to Sanders, as of the current count.
9:01 p.m. Eastern: You can watch Biden’s speech below.
Some have commented that it was a very moving acceptance speech.
8:18 p.m. Eastern: Nate Silver of 538 noted that Biden’s win in South Carolina is very different from his polling right after New Hampshire.
8:08 p.m. With 2.52% reporting, Joe Biden has 52.57% of the vote. Sanders has 15.87% and Steyer has 11.15%.
7:45 p.m. Tom Steyer did well in some precincts, even better than Sanders in Chappells, for example. But right now it still looks like Sanders will be second.
7:33 p.m. With just three precincts counted so far, Biden leads with 51.3% compared to Sanders’ 17.16% and Buttigieg’s 10.23%.
7:32 p.m. Eastern: Here’s another look from South Carolina at Biden supporters’ reactions.
7:26 p.m. Eastern: Decision Desk is projecting an initial 16 delegates for Biden.
7:22 p.m. Eastern: A Biden crowd reacts to the news that he won.
7:21 p.m. Eastern: Some voters were confused about how early the race was called. This early call was due to polling indicating Biden strongly in the lead.
7:08 p.m. Eastern: Decision Desk called the race for Joe Biden based on polling, with vote results still to come.
7:01 p.m. Eastern: Fox News has already predicted that Biden will win the primary.
6:59 p.m. Eastern: There were issues with some of the polls earlier today when precincts changed locations.
The last two polls before the South Carolina primary showed Joe Biden leading, 538 reported. A Feb. 25-28 poll from AtlasIntel showed Biden with 35%, Bernie Sanders with 24%, and Tom Steyer with 12%, followed by Pete Buttigieg with 8% and Elizabeth Warren with 7%. A Feb. 26-27 poll by Trafalgar Group showed Biden at 44%, Sanders at 23%, Steyer at 11%, and Buttigieg at 10%.
But a Feb.26-27 poll by Morning Consult had Sanders in the lead at 33%, followed by Biden at 21%, Bloomberg at 17%, Warren at 11%, and Buttigieg at 10%. A Feb. 26-27 poll by YouGov also put Sanders in first at 27%, followed by Biden at 21%, Warren at 18%, Bloomberg at 14%, and Buttigieg at 10%.
How South Carolina Delegates Work
South Carolina has 63 delegates that attend the Democratic National Convention, and 54 of them are based on voting results. A candidate must meet at 15 percent threshold in order to get delegates, according to The Green Papers.
The delegates include 35 district delegates awarded proportionally based on primary results in the seven congressional districts and 19 delegates based on statewide primary votes (12 at-large and seven pledged PLEOs). The state also has nine unpledged PLEOs, who are essentially superdelegates. These include seven DNC members and two members of Congress (two Representatives).
After this, the precinct reorganization meeting is March 14, followed by County Democratic Conventions from March 14 through March 31, and then the state convention on May 30.
The Democratic National Convention will take place July 13-16. According to Ballotpedia, there will be 4,750 delegates total, including 3,979 pledged and 771 automatic (more commonly known as superdelegates.) In order to not have a contested convention, a candidate needs 1,991 pledged delegates on the first ballot. (Superdelegates aren’t allowed to vote on the first ballot.) If no candidate gets this majority of pledged delegates, then a second ballot (or more) will take place and both pledged and automatic delegates can vote this time. From then on, a candidate needs the majority of all delegates to win, which is more than 2,375 votes.