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Clinton Sets Sights On Trump, General Election After Huge Win In South Carolina

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Clinton Sets Sights On Trump, General Election After Huge Win In South Carolina

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a worship service at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis

By John Whitesides and Amanda Becker

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Reuters) – Riding high after a landslide victory in Saturday’s South Carolina primary, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has set sights on a possible face-off in the Nov. 8 presidential election with Donald Trump, the favorite for the Republican nomination.

“Despite what you hear, we don’t need to make America great again. America has never stopped being great,” she told supporters in her victory speech in South Carolina, declining to mention Trump by name, but taking a jab at his campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Clinton said she was not taking anything for granted after crushing Democratic rival Bernie Sanders on Saturday by 48 percentage points, likely setting herself up for a good “Super Tuesday” night on March 1, a key date in the nomination battle.

But if Clinton and Trump win big on Tuesday as opinion polls suggest, the chance of a general election matchup between them increases, adding another twist to a presidential campaign that has defied convention as U.S. voters vent frustration over economic uncertainty, illegal immigration and national security threats.

Some Clinton backers, emboldened by the heightened chance of a Trump nomination, have reaffirmed their support for the former secretary of state, saying that it is she, not Sanders, who is best equipped to take down Trump in a head-to-head showdown in November.

Rosilyne Scott, 58, of Texas, cast her vote early for Clinton ahead of Texas’s upcoming Tuesday nominating contest, calling the prospect of a Trump presidency “frightening.”

“I just think she has more support, and she’s been doing it a lot longer,” she said.

“If you get someone like Donald Trump in, I don’t know. … I think he’s a joke, a bigot, a racist.”

Amid Clinton’s renewed momentum against Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, donors have also found resolve.

One Clinton fundraiser in California said her recent victories in Nevada and South Carolina have prompted more people to donate to her campaign and to attend Clinton events. He said he had raised $10,000 for the Clinton campaign in the past week alone.

A Trump-Clinton election would embody the outsider-versus-establishment battle in American politics. Trump has never been elected to public office, while the former first lady has been a player in Washington for decades.



South Carolina was Clinton’s third victory in the first four Democratic contests, raising more questions about whether Sanders, a democratic socialist, will be able to expand his support beyond his base of predominantly white liberals.

Exit polls showed Clinton winning big in the state with almost every constituency. She won nine of every 10 black voters, as well as women, men, urban, suburban, rural, very liberal and conservative voters. Sanders was ahead among voters between ages 18 and 29, and among white men.

When asked which candidate they thought “can win in November,” an overwhelming 79 percent said Clinton, with only 21 percent putting their faith in Sanders to defeat the eventual Republican nominee.

Sanders, who has energized the party’s liberal wing and successfully courted many of the party’s youth, on Sunday acknowledged he had been “decimated” by Clinton in South Carolina. He set his sights on March 1, where a win in a key state is crucial to keeping his hopes alive.

“I think we’re going to do well on Super Tuesday, we’re going to do well in many states after that and we look forward to those state-by-state struggles,” he said in an interview on NBC News’s “Meet the Press.”

But Sanders needs to have his breakout moment sooner rather than later, warned longtime Democratic activist Phil Noble, who said that Sanders’ momentum in South Carolina “fell off the table” after Clinton’s solid victory in Nevada on Feb. 20.

“He’s got to pull off a surprise against Clinton soon or he won’t have time to recover,” he said.


(Additional reporting by: Alana Wise in Washington, Luciana Lopez in New York, Emily Stephenson in Texas; Editing by Alistair Bell, Mary Milliken and Jonathan Oatis)

Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a worship service at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst



  1. charleo1 February 29, 2016

    Whether or not Burnie Sanders wins the Democratic nomination over Hillary Clinton, and it’s looking more, and more likely he will not. His Party, and the Country owe him a huge debt of gratitude for reminding us what this election ought to be about. Wealth, and income disparity. The ever widening gap between the uber wealthy that are buying political power, and skewing the playing field, and everyone else that are just getting by. So much so, that 90% of all newly created wealth now goes to the top 1%, while the Middle Class continues to lose ground. A burgeoning economic underclass, that feeds a broken, and increasingly corporate for profit criminal justice system, that imprisons more citizens here in America year upon year, than does in any other country in the World. Then quickly reminds us, that not a single Wall Street Banker, or investment house CEO served a single day in jail for turning the economy upside down, and hurting millions of ordinary Americans.

    1. A_Real_Einstein February 29, 2016

      Unfortunately that will not be what the rest of this election cycle will be about. We will hear a lot about more military intervention in the Middle East and a candidate who will be the first nominee to be under indictment.

      1. charleo1 February 29, 2016

        Running for President on a platform of racists demagoguery, while being a blow hard buffoon is certainly embarrassing to the country, but hardly an indictable offense.

        1. A_Real_Einstein March 1, 2016

          I am talking about Hillary. Two things need to happen for her to get my support in November. She needs to release her speech transcripts and she should go on record that if indicted before the election that she will do what is right for the party and country and step aside allowing another candidate to represent us.

          1. charleo1 March 2, 2016

            I don’t see any indictments in her future. That said, a lot of Dems are understandably concerned about the perception of scandal, the development of a cloud and so forth. The release of transcripts of her speeches to the 1%-ers, that paid several hundred thousand for a few appearances are titillating to many curious minds, and would be problematic, even if benign. As they would be disseminated, parsed, and made the focus of her campaign, not the message she is running on. So we must be careful what we wish for, unless we want to be living the Trump nightmare over the next 4 years.

          2. A_Real_Einstein March 2, 2016

            It is not so much the perception of scandal but a high probability of one of the 4 FBI led criminal investigations coming back with charges. She is already independent voter repellant. Go to Real Clear politics and look at the hypo match ups between Bernie and Hillary against the Republicans and then tell me who is more likely to win in the general. Tell me who is the riskier choice for us. The independents love Bernie.

  2. paulyz February 29, 2016

    America certainly has stopped being great under Obama & the Democrat-Socialist Party , not our People, but our Government. Record debt, record poverty, record unemployment, racial division…..
    Americans clearly have had enough of the political BS.

    1. johninPCFL February 29, 2016

      What an idiotic comment. America is still the greatest country on earth.

      1. paulyz March 1, 2016

        America has declined in many categories, & under your Socialism, it is getting worse. We may be a Great Country, but not like we were, why Trump will make us truly Great again. Get it?

        1. johninPCFL March 2, 2016

          Sure. All of the jobs shipped out by corporations. But the president doesn’t control corporate hiring. That’s more like a Trump thing. So in essence, you want the country run by the guy who ships jobs overseas.
          What products does the government produce? Cars? no. Houses? no. Any textiles? no. Any machines? no. Do you even understand what socialism is? no. You only parrot the bullshit spewed by Fox News.
          America is today the most powerful country on earth, with the largest economy on earth, having the largest number of privately owned homes on earth, with the largest number of privately owned businesses on earth employing the largest number of free employees on earth. Can it be better? Sure. But not by retreating into some myopic view from the 1950s where women and all minorities were a lower caste than the “white man” and unicorns pranced down main street. Get it?

          1. paulyz March 3, 2016

            The jobs leave because the companies leave. The companies leave to compete. With excessive regulations, higher wages & health care costs, & the highest Corporate tax rate in the World, they leave to survive.

            Time for reality to set in to all you brainwashed, (blame the wealthy), Liberals. You are probably a young, low-info, impressionable Socialist, maybe a minority too, the pawns of the Democrat-Socialist Party.

          2. johninPCFL March 3, 2016

            Sure, so Trump will eliminate healthcare coverage to lure the jobs back? Chinese labor is $5 per day, so Trump is proposing to cut all wages in the US to that level to lure the jobs back? Great idea there. He should publish that idea so the American people know that voting him in makes them all serfs.

            The “corporate tax rate”, of course, is far higher than the corporate taxes actually paid. Romney’s corporation, for example, paid a 14.9% tax rate instead of the 35% rate called out in the federal tax tables. It’s called using deductions and exemptions, in case you’re behind there.

            Sorry, college educated business owner. You seem to be a knuckle dragging boor from the redstate wastelands of Kansas, where any “gubmint” interference is resisted, except the “free” money from the feds that keeps the Kansas economy alive (about $2 in federal money to Kansas for every $1 paid in taxes by Kansans).

          3. paulyz March 6, 2016

            Why Kansas voted for Cruz ahead of Trump.

          4. johninPCFL March 6, 2016

            Yeah and as an indicator of their level of idiocracy, they also voted for Brownback, who is now off begging the Feds to replace the state tax money he gave away to his best business buddies.

            Kansas gets well over a dollar back per dollar of federal taxes paid in, California gets $0.85. Why should the rest of the US rescue the Kansas idiots? And for all that, they have more crime, more teen pregnancy, and higher divorce rates:”The average violent crime rate (murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault) in 2008 for the 28 states that voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election was 389 incidents per 100,000 residents. The average violent crime rate for the 22 states that voted for John McCain was 412 incidents per 100,000 residents – or a 5.8 percent higher incidence of violent crime.” “Research shows that more liberal states, like Mass., tend to have the lowest divorce rates. And the highest teen birth rates tend to be in more conservative states.”

  3. johninPCFL February 29, 2016

    “Decimated”? Apparently Sanders shares the common misperception of what that word means. In Roman times a legion that failed in battle was ordered to decimate. That meant that every tenth soldier was killed.
    So, when one is “decimated”, they lose about 10%, or in a contest, by about 10%. Rubio and Cruz were decimated by Trump. Sanders was slaughtered by Clinton.

    1. A_Real_Einstein February 29, 2016

      Yes and don’t expect any true liberal or independent support for Hillary in the General when we go to vote or in my case not vote. We will be sending a message to the DNC and the establishment not to pick our nominee for us or put their finger on the scales for plutocrats. Good luck in the General. Perhaps we will get a true progressive who is for the people in 2020.

      1. johninPCFL February 29, 2016

        Sure, because electing someone a little to the right of Bernie is far worse than the GOP electing someone to the right of David Duke. The only “message” you’re sending is: “I’m four and didn’t get my way, so I took my ball and went home.”

        1. A_Real_Einstein March 1, 2016

          No WE will be sending a message that we expect better and want a fair primary where a real progressive has an chance to win the nomination. The DNC decided they wanted Hillary years ago and have put their fingers on the scale to make sure Bernie socialist democratic agenda was stopped in its tracks. Screw the DNC. Screw the Establishment. Screw the Corporate media. Screw the Plutocrats. We can do much better than Hillary.

          1. johninPCFL March 1, 2016

            But of course you’re not screwing any of those people. You’re just screwing yourself and anyone else opposed to the extreme teabagger bullshit. Shall we call you a waaaambulance?

          2. A_Real_Einstein March 1, 2016

            I will wait for the Democrats or a third party to put up trustworthy and progressive candidates. Not interested in the status quo. Time for the DNC to do an autopsy and give us candidates that are worth supporting in 2020. 2016 will have similar results than 2014 when the Dems went out of their way to run away from Obama and his progressive accomplishments. Other than Bernie they are all on the take. Sorry that is not for me or much of the progressive base. Good luck with your fascism.

          3. johninPCFL March 2, 2016

            Good luck with your masochism.

          4. A_Real_Einstein March 2, 2016

            Shillary is independent voter repellant. Hopefully we will put up a candidate in 2020 that can win in a General and somebody who is actually a progressive, giving the middle class a reason to turn out. Good luck to you too. Thanks

  4. Moose Man March 1, 2016

    What about those transcripts?


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