US South Carolina Republican primary live

Trump set to effectively seal the Republican nomination contest by crushing Haley in her home state.

Live Commentary

8:47am Monday Haley won one of SC’s seven districts, so she avoided a delegate wipeout. But it’s still a 47-3 delegate split in Trump’s favour. I will cover the UK Rochdale by-election on Friday AEDT.

5:20pm With almost all votes counted, Trump wins by 59.8-39.5, a 20.3-point margin. There were almost 756,000 Rep primary votes, compared with just over 131,000 for the SC Dem primary. Trump has won 44 of the 50 delegates, with results for two Cong Districts uncalled. These will need results by CD before they can be called.

1:23pm With 75% in, Trump leads by 59.7-39.6, and the NYT needle is forecasting a final margin of Trump by 19. This was a thumping victory for Trump in his only remaining opponent’s home state. He leads by 61 points in national Rep polls, and has massive leads in California and Texas, which vote on Super Tuesday March 5. If Haley stays in until ST, she’s likely to be buried.

12:13pm With 34% in, Trump leads by 59-40. The NYT needle is now at Trump by 20.

11:58am There were just over 131,000 total votes in the Feb 3 South Carolina Dem primary that Biden won with 96%. With 21% counted in today’s Rep primary, there are already over 158,000 votes.

11:51am With 13% in, Trump leads by 58-42. The NYT needle has returned to Trump by 23 after briefly having him winning by 26.

11:40am Votes counted so far are early votes according to NYT analyst Nate Cohn. Election day vote likely to be more pro-Trump.

11:32am Trump now up by only 53-46 as Charleston reports, but the NYT estimate is for a final margin of Trump by 23.

11:29am Columbia has just reported, reducing Trump’s statewide lead to 55-44 with 3% in.

11:07am Trump has been credited with 44 of SC’s 50 delegates, presumably winning the state and five of the seven districts by large margins.

11:05am South Carolina has been CALLED for Trump based on exit polls before any votes have been counted. Here’s the NYT results page.

7:44am It looks like late gains for Haley in SC, with the final Trafalgar group poll, conducted Wednesday to Friday US time, giving Trump a 21-point lead, down from 30 points in the previous Trafalgar poll in mid-February. But it’s still likely to be a big win for Trump. And there’s no sign of any gains for Haley in national polls.

Guest post by Adrian Beaumont, who joins us from time to time to provide commentary on elections internationally. Adrian is a paid election analyst for The Conversation. His work for The Conversation can be found here, and his own website is here.

Polls close at 11am AEDT today for the South Carolina Republican presidential primary.  This is Nikki Haley’s home state, and she was governor from 2011 to 2017.  But Donald Trump leads Haley by 63.6-32.9 in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate of SC Republican polls.  The last polls were taken a week ago, and two of the last four polls had Trump’s lead in the low 20s.

In national Republican polls, Trump leads Haley by 77-16, while in national Democratic polls, Joe Biden leads Dean Phillips by 75-7.  Most national general election polls show Trump leading Biden by low single-digit margins, and Trump is likely further advantaged by the Electoral College system.

South Carolina is the first state to use a winner takes all/most formula to allocate its Republican delegates.  The 29 statewide delegates go to the statewide winner, and the 21 district delegates (three for each of SC’s seven Congressional Districts) are allocated to the winner of each district. With Trump’s large lead, he is likely to take a clean sweep of all 50 delegates.

On Super Tuesday March 5, 15 states hold Republican contests including the two most populous states of California and Texas.  All of California’s 169 delegates go to the winner if a vote majority is reached (which is almost certain as there are only two candidates remaining).  In Texas, the 48 statewide delegates go to the state’s winner, and the 114 district delegates (three for each of Texas’ 38 districts) go to the district’s winner.

Trump has massive leads in FiveThirtyEight polling averages of both California and Texas.  He leads Haley by 83-13 in Texas and by 73-19 in California.  California is a strongly Democratic state at general elections, but only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican primary.

Less than 4% of Republican delegates have currently been allocated, but after Super Tuesday that will increase to 47%.  For Democrats, 42% of delegates will be allocated by Super Tuesday.  By March 19, 69% of Republican delegates and 64% of Democratic delegates will be allocated, and Biden and Trump will almost certainly have clinched their parties’ nominations.

19 comments on “US South Carolina Republican primary live”

  1. Just a thought, but Haley will not be the GOP candidate for POTUS this year. T**** will be that person, because if he’s not, he will destroy the GOP. A senile T*** as candidate will cause them damage, for sure, but not as much as if he’s not. T**** 2024 is the RNC’s minimum harm strategy.

    Haley 2024 is a “Hail Mary Pass”, if say T**** dies, or something. Her long-term strategy is to get herself known for the 2028 election.

    While today’s primary results are essentially meaningless for Haley, they are still an insight into the Republican voters’ minds. What was the turn out? Is the T**** vote slipping? And so on.

    It’s just a thought.

  2. Agree Late Riser.

    I continue to be interested with the what the small remaining, sensible part of the GOP thinks and do – how to they position themselves for a post trump GOP? It’s also what the few moderate GOP House members who are open to bucking Speaker Johnson on these Impeachment votes, are thinking. Can we stay inside the tent and how do we do it, without slavishly falling into the Trumpian line

  3. Adrian, there is now 538 President General Election polling average yet, so it’s difficult to decipher the better polls from the non-independent ones. If you squint and provide a few benefit of the doubt, you can see a slight improvement for Biden and Congressional Democrats in recent weeks. The Quinnipiac poll just out makes interesting reading, especially when Kennedy is included. It has a different result from the Marquette one, even though Kennedy is also on 15%.

    It must be said though, it seems possible Biden’s improvement is coming in already safe Blue states. the swing state polling is not great for Democrats. They look to be 3-5% behind where they need to be to be winning enough of them to get an Electoral College majority.

  4. South Carolina allows Independents and Democrats to vote in a Republican Primary if they didn’t take part in the Democrat primary a couple of weeks ago, so that might help Haley a little, but it’s undeniable that Trump will win the state by a big margin. Does Nikki Haley stay in the race assuming she loses big today? I imagine the pressure on her from the Republican establishment to drop out would be immense.

  5. I agree LR. The result was never in doubt but the margin matters. Actually, Trumps vote share matters. Sure, it’s Haley home turf but it is also Trumplandia. If Trump gets down below 60% – that may be enough to give Haley an excuse to keep campaigning into ST. It may also suggest Trumps rabid base isn’t as big as suggested. or, they just aren’t turning out for primaries – but the flip side of this is that anti trump peeps are turning out.

  6. DS, I’d be surprised if there are many Democrats voting in this GOP primary. I read somewhere that the effect is overstated (probs because you can’t vote in both and you have to be organised as you need to be registered) but I can’t find it. I’ll keep looking.

    Are you aware of any organised effort to get Dems out in the GOP primary?

  7. The NYT et al get it wrong… this is the number that really counts in a Democracy.. the actual votes not the Gerrymander..

    Niki can cause lots of damage.. lots

  8. Genuinely impressed if Haley’s vote tally does end around 40%. She is definitely staying until Super Tuesday on 5th March.

    And before then the Republican House will have to stop (or more likely cause) a government shutdown – deadlines are split, some on 1st March and some on 8th March. Doubtless Trump will order them to not co-operate lest it gives Biden a ‘victory’!

  9. Haley has announced she’s staying in the race – she obviously has enough money to keep going, and she clearly hopes too that Trump’s legal troubles eventually disqualify him from running.

  10. On the numbers, 115793/81213 is a 59%/41% split to T****. The question then becomes, do 41% want Haley or do 41% not want T****? And if the latter, then this is a shallow win for T****. Does anyone know the how turnout compares with 2016?

  11. frednk says:
    Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 3:19 pm
    “Polls said 30 she got 40. She will keep going”

    What is her motivation? Last standing if Trump gets convicted (but he will still stand)? Wrecker?
    Who would she endorse?

  12. frednk says:
    Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 3:19 pm
    “Polls said 30 she got 40. She will keep going”

    What is her motivation? Last standing if Trump gets convicted (but he will still stand)? Wrecker?
    Who would she endorse?

  13. I suspect the RNC will choose T****, because they can’t afford not to. (Imagine T**** spurned.) They know that going with T**** will hurt them less. I’m guessing that Haley is looking towards 2028.

  14. PaulTu says:
    Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 5:06 pm

    frednk says:
    Sunday, February 25, 2024 at 3:19 pm
    “Polls said 30 she got 40. She will keep going”

    What is her motivation? Last standing if Trump gets convicted (but he will still stand)? Wrecker?
    Who would she endorse?

    Game person if you think you can predict what will happen.

    Supreme court may or may not disqualify Trump.
    Supreme court may or may not give Trump absolute criminal immunity.
    Trump may or may not be able to raise the 1/2 billion he has to pay the court.
    The US government may or may not be shut down next month.
    Trump may or may not be in jail by November.

    What is her motivation?. Fair chance she will be the last person standing.

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