Hillary Clinton maintains a strong lead in South Carolina’s Democratic presidential primary, according to a new poll – the first in the state since Iowa and New Hampshire’s nominating contests.
The frontrunner is leading with 65 percent support among the state’s likely Democratic primary voters, while U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has 27 percent support, according to an American Research Group survey released Saturday.
In the poll, Clinton also leads among African Americans – winning 74 percent support to Sanders’ 19 percent.
African Americans are expected to make up more than half the voters in the state’s Feb. 27 Democratic contest – the first true test of the candidates’ appeal to Democrats in the South, far more diverse than in the first two nominating states.
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The findings suggest that S.C. Democratic primary voters have not changed their mind much since Sanders nearly tied Clinton in Iowa and won handily in New Hampshire’s Democratic presidential primary with 60 percent of the vote.
In late January, Clinton was leading in South Carolina with 64 percent support to Sanders’ 27 percent, according to a NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.
The poll surveyed 400 likely S.C. Democratic primary voters on Friday and Saturday. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.