The Buzz

Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and South Carolina — a look at the numbers



Number of days until the Nov. 8 general election


Number of electoral votes that South Carolina has


Number of electoral votes needed to be elected president


Democrat Hillary Clinton’s electoral lead over Republican Donald Trump today, according to Real Clear Politics, based on state-by-state polls


Real Clear lists 12 states as toss-ups today. Voters in those states will decide the winner in November. They are: Arizona, 11 electoral votes; Florida, 26 electoral votes; Georgia, 16 electoral votes; Iowa, 6 electoral votes; Michigan, 16 electoral votes; New Hampshire, 4 electoral votes; North Carolina, 15 electoral votes; Ohio, 18 electoral votes; Pennsylvania, 20 electoral votes; Virginia, electoral votes; and Wisconsin, 10 electoral votes. Also, one vote in Maine, which divides its electoral votes by congressional district, is listed as a toss-up.


percentage points

Trump’s lead over Clinton, 47-42, in South Carolina, according to a November poll. However, that poll is very old. Real Clear lists South Carolina as leaning Trump. Most observers consider South Carolina safely Republican.



Number of votes Clinton won in South Carolina’s four-candidate Democratic primary, held in February


Number of votes cast in the Democratic primary


Clinton’s percentage of the February vote, easily beating Bernie Sanders, who won 26 percent of the vote. One candidate on the ballot, Martin O’Malley, already had quit the race. Another barely campaigned in South Carolina. The win in South Carolina — the Democrats’ fourth contest — proved to be turning point for Clinton in winning the Democratic nomination. Previously, she narrowly had won Iowa and Nevada caucuses, and lost New Hampshire in a landslide.


Clinton’s vote tally in Richland County, her strongest showing — in total popular votes — statewide. Clinton won 76 percent of the votes cast in Richland. She took a higher percentage in other counties — winning 91 percent of the vote in Allendale and Clarendon counties, for instance — but those counties had far fewer voters.


Clinton’s vote total in Lexington County, or 61 percent of the Democratic ballots cast. Lexington did not rank in Clinton’s Top 5 in total votes in South Carolina, trailing Charleston, 26,625 votes or 66 percent; Greenville, 19,966 votes, or 64 percent; Orangeburg, 11,872 votes, or 89 percent; and Horry, 11,316, or 67 percent.



Number of votes that Trump won in the state’s six-candidate GOP primary, held in February


Number of votes cast in the GOP primary


Trump’s percentage of the February primary vote. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took second at 22.5 percent, a whisker ahead of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at 22.3 percent. The S.C. primary marked the end of the road for the onetime GOP favorite, former Florida Gov. Jeb. Bush, who dropped out of the racing after finishing a distant fourth, barely ahead of Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired surgeon Ben Carson.


Trump’s vote total in Lexington County, where he took 30 percent of the vote, his third-best showing in raw votes in the state. Trump’s best vote total in a S.C. county was in Horry at 26,684, or 49 percent. No. 2 was Greenville at 25,044 votes. Spartanburg at 15,293 votes and Charleston at 14,461 were fourth and fifth, respectively. In Richland County, Trump won 9,205 votes, losing the county to Rubio.



Last time a Democrat presidential candidate, former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter, won South Carolina’s popular vote, 56-43 over Republican President Gerald Ford. Carter lost the state to Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980, 50-48.


Margin by which Democrat Bill Clinton lost South Carolina’s popular vote to Republican President George H.W. Bush in 1992. Clinton won the race nationally.


Margin by which Democratic President Bill Clinton lost South Carolina’s popular vote to Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Dole in 1996. Clinton won the race nationally.

S.C. at the ballot box

How South Carolina has voted in recent presidential elections:


Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan (R): 55 percent

Barack Obama-Joe Biden (D, i): 44 percent


John McCain-Sarah Palin (R): 54 percent

Barack Obama-Joe Biden (D): 45 percent


George Bush-Dick Cheney (R, i): 58 percent

John Kerry-John Edwards (D): 41 percent


George Bush-Dick Cheney (R): 57 percent

Al Gore-Joe Lieberman (D): 41 percent

(i) = incumbent