Hillary Clinton won South Carolina by a mile. By many miles. For every vote Bernie Sanders got, Clinton got almost three. For every vote from a black voter Sanders got, exit polls suggest that Clinton got six.

Clinton beat Sanders with black voters in the state by a greater margin than Barack Obama beat her in 2008. And that support is why Hillary Clinton can be expected to clean up on Super Tuesday.

Consider new Monmouth University polling on two of those Super Tuesday states: Alabama and Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, Sanders leads by 5 points. In Alabama, Clinton leads by 48. The difference? In 2008, 18 percent of the Democratic primary electorate in Oklahoma was non-white. In Alabama that year, 56 percent was.

Indeed, we can compare the percentage of the non-white vote to either results (from the first four states) or Super Tuesday polling, and the correlation is fairly obvious. (See footer for links to all of the polls.)


The dots move up and to the right. The greater the percentage of the electorate that's not white, the wider the margin of support for Clinton. (A similar thing happened in 2012, with Mitt Romney's primary performance correlating with the percent of the state that was evangelical.)

"The best chance for Sanders seems to be in places with largely white Democratic electorates," Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray wrote about his survey, with no small amount of understatement. Another way of saying that is that the best chance for Clinton seems to be in places with largely black voters.

If we compare just the black vote (in the 2008 primary or in the first four contests this year) with current polling, you can see how sharply support for Clinton correlates. Vermont, Sanders's very-white home state, skews things a bit, but even when it is included, you can see clearly that the higher the percentage of the vote that is black, the more support Clinton gets.


This was the firewall. This was what Sanders needed to overcome to have a shot at winning the nomination. After all, there are a lot of delegates at stake Tuesday and a lot of states in which Hilary Clinton should do well. It looks like she will — thanks in large part to her strong support from black Democratic voters.


Poll sources: Entrance and exit polls for 2016 reported by CNN. Super Tuesday polls from Monmouth, Public Policy Polling, NBC and the Wall Street Journal and Suffolk University.