Drawing overwhelming support from the African-American voters who deserted her here eight years ago, Hillary Clinton won her first resounding victory of the 2016 campaignin South Carolina on Saturday, delivering a blow to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont as their fight turns to the 11 states where Democrats vote on Tuesday.
After supporting Barack Obama in 2008, black voters, who will be the dominant force in the coming Southern primaries, turned outin droves for Mrs. Clinton here. They chose her over Mr. Sanders by more than six to one, while white voters narrowly favored her as well, according to exit polls.
The rout was both politically and psychologically meaningful for Mrs. Clinton and her allies, who have been waiting for a moment that validated her candidacy with the level of unqualified intensity that South Carolina delivered. The huge margin of victory. She won nearly 74 percent of the vote, will extend her lead over Mr. Sanders in delegates needed to clinch the Democratic nomination.
But the results also helped her extinguish any doubts about her ability to win big with Democrats and about her broad appeal among minority voters, who will be decisive in many delegate-rich primaries in March.
Mr. Sanders vowed to fight on, expressing confidence Saturday night that he would notch some victories and win delegates on Tuesday. But Mrs. Clinton and her supporters were elated, describing South Carolina as a turning point in the campaign.