South Carolina primary: What time do polls close; how many delegates, who is ahead?

South Carolina Democrats will vote Saturday in the state’s presidential primary – one week after voters chose Donald Trump in the Republican primary. Here’s a guide to what happens today for the Democrats.

When do they vote

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. In South Carolina, you must have a valid photo identification to vote.

Who’s ahead in the polls 

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a wide lead in most all  polls from the state coming into the primary. According to RealClearPolitics, Clinton has 58.3 percent of the vote  compared to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders'  31.7 percent. Sanders cut Clinton’s lead in half since a November 2015 poll showed Clinton ahead by 52.7 points.

Strengths for each candidate

For Clinton, the black vote accounts for a large part of her lead. African Americans made up 55 percent of the primary vote in the 2012 election and that trend looks to hold for this primary. For Sanders, he's ahead in the white vote. White voters favor Sanders 54 percent to 40 percent for Clinton.

The important question, how many delegates?

There are 59 delegates up for grabs in South Carolina – six of those are Superdelegates. The Superdelegates, as they may in every other state, choose the candidate they wish to support, regardless of the popular vote. The other 53 delegates are divided this way -- 35 delegates are awarded based on finishes in each of the state’s seven congressional districts; 11 are awarded at-large, or based on the overall number of votes a candidate gets in the state; the last 7 will be cast by party leaders who are not Superdelegates. Those seven votes are tied to the results of the primary.

The primary is the last before a dozen states vote on Super Tuesday, March 1.

A Democrat needs 2,383 delegates to vote for them  to win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. 

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