Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump celebrates his victory in the S.C. primary on Feb. 20, 2016.
Photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for MSNBC

Trump wins South Carolina primary, NBC News projects


Donald Trump will win the South Carolina Republican primary, NBC News projects, with a tight battle for second place still undecided between Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Despite slipping in the polls in the Palmetto State over the final days, Trump was able to hold on for a victory that gives him an added boost as he heads to the Nevada caucuses in three days and Super Tuesday one week after that.

Trump’s win is his second of the cycle, coming off a win in New Hampshire that reignited his campaign. He placed a disappointing second in the Iowa caucuses on February 1st behind Cruz, whose organization propelled him to victory there.

Behind the scenes at MSNBC's exclusive town hall with Donald Trump
Photographer Mark Peterson went behind the scenes in Charleston, South Carolina, to provide an exclusive look at MSNBC's town hall with Donald Trump.

South Carolina is said to be the state where presidents are made. The candidate that won there went on to the nomination in every Republican primary since 1980 except for the last one.

Whether the voters there predict the nominee this year, it’s still too early to determine, but it’s one more step in a contest where candidates must obtain a majority of the 2,570 delegates before clinching the nomination. After South Carolina, only 103 delegates have been awarded.

Republican voters went to the polls in South Carolina on the same day as Democrats in Nevada caucused, giving Hillary Clinton a victory there.

South Carolina is the third contest of the primary but the first window into the South in a competitive Republican presidential race that began with fifteen major candidates that has whittled down to six.

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