Donald Trump Wins South Carolina GOP Primary

3:03 PM 2/20/2016

by Arlene Washington and Jennifer Konerman

The billionaire mogul comes out way ahead in Saturday's primary in South Carolina.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Donald Trump has been declared the winner of the South Carolina primary, the Associated Press has reported as of 7:30 p.m. ET. 

The 2016 South Carolina primary on Saturday, Feb. 20 was the first primary held in the south in the 2016 presidential election. Polling places were open until 7 p.m. ET Saturday, with votes going to candidates Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Ben Carson. 

At the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9, GOP candidate Trump and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders were declared winners. The Democratic primary in South Carolina will be held on Feb. 27. Hillary Clinton surged pass Sanders to win the Nevada Democratic caucus on Saturday. 

Here is a roundup of significant events, updated throughout the night.

  • Donald Trump Gives Celebratory Speech

    After being declared winner of the South Carolina primary, Donald Trump gave his victory speech with his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka by his side. 

    "There is nothing easy about running for president. It's tough, it's nasty, it's mean, it's vicious. It's beautiful," said Trump. "We’re going to start winning for our country because our country doesn’t win anymore."

    Trump did not mention Jeb Bush ending his campaign for presidency, but rather continued to express his goals to have Mexico pay for a wall along their border and for Obamacare to be repealed. 

    "We're going to do the wall and who is going to pay for the wall? Mexico is going to pay for the wall." 

    Trump ended his speech saying, "Let's have a big win in Nevada, let's have a big win at the SEC, let's put this thing away."

    Earlier, Trump's son Donald Trump Jr. shared a photo on Instagram of the Trump family ahead of his father's primary win.

  • Jeb Bush Ends Presidential Bid

    Mark Makela/Getty

    While the race continues to see who will come in second place at the SC Primary,  Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced he was ending his bid for the White House. 

    "The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken and I really respect their decision so tonight I am suspending my campaign," announced Bush. "I congratulate my competitors that are remaining on the island on their success for a race that has been hard fought."

  • Hollywood Reacts to Trump Victory

    5:15 p.m. PT: 

    Trump's supporters took to Twitter on Saturday after his projected win, congratulating the candidate and projecting him as the GOP candidate that may go up against Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton in the general election. 

  • Donald Trump Declared Winner

    Getty Images

    4:30 p.m. PT: 

    The Associated Press and CNN have declared Donald Trump the winner of the South Carolina primary, 30 minutes after the polls have closed. This is the second primary victory for the billionaire after he won in New Hampshire. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are still in a race for second place. 

  • Candidates Campaign on Twitter

    Updated 4 p.m. PT:

    The GOP candidates have been tweeting out last-minute messages of support for their followers and endorsers Saturday as polling closes for the day. 

    Jeb Bush tweeted out a video from Senator Lindsey Graham, telling voters to "Vote Jeb, I did." 

    Marco Rubio had some downtime with family in South Carolina.

    Ben Carson focused on immigration issues as voters went to the polls. 

    John Kasich campaigned in Vermont Saturday.


  • AP Projects the Winner

    3:15 p.m. PT: 

    By late afternoon, the Associated Press projected Donald Trump as the winner of the South Carolina primary, with Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio close behind, using preference polls of voters in the area.