Hillary Clinton has won the South Carolina primary, the latest battleground in the race to be Democratic presidential nominee.
Her victory was widely expected but it gives her momentum ahead of the “Super Tuesday” primaries in 11 states next week.
“Tomorrow this campaign goes national,” Hillary Clinton told cheering supporters.
Rival Bernie Sanders has congratulated Hillary Clinton but said the campaign was just beginning.
Eight out of 10 black voters backed Hillary Clinton, exit polls suggested, a key section of the Democratic electorate.
It is Hillary Clinton’s third victory in four contests, after wins in Iowa and Nevada. She lost to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire.
Eight years ago, Hillary Clinton lost the South Carolina primary overwhelmingly to then Senator Barack Obama.
It was a different story this time. Soon after polls closed Hillary Clinton told supporters: “You sent a message – in America when we stand together, there is no barrier too big to break.”
On the Republican side, Donald Trump leads a field that has dwindled to five from 12 a month ago.
Donald Trump won the Nevada caucus on February 24 by a wide margin – correspondents say he is beginning to look unstoppable.
In her victory speech, Hillary Clinton aimed a dig at the man tipped to be the Republican presidential candidate.
“Despite what you hear, we don’t need to make America great again. America has never stopped being great,” Hillary Clinton said, referencing Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.
Donald Trump’s closest challengers in the Republican field, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, sought to put him under pressure by releasing several years of their tax returns.
The billionaire says he will not release his until an audit has been completed; his rivals accuse him of holding back the information to hide exaggerations about his wealth.
Bernie Sanders, a veteran senator from Vermont, said he was now focusing on the Super Tuesday vote.
“In politics, on a given night, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Tonight we lost,” he told reporters in Minnesota, one of the states taking part.
“I congratulate Secretary Clinton on her very strong victory. Tuesday, over 800 delegates are at stake, and we intend to win many of them.”
There was some welcome news for Bernie Sanders after he was endorsed by Robert Reich, a former official in Bill Clinton’s presidential administration.