Donald Trump has officially won the South Carolina primary, report the AP, CBS News, NBC News, and Fox News, with 32.25% of the vote. It's the second victory in a row for the billionaire, and a key one in the South, where Ted Cruz invested heavily. This in spite of exit polls that showed that some four in 10 voters made up their minds at the last minute and many broke for Cruz and Marco Rubio; with all votes counted, Rubio edged out Cruz 22.5% to 22.3% in a tight race for second place, reports Politico. Jeb Bush finished a distant fourth with 7.8% of the vote in a state that has favored his family for three decades, leading him to drop out.
Adding insult to injury were John Kasich at 7.6% and Ben Carson at 7.2%. Carson spoke early to his supporters to assure them that he's not dropping out. "There's nothing easy about running for president I can tell you," Trump said in his victory speech. "It's tough, it's nasty, it's mean, it's vicious, it's beautiful. When you win it's beautiful. We're going to start winning for our country." (More South Carolina primary stories.)