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Hillary Clinton Expected To Do Well Over Bernie Sanders In S.C. Primary

: Thank you.

>>INSKEEPIn this country, tomorrow, South Carolina holds it's Democratic primary. It's a chance for Hillary Clinton to benefit from her lead among African-American voters. Here's NPR's Don Gonyea.

DON GONYEA, BYLINE: Hillary Clinton's schedule in South Carolina has been jammed with events in front of African-American audiences. She was in Florence yesterday at Cumberland United Methodist Church.


HILLARY CLINTON: Somebody once asked me a long time ago, when my husband was president, if I were a praying person. I said, well, I am, but if you've ever lived in the White House, you know you have to be (laughter). There's just no alternative to it.


GONYEA: And she's focusing on issues of importance to these voters.


CLINTON: Now, imagine a tomorrow where a presidential candidate doesn't have to come to this church and talk about voting rights because they are secure, they are taken care of and they are not under attack.

GONYEA: In Nevada last week, Clinton overwhelmingly won the African-American vote. She hopes to do the same in South Carolina and in upcoming Super Tuesday states. But she has also faced criticism this week. A Black Lives Matter protester pressed her on her husband's tough-on-crime policies as president. And the woman asked specifically about when Hillary Clinton described young gang members as, quote, "super predators" back in 1996.


CLINTON: We have to bring them to heal.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We want you to apologize for mass incarceration.

CLINTON: OK, we'll talk about it.

WOMAN: I'm not a super predator, Hillary Clinton.

CLINTON: OK, fine. We'll talk about it.

WOMAN: Can you apologize to black people for mass incarceration?

CLINTON: Well, can I talk and then maybe you can listen to what I have to say?

WOMAN: Yes, absolutely.

GONYEA: Yesterday, Clinton responded to the protester after the fact. Regarding her comments from 20 years ago, she told The Washington Post, quote, "looking back I shouldn't have used those words, and I wouldn't use them today." Now to Bernie Sanders. He's been campaigning far less in South Carolina. He held just one event Wednesday, a morning news conference where he was already looking past tomorrow's vote.


BERNIE SANDERS: You know what? There are dozens and dozens and dozens of states that follow. In some of those states, I expect we're going to do very well and win maybe by large amounts. In some states, we're going to lose.

GONYEA: Then yesterday, Sanders was in Ohio, and in Flint, Mich., where the crisis over dangerous levels of lead in the city water continues.


SANDERS: And to hear what is happening to the children in this community is so horrific.

GONYEA: Even with Sanders' light schedule in South Carolina, he is a presence in the form of campaign ads, including this one aimed at black voters and featuring film director Spike Lee.


SPIKE LEE: And when Bernie gets in the White House, he will do the right thing. How can we be sure? Bernie was at the March on Washington with Dr. King. He was arrested in Chicago for protesting segregation...

GONYEA: Another African-American movie icon is voicing ads for Clinton - actor Morgan Freeman.


MORGAN FREEMAN: She says their names - Trayvon Martin...

CLINTON: Shot to death...

FREEMAN: ...Dontre Hamilton...

CLINTON: Unarmed...

FREEMAN: Sandra Bland.

CLINTON: That man did nothing wrong.

FREEMAN: And makes their mothers fight for justice.

GONYEA: After South Carolina, the pace of the campaign accelerates quickly. On Super Tuesday next week, nearly a dozen states vote. The up-close campaigning of the early states ends. There'll be more quick landings for events in airport hangers and more candidate encounters that feel like hello, goodbye. Don Gonyea, NPR News, Charleston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.
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