UPDATE: 6 p.m. EST — Exit polls in South Carolina indicated 73 percent of Republican voters said they were evangelicals, CNN reported.
UPDATE: 5:27 p.m. EST — NBC News has projected that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic Nevada caucuses Saturday, edging out opponent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
If the projection turns out to be true, it will be a blow to Sanders, whose win in the racially diverse state would have been a boost to his campaign. Minority voters were key to a win for Clinton, NBC News reported.
To everyone who turned out in every corner of Nevada with determination and heart: This is your win. Thank you. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 20, 2016
The feeling is mutual, Nevada. pic.twitter.com/Z32JkpNKAp
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) February 20, 2016
UPDATE: 5:21 p.m. EST — According to exit polls in the South Carolina Republican primary Saturday, terrorism was the most important issue for GOP Voters, CBS News reported.
Some 32 percent of people polled said terrorism was the most important issue, followed by the economy and jobs at 28 percent, and government spending at 27 percent. Some 10 percent said immigration was their biggest concern.
In the same exit poll, 38 percent of those polled said the most important quality in a candidate is that the share their values. Some 29 percent said the most important quality in a candidate is that they can bring change, and 16 percent said the most important quality is a candidate “tells it like it is.”
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 20, 2016
UPDATE: 5:07 p.m. EST — Nearly two-thirds of those who came to the Democratic caucuses in Nevada Saturday said that it was the first time they attended the caucuses, ABC News reported. So far, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has more support among first-time caucus goers, while Hillary Clinton has more voters who said this isn’t their first time.
Support for the two candidates is also split along age lines. According to entrance polls, about three-fourths of caucus goers under the age of 45 support Sanders, while a majority of voters over 45 support Clinton.
The caucuses come at the same time a bit about Sanders’ past was revealed by an archival photo from the Chicago Tribune. Sanders has said much about his civil rights activism while a student at the University of Chicago, but photo of him being arrested during a South Side Chicago protest in 1963 could help bolster that image.
“He looked at [the photo] — he actually has his student ID from the University of Chicago in his wallet — and he said, ‘Yes, that indeed is (me).’” Tad Devine, a senior adviser to the campaign, told the Tribune.
Bernie Sanders arrested fighting for racial justice in 1963 pic.twitter.com/mIu3ZM0Tr2
— John Lurie (@lurie_john) February 20, 2016
UPDATE: 4:39 p.m. EST — Turnout in the Republican South Carolina primary could break records Saturday if absentee ballots are an indication of the number of voters that came to the polls, GOP officials told the Wall Street Journal. Friday saw some 59,000 absentees come in, more than in the 2008 and 2012 elections combined.
The South Carolina polls are slated to close at 7 p.m., CNN reported.
— POLITICO (@politico) February 20, 2016
UPDATE: 4:09 p.m. EST — Presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s campaign added some heat to the race for the South Carolina Saturday, tweeting out a picture of an email apparently from Trump competitor Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign, asking for help.
The email said “There’s not a delicate way to put this. We’re falling behind,” according to a tweet from Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino. “I’m emailing you now, and I need to hear back in the next 30 minutes if at all possible. Because in 30 minutes I go into my last pre-South Carolina meeting Ted, and as of the last report an hour ago — we are still behind by more than $150,000.”
— Dan Scavino (@DanScavino) February 20, 2016
The email was purportedly signed by Lauren Lofstrom, National Finance Director of Cruz for President. The email then has a link to allow donations to be made.
UPDATE: 3:43 p.m. EST — Barbs between supporters of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders were exchanged Saturday as the Democratic caucuses started off. At Rancho High School in North Las Vegas — one of Nevada’s most diverse voting areas and where Clinton herself started off her Nevada campaign — verbal exchanges in English and Spanish could be heard between supporters of the two Democrats, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"¡Vota por el cambio!"
yells Sanders backer.
"When I say Madame, you say President," Clinton supporters fire back. pic.twitter.com/ugAArJmKxG
— Kate Linthicum (@katelinthicum) February 20, 2016
— Yvanna Cancela (@ydc226) February 20, 2016
Clinton staff member Natalie Montelongo could be heard leading the chant, “When I say ‘Madame,’ you say, ‘President!’” against Sanders supporters yelling, “Feel the Bern.” Both Clinton and Sanders have been trying to garner support among Latino voters in Nevada.
UPDATE: 3:24 p.m. EST — Facebook released its data of the conversations happening in South Carolina's primary and in Nevada's caucuses Saturday afternoon. The social network analyzed the conversation around the candidates from midnight to noon EST Saturday. The data revealed that Donald Trump is dominating the conversation in South Carolina, with 56 percent, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is overtaking Hillary Clinton in Nevada, with 31 percent of posts and comments. Trump is followed by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 22 percent and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 17 percent.
The top issues in South Carolina are Pope Francis, Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants, the Affordable Care Act, Islam and Muslims, and racism and discrimination. Top issues in Nevada are government ethics, Citizens United and SuperPACs, education, racial issues and immigration.
Kerry Flynn contributed to this report.
UPDATE: 3:15 p.m. EST — Early reports of entrance polls at the Nevada caucuses Saturday are showing that Hillary Clinton has a slight lead over competitor Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, though the race is still close, CBS News tweeted about an hour after the caucuses opened the doors. About 70 percent of people who showed up early to the caucuses said they arrived at a conclusion of who they were going to support in the race more than a month ago.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 20, 2016
If you're still in line at your caucus location, stay in line to make your voice heard! https://t.co/apxJoaxOhc
— Nevada Dems (@nvdems) February 20, 2016
UPDATE: 2:57 p.m. EST — It’s aces high in Nevada Saturday — that is, if there is a tie between Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in the Nevada caucuses.
— Jakob Stewart (@JakobStewart) February 20, 2016
The Nevada caucuses for the Democrats began 2 p.m. EST Saturday, and with reference to Nevada’s legalized gambling history, a single card would be drawn for each candidate in the event of a tie, the Wall Street Journal reported. If that ended up in a tie, the suit would decide the winner, with spades being the highest.
Caucasing in NV for the first time. It's… intense. Wonder if it's always like this? pic.twitter.com/X7MB8jAEaA
— Wood (@clownshoeninja) February 20, 2016
— Todd Toadee Crandall (@Trc3868) February 20, 2016
UPDATE: 2:25 p.m. EST —The Nevada caucuses officially kicked off at 2 p.m. EST time Saturday, with Democrats Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton facing off in a race that is all but clear. People had to be in line within the hour of the kick-off time, they can participate in the caucus, the Associated Press reported.
— Hillary for Nevada (@HillaryforNV) February 20, 2016
Caucus lines are LONG here at this Henderson caucus site. Tons need to register though NV Dems say 31k did online pic.twitter.com/YMOwlbF0zP
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) February 20, 2016
UPDATE: 12:58 p.m. EST — While voters are heading to the polls to determine which Republican will come out on top in the South Carolina primary Saturday, the impact of the poll results remains unclear.
Donald Trump maintained the lead heading into Saturday's voting, and a win could force the party to take his candidacy more seriously, but a loss — possibly finishing behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who started Saturday second in the opinion polls — could bring in more financial support for other GOP candidates, the Post and Courier of Charleston reported. Cruz could come out on top by taking advantage of the evangelical vote, the same thing he did in Iowa.
The worst thing that could happen to Cruz may be finishing behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has gotten endorsements from a U.S. senator and representative from South Carolina, as well as Gov. Nikki Haley. A third-place finish for Rubio, however, could be the worst-case scenario for him.
Perhaps the worst thing that could happen to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would be coming in fourth, which might lead financial backers to end their support and, fulfilling the prediction of Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign, end Bush’s bid. For Kasich, ending in front of Bush could be the most positive thing since he hasn’t collected many endorsements aside from newspapers, the Post and Courier reported. Finishing in the back of the pack, however, could show his strong second-place finish in New Hampshire was nothing more than a fluke.
— kaitlynn♕ (@kaitdollxo) February 20, 2016
For Ben Carson, once one of the GOP front-runners, the best-case scenario would be sticking around in the race, the Post and Courier reported. If he finishes too far behind, the effect may be being shut out of further debates.
— Will Evans (@willevans_sO) February 20, 2016
UPDATE: 12:12 p.m. EST — Three days after endorsing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley cast her vote for him in the Republican primary Saturday, a Haley deputy chief of staff tweeted Saturday.
Haley said earlier this week, “I wanted somebody with fight, I wanted somebody with passion, I wanted somebody who had the conviction to do the right thing, but I wanted somebody humble enough to remember he works for all the people," CNN reported.
— Rob Godfrey (@RobGodfrey) February 20, 2016
Haley’s endorsement comes with those of South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy. Rubio said Haley’s endorsement is the most important, however, to possibly coming in second in the primary.
UPDATE: 11:50 a.m. EST — Even though voters are expected to hit the polls Saturday in South Carolina during the Republican primary, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz chose to spend at least part of the day in Washington to attend the funeral of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last week in Texas. Cruz arrived at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to honor Scalia, a longtime mainstay of the court’s conservative wing, a New York Times photographer tweeted.
Cruz is expected to be back in South Carolina later Saturday, the Washington Post reported.
Sen. Cruz arrives for the Mass for Justice Scalia @ the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception pic.twitter.com/E5l32ROA23
— Doug Mills (@dougmillsnyt) February 20, 2016
UPDATE: 11:03 a.m. EST — As Republican presidential hopefuls waited Saturday as voters went to the polls in the South Carolina primary, one candidate predicted the end of a rival’s campaign is soon approaching. Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s presidential campaign said Saturday that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s campaign will be over after Saturday.
Kasich’s chief strategist, John Weaver, said: “For all practical purposes, there is no path forward for Gov. Bush. That campaign will come to an end today,” a Boston Globe reporter tweeted Saturday morning.
"For all practical purposes, there is no path forward for Governor Bush,” says Kasich’s @JWGOP. "That campaign will come to an end today."
— Matt Viser (@mviser) February 20, 2016
Weaver also said with Bush out of the race, Kasich’s campaign will get a boost as the last governor in the race for the Republican nomination. Weaver also predicted the final GOP duel will be between Kasich and front-runner Donald Trump.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 20, 2016
The Republican and Democratic presidential candidates face off against one another on opposite sides of the country Saturday. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders go head-to-head in the Democratic caucus Saturday in Nevada while the GOP’s primary in South Carolina could show whether front-runner Donald Trump can keep the momentum of his campaign going through Super Tuesday March 1 when a series of other Southern states are set to vote, the Associated Press reported.
The AP reported Trump wowed a crowd of thousands Friday in Myrtle Beach. “We have a movement going on, folks. And we can’t blow the movement. We have to make sure we get a big mandate. We have to go out tomorrow we have to go out and vote,” Trump said.
Those trailing Trump, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, have an opportunity to make strides in their campaigns, with Cruz running a strong get-out-the-vote campaign this week to topple Trump. Bush and Rubio aren’t expected to get second or first, but they are trying to best each other.
Nevada is a wild card for the Democrats. Ninety-eight percent of voters won’t even attend caucuses Saturday, the Atlantic reported. Nevada has a large population of minorities — to whom Clinton has appealed — but also has a large number of young people, whom Sanders has helped energize along the campaign trail.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 20, 2016
Unsettled by a loss in New Hampshire last week, Clinton isn’t looking at a surefire victory in Nevada, Politico reported. Her campaign is looking for a best-case scenario in which she gains a slim victory over Sanders, but not one that signals a decisive win.
Clinton has a mere 5-point lead over Sanders in the Nevada polls, USA Today reported. If Clinton loses to Sanders Saturday, it could call into question Clinton’s ability to connect with voters in the same way Sanders has.
In the lead-up to today's primary, South Carolina voters got misleading instructions about voter ID https://t.co/7WCepfgnsO
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) February 20, 2016