(CN) - Hillary Clinton cruised to victory in the South Carolina Democratic presidential primary Saturday, swamping Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, 74 percent to 26 percent with 100 percent of the vote counted.
Clinton's easy win, which had been predicted for several days, appears to give her substantial momentum heading toward Super Tuesday, when Democrats will vote in 11 states (and American Samoa).
She received word of her landslide victory at a primary night watch party at the University of South Carolina's volleyball center in Columbia, S.C., after having spent the day campaigning in Alabama.
When the race was called shortly after 7 p.m., Sanders was said to be flying and without internet access while en route to a campaign rally in Minnesota. earlier in the day he appeared at two rallies in Texas, one in Dallas and the other in Austin. The latter reportedly drew a crowd of more than 10,000.
Polls released ahead of Saturday's vote in South Carolina ranged widely, with the CNN/ORG International poll released Feb. 16 predicting the smallest margin victory at 18 percent, and a Clemson University poll released just this week showing her to have a 50-point advantage over Sanders.
A Real Clear Politics average of nine different polls predicted Clinton would win with 58.2 percent of the voter, while Sanders garnered 30.7 percent a spread of 27.5 percent.
Prior to Saturday, Clinton had won two of three previous Democratic contests, Iowa and Nevada (although the Sanders campaign, with some justification, calls Iowa a tie), and Sanders had won in New Hampshire.
However, until Saturday night, the two candidates were separated by just the barest of margins in the "pledged delegate" count (as opposed to "superdelegates"), with Clinton having won 52 and Sanders, 51. With 53 delegates in play, South Carolina is the biggest contest Clinton and Sanders have competed in thus far.
In South Carolina, 35 delegates are awarded based finishes in each of the state's seven congressional districts, another 11 are considered at-large delegates won based on statewide finish, while the final seven are party leaders and officials who are bound to the results of the primary.
All of these "pledged delegates are awarded on a proportional basis, with a 15 percent threshold. When the dust settled Saturday night, Clinton was expected to win 39 of South Carolina's delegates to Sanders's 14.
A word on superdelegates for clarity. Super delegates are Democratic party officials who are not bound by the voting results of the primary. They pledge their support for their preferred candidate. In terms of super delegates who have committed to supporting a candidate to date, Clinton leads by a large margin with 451, while Sanders has just 19.
This gives Clinton a huge advantage on paper. However, these delegates can also change their mind. In 2008, for instance, many of the super delegates pledges to her ultimately supported then-Sen. Barack Obama.
Clinton lost a hotly contested South Carolina Democratic primary to then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008. On that day, Obama won by garnering 78 percent of the black vote. He beat her by a total of 55.4 percent to 26.5 percent.
This time, despite her rosy poll numbers, left nothing to chance.