Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz finished in a virtual tie for second place, with Rubio edging Cruz by 22.5 percent to 22.3 percent with 100 percent of the districts reporting.
Jeb Bush, who finished fourth with 7.8 percent, decided to suspend his campaign on Saturday.
Trump’s victory is expected to add momentum to his campaign as the business mogul heads into Nevada’s GOP caucuses Tuesday and 13 other states voting on Super Tuesday, March 1.Terrorism and the economy were the top issues for South Carolina Republican primary voters, according to exit polls conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research, with voters split on outsider candidates and those who are considered part of the political establishment.
The survey also found that three-quarters of voters were in favor of a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, one of Trump’s central policies.
Trump went into the primaries as the frontrunner despite waging a rhetorical battle with Pope Francis and former President George W. Bush.
A Friday CNN Poll of Polls showed Trump leading with 34 percent, ahead of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 20 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 15 percent.
Earlier on Saturday, Hillary Clinton won the Democratic Nevada caucuses, rebounding from her disappointing second-place finish to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire.
The win in the Silver State could give the former secretary of state’s campaign a much needed jolt as she heads into the South Carolina primary next week.
— The Associated Press (@AP) February 21, 2016