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Hillary Clinton wins Georgia Democratic primary

Hillary Clinton has won Georgia's Democratic primary, according to projections from multiple media outlets.

Clinton was heavily favored to win Georgia. The state's Democratic electorate is dominated by black voters who supported Clinton overwhelmingly in Nevada and South Carolina. She was ahead by over 30 points in pre-primary polling, and the Sanders campaign didn't put as much energy into campaigning there as it did in some of the other states up for grabs today.

Black voters in particular turned out in large numbers, making up a large share of the state’s overall Democratic electorate. Black voters have been key to Clinton’s victories in Nevada (where she won over 90 percent of their votes) and South Carolina, where her 86 percent support among black voters led her to an overwhelming win. Their strong showing in Georgia helped guarantee a Clinton victory.

Clinton also performed well among Georgia women, who supported her by a two-to-one margin according to exit polls — and who made up 60 percent of the electorate.

What does this mean for the Democratic race?

The real measure of how important Georgia is to the broader Democratic primary battle is whether it makes it more likely or less likely that Bernie Sanders will be able to catch up to Hillary Clinton's support. Because the primary calendar is spread out, it's totally plausible that Clinton could come out to an early lead as her stronger states vote early — then watch it evaporate as pro-Sanders states turned out to the polls later. (Or vice versa.)

One way to figure out if Clinton's lead is temporary, or if Sanders is running out of time to close the gap, is to start backwards. If Sanders and Clinton had exactly equal amounts of support among all Democratic primary voters in America, what would the race look like right now? What would have happened in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, and what would happen in the Super Tuesday states tonight?

Nate Silver and the team at FiveThirtyEight have one way of estimating that. They use the demographics of each state to predict how much that state would "lean" toward Clinton or Sanders if the race were evenly tied nationally.

According to that model, if Sanders were tied with Clinton nationally, he'd be losing to her by 27 points in Georgia. In other words, Clinton's victory in Georgia doesn't necessarily bode poorly for Sanders. What remains to be seen is how big that victory is — a victory even bigger than 27 points (like the one she had in South Carolina) will be bad news for the Sanders campaign.