Joe Biden has overwhelmingly won the South Carolina primary, bringing his presidential bid back from the brink and giving him new momentum going into Super Tuesday.
The former US vice president secured around half the vote in the state according to early counting, thanks in a large part to his vast support among African-American voters.
Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and race front-runner, finished a distant second place.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appIt is the first time Mr Biden has won a state in his three campaigns for the White House.
"For all those of you who've been knocked down, counted out, left behind, this is your campaign," Mr Biden told jubilant supporters at a victory party in Columbia, South Carolina.
Mr Biden took a swipe at pundits who had declared him “dead" after poor performance in the early states, saying: "We are very much alive... This campaign's just taking off!"
Mr Biden had spent all week in the state attempting to save his bid after fourth- and fifth-place finishes in Iowa and New Hampshire, followed by a second place in Nevada last weekend.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appHe had been the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination for more than a year before Iowa voted.
The 77-year-old repeatedly played up the eight years he spent as Barack Obama's deputy, framing himself as the ultimate defender of the first black US president's legacy.
In the South Carolina primary, unlike the early voting states, a majority of voters were African-American, a group with which Mr Biden had enjoyed a consistent lead in surveys.
Exit polls showed that Mr Biden overwhelmingly won that demographic, picking up an estimated 60 per cent of votes from African Americans who cast a ballot.
The polls also suggested that the endorsement of Jim Clyburn, the highest ranking African-American congressman, had been a significant factor for a sizable number of voters.
Mr Sanders, a democratic socialist, finished second with around a fifth of the votes. His historic opposition to tighter gun laws and desire to challenge Mr Obama in 2012 for the presidential nomination had been targeted by the Biden campaign.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appTom Steyer, the billionaire who poured millions into South Carolina and focussed on winning African-American support, was on course to finish a disappointing third. He announced his withdrawal from the race shortly after polls closed.
Other candidates such as former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar were expected to finish with a vote share in the single digits when counting was complete.
Mr Biden used his victory speech to repeatedly go after Mr Sanders, the candidate with the most delegates in the race so far, casting himself as the field's leading moderate.
"Folks, win big or lose, that is the choice. Most Americans don't want the promise of revolution. They don't want promises - they want results," he said.
Mr Biden also said a Democrat should be the party's nominee - a jibe at Mr Sanders, who is an independent - and warned against factionalism.
"We can't have a never-ending war," he said.
Any bounce Mr Biden hopes for could be short lived, however, with 14 states voting in just three days' time in what is dubbed Super Tuesday.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appMost of Mr Biden's rivals had already turned their attention to those races, flying out of South Carolina before results dropped on Saturday night.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appSome, especially those who have failed to finish in the top two in any of the first four states such as Ms Warren and Ms Klobuchar, are under mounting pressure to quit the race.
Mike Bloomberg, the former New York mayor and billionaire who has spent hundreds of millions on his campaign, was not on the ballot in South Carolina, joining on Super Tuesday.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appHe is under pressure to prove he is better positioned than Mr Biden to beat Mr Sanders, with critics saying he is splitting the centrist vote and easing the democratic socialist's path.
There was jubilation at the sports centre in Columbia where hundreds of supporters had turned up to celebrate Mr Biden's win, with chants of "Joe! Joe! Joe!" ringing out.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appMr Clyburn, the South Carolina congressman whose endorsement this week appeared to have an impact, took to the stage to introduce Mr Biden.
"This campaign this year is about the goodness of America and we have as our candidate a real good man," Mr Clyburn said.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appAttending were some of those who had propelled Mr Biden to his victory, such as Mildred Gooden, a 60-year-old African-American teacher who had driven 45 minutes to be there.
"He's going to get a quantum leap into Super Tuesday," Ms Gooden told The Daily Telegraph of Mr Biden's win, adding that she had been a backer of his for years. "I was very supportive of that Biden-Obama team. He needs to continue that legacy. I know he can and I know he will."
Carlton Green, a 60 year-old from Columbia, said Mr Sanders's left-wing policies worked against him in South Carolina, a state that is solidly Republican in presidential elections.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app"The socialist thing is a big thing here in South Carolina. We're a very conservative state, so I think that was the biggest factor," he said.
An eventual winner will be crowned at the Democratic Party convention in July before taking on Donald Trump2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app in November's presidential election.
Mr Trump tweeted about the race as it became clear Mr Biden would win, calling him "Sleepy Joe" and taking aim at "Mini Mike", his nickname for Mr Bloomberg.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围app"Sleepy Joe Biden’s victory in the South Carolina Democrat Primary should be the end of Mini Mike Bloomberg’s joke of a campaign," Mr Trump wrote.
"After the worst debate performance in the history of presidential debates, Mini Mike now has Biden split up his very few voters, taking many away!"