COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – In a historical shift, South Carolina Democrats turned out in record numbers on Saturday, besting last week's underwhelming Republican vote, which was hampered by bad weather.
In an overwhelmingly red state, that's no small feat.
The state Democratic party estimates that more than 530,000 Democrats turned out for Saturday's primary, as compared with 445,000 voters who showed up to vote last weekend, a marked drop from the Republican record high in 2000.
State party chair Carol Fowler said in a statement that the vote is a "remarkable occurrence."
"Democrats have three excellent candidates who have inspired voters all over South Carolina and our country," she said. "This is a huge rejection of the Republican Party at both the federal and state level."
Fowler also congratulated Barack Obama on his victory and took a shot at the national press covering the race over the last week.
"While the national media focused all their attention on race and gender, an investment was made in the future of our state," she said.
Meanwhile, state Republican party chair Katon Dawson issued his own statement on Obama's victory, calling him "one of history’s most inexperienced presidential candidates."
He also emphasized that the chances of a Democrat winning South Carolina next November are likely small.
“Tonight, I am more confident than ever our party's nominee for president will be overwhelmingly supported in South Carolina no matter who wins over the liberal Democrat primary base,” Dawson said.
- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby