It was a battle to the end for Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio for that second place finish in the "First in the South Primary."
"It's the place that gave us the second chance and a new beginning," Rubio said about South Carolina. "We can't wait to be back "
A crowd of several hundred at the Carolina Haven in Columbia celebrated with every little gain in support that was coming in for Rubio from the polling locations across the state.
"We've tried to make as many stops as we could," Rubio's Communications Director Alex Conant said. "Marco has been putting in 15, 16, 17 hour days ever since we got here...trying to meet as many South Carolinians as possible."
In a large field of conservative candidates, Rubio seems to stand out for many in the Palmetto State, even for some who weren't able to vote.
"For me, Marco Rubio's campaign is very personal because I'm from that region where Isis and all the refugee problems and all that is happening," Jad Koraki said. "I understand very well that Marco Rubio's foreign policy is the best."
Koraki moved to the United States a few years ago and said Rubio's plans for the presidency are what many refugees from Syria are hoping for.
"The Syrian people literally every day are praying that the 45th president is Senator Marco Rubio," Koraki said.
Rubio's supporters, Senator Tim Scott and Congressman Trey Gowdy say the notion that Rubio would win the election if he's given the Republican nomination still holds true.
"The reality of it is as we start looking for someone to coalesce around that has conservative principles, that can win in November, attracting a new generation of republican voters you look no further than Marco Rubio," Scott said.
Campaign officials say Rubio's showing in South Carolina is just more momentum pushing his bid for the White House forward.
"Here in South Carolina the message is pretty clear," Rubio said. "This nation is ready for a new generation of conservatives to lead us into a new American century."