A busy day for politics as Nevada held its Democratic caucuses, and South Carolina its Republican primary.
Hillary Clinton held off a strong challenge from Bernie Sanders to win Nevada. Sanders doesn’t really have a path to the nomination, but if he stays in the race and puts in close finishes, he’s guaranteed a very important seat at the convention.
Sanders undoubtedly got into the race to make income inequality part of the discussion, and he’s more than accomplished that, forcing Clinton to adopt some of his issues in her platform.
Over to the east, Donald Trump won South Carolina’s Republican primary by a resounding margin. And as I write this, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are fighting it out for second place.
If the GOP elites want to knock out Trump (and Cruz, whom they also hate) in time, they have to scramble to get everyone else out of the Republican race quickly so the establishment can solidify behind its candidate — most likely Rubio. But things need to happen in the next few weeks or Trump’s momentum will be unstoppable. There is no denying that Trump is now the overwhelming favorite to win the GOP nomination.
Ted Cruz’s path to beating Trump, even if he comes in second in South Carolina, is closed. That’s because he lost the evangelical vote – his strongest constituency – to Trump. It’s looking the same in upcoming contests as well.
Jeb Bush hasn’t come in top 3 in any contest so far, and he campaigned hard in South Carolina. His campaign is effectively over, and he has suspended as of this evening. The Republican establishment will no doubt hope this throws more support to Marco Rubio, their only hope to providing an alternative to Trump.