As Benji noted last night, Donald Trump‘s dominance in the Nevada caucuses was so thorough that news outlets were able to call the race immediately, before any precincts actually reported.
The final results are in and it’s Trump’s most dominant showing to date, nearly doubling the vote counts of rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz (and winning more votes than his two rivals combined).
These results have to be very troubling for GOP establishment types who have been whistling past the graveyard. They keep claiming that Trump has a ceiling, but if he starts approaching 50 percent, that’s a hard claim to hold to. Worth noting that generally, the West is actually Trump’s weakest region. Entrance polls suggest that Trump won among GOP Latino voters, a fact he’ll no doubt repeat over and over.
The polling and calendar ahead looks extremely promising for Trump. If this were any other candidate, pundits would be declaring this race over.
After his win, Trump declared, “I love the poorly educated!”
Meanwhile, establishment darling Rubio may be the one who has a ceiling. He has yet to crack a quarter of the vote in any state. He hasn’t won a state and isn’t a runaway favorite in any of the states voting March 1 (Rubio’s backers keep saying that a majority of GOP voters don’t want Trump; his problem is that an even bigger don’t want Rubio, apparently.)
Rubio once again barely topped Cruz, beating him by a couple thousand votes in Nevada after beating him by a thousand in South Carolina. In terms of the delegate count, they tied, with a five a piece. Team Rubio keeps whining that other candidates are messing up his chances to take on Trump one on one, but Cruz has no motivation to get out. Unlike Rubio he’s won a state, and in total, he’s won more votes. Across the 1.2 million GOP primary voters who have cast votes, Trump has won 31.9 percent, Cruz 20.7 percent, and Rubio 19.8 percent. Meanwhile, unlike Rubio, Cruz is leading the polls in several states next up on the calendar (including delegate-rich Texas).
John Kasich had a very poor showing. That was to be expected — his focus is elsewhere, in blue states in the Midwest and East Coast. But the weak showing will once again encourage the ignominious cycle of Republicans whining that their guy can’t win unless some other guy drops out. Kasich will likely hang around until his native state of Ohio.
Swallow hard: Trump is the overwhelming favorite to be the Republican nominee for president.