The Trump juggernaut barreled through the gate in South Carolina and pulled well ahead of his competitors before smashing out a win, his second out of the first three GOP contests. In a race which has been wildly unpredictable this year, Trump’s unexpectedly diverse showing of support in this latest primary is a telling reminder to the Republican Party that he should not be underestimated. Rubio and Cruz are still fighting for second and third place, in the midst of setting themselves up as the only viable alternatives to a Trump nomination. A distant fourth place finish for Bush spelled the end of his run, despite starting his campaign last year with incredibly high hopes, a popular family legacy and a ton of experience up his sleeve. His supporters are now likely to split between the remaining establishment candidates, Rubio and Kasich. And despite finishing in last place, Carson has already assured his followers that he is totally up for the next challenge.
Clinton and Sanders had an extremely close race in Nevada; young and Latino voters came out in droves to support Sanders. In the end though, Clinton was declared the winner thanks to her appeal with women and African American voters, a well-organized ground effort by her campaign and financial support from her super PACs. Clinton’s team is breathing a sigh of relief after once again halting the Bern’s momentum, but the downfall of Bush, another legacy candidate with endorsements and cash reserves in abundance, will serve as a cautionary reminder to her not to take anything for granted.
What happens next? Well, Super Tuesday is coming up on March 1, which is basically the Super Bowl of voting where a bunch of states will decide who gets blitzed and who makes it to the end zone. Another thing to note: GOP primaries held after March 15 give all of their delegates to the outright winner, rather than proportionally. Second and third place finishes become meaningless and a front runner could become the nominee well before the convention. This is a big deal for candidates who will be looking to larger states like Florida, New York and California, whose many delegates could certainly upend the race and make it anyone’s game.
Are you a fan of outsiders coming up trumps? Movie for your mood: Cool Runnings