Tom's Blog

Trump Wins South Carolina; Cruz And Rubio Battle For Second

Posted by:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop on Friday in North Charleston, S.C.i

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop on Friday in North Charleston, S.C.

Matt Rourke/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Matt Rourke/AP

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop on Friday in North Charleston, S.C.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop on Friday in North Charleston, S.C.

Matt Rourke/AP

Donald Trump has won the South Carolina primary, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are locked in a tight battle for second place.

“Politics: It’s tough, it’s nasty, it’s mean, it’s vicious. It’s beautiful,” Trump declared to his supporters at his victory rally in Spartanburg, S.C.

“Let’s put this thing away,” the real estate mogul crowed, looking ahead to Super Tuesday fights and boasting again of his big win last week in New Hampshire.

The Palmetto State also claimed the first casualty of the night: after a disappointing finish, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush suspended his campaign.

The brash billionaire was expected to carry the conservative Palmetto State, despite controversies in the past week that have had little impact on his dominance — as usual this election cycle. In last Saturday’s debate, Trump attacked former President George W. Bush over his handling of the Iraq War, and on Thursday he tussled with Pope Francis over immigration.

Cruz worked to turn out the state’s sizable bloc of evangelical voters, but even among those voters Trump triumphed, according to exit polls. The share of self-described born again Christians increased from four years ago — up to 73 percent compared to 65 percent in 2012. Trump carried those voters with 31 percent of the vote, while Cruz won 27 percent and Rubio got a 22 percent share.

Late mudslinging between the candidates may have impacted the tight contest too. A superPAC supporting Cruz was pushing out robo-calls, hitting Trump for supporting last summer’s removal of the Confederate flag from the State Capitol grounds and for backing “forward motion” of LGBT rights.

There were plenty of accusations flying between Cruz and Rubio, too. The Florida senator’s campaign slammed Cruz after they photoshopped a photo of Rubio and Obama shaking hands. The two rivals jabbed back and forth all week over their immigration records, too.

South Carolina was the death knell for Bush. The former Florida governor has leaned heavily on his family connections to carry him in the state, bringing in his brother, former President George W. Bush, and his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, this week to campaign for him.

Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson has been fighting for conservative evangelical voters too, but has had trouble breaking through and was lagging in single digits.

And Ohio Gov. John Kasich hoped for a boost in the state after his impressive second place New Hampshire finish last week, but he didn’t need a big result as bad as Bush and Carson do. In fact, Kasich has already turned his attention to delegate-rich Super Tuesday states which will vote on March 1, and is in Massachusetts watching results tonight, not South Carolina.

Article source: http://www.npr.org/2016/02/20/467507410/trump-cruz-and-rubio-battle-for-south-carolina-prize?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news



Add a Comment