DONALD TRUMP LEADS WITH 45%

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Donald Trump

Donald Trump scored a convincing victory
Tuesday night in the Nevada Republican Caucus
— a third straight win that builds upon his
momentum heading into next week’s Super
Tuesday and delivers a sharp warning to his
rivals and the party establishment that time
may be running out to slow his march to the
nomination.
In the battle for second place, Florida Sen.
Marco Rubio held a slim edge over Texas Sen.
Ted Cruz, but that result was still too close to
call Wednesday morning.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Trump
led with 45 percent, followed by Rubio at 24
percent and Cruz at 21 percent.
Far behind were retired neurosurgeon Ben
Carson and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who earned
5 percent and 4 percent of votes, respectively.
Before a cheering crowd of supporters in Las
Vegas, Trump teased those who predicted he
wouldn’t do well in this contest and others.
“Now we’re winning, winning, winning,” Trump
said. “Soon, the country is going to start
winning, winning, winning.”
This is the third win in a row for Trump, who
earlier this month won South Carolina and New
Hampshire after placing second in Iowa. His
winning streak gives him significant
momentum as he heads into next week’s Super
Tuesday contests, the biggest prize of the
campaign so far.
More than a dozen states hold primaries or
caucuses that day, awarding nearly 600
delegates – or more than four times the
number that have been awarded in the first
four states combined.
Entrance polls in Nevada showed Trump was
buoyed by support from a range of groups,
including Hispanics and evangelicals. And he
dominated among caucus-goers who said they
prefered an outsider.
While Trump builds his base, Rubio and Cruz
are still fighting to cut into his lead, with
diminishing opportunities to do so.
Rubio has enjoyed some momentum after his
second-place finish Saturday in the South
Carolina primary. But even as he wins over
endorsements from “establishment” figures,
the Florida senator has yet to notch his first
election victory, raising continuing doubts over
whether he could be a successful Trump
alternative.
He did get one high-powered vote on Tuesday,
though — a spokeswoman said Nevada Gov.
Brian Sandoval cast his ballot for Rubio.
Cruz, meanwhile, is trying to shake doubts
about his campaign and recover after a tough
stretch during which his campaign repeatedly
was accused of “dirty tricks” — leading him to
fire his top spokesman over one incident.
At Cruz’s watch party in Vegas, he maintained
he’s still the best candidate to go up against
Trump – and the Democratic nominee. In a
knock at Rubio, he noted only two candidates,
him and Trump, have won one of the first
three contests and said voters will have a
“clear choice” next Tuesday.
“One week from today will be the most
important night of this campaign,” Cruz said.
Cruz won the Iowa caucuses, but has struggled
to follow that up since. He finished third in
South Carolina, despite an electorate full of
the kind of evangelical voters who thus far
have carried his campaign.
Trump charged into Nevada with unrelenting
attacks on Cruz’s character.
“There’s something wrong with this guy,”
Trump said at a Las Vegas rally Monday night.
On Tuesday, he called Cruz a “soft, weak, little
baby” who lies.
Polls had shown Trump leading in Nevada, but
polling in The Silver State is sparse and the
contest is often unpredictable. Mitt Romney
won the last two GOP caucuses in 2008 and
2012.
Nevada’s voting took place in schools,
community centers and places of worship
across the state. There were some reports of
long lines and even caucus volunteers wearing
campaign attire – specifically pro-Trump.
But state Republican officials said it’s “not
against the rules for volunteers to wear
candidate gear.” Further, one GOP official told
reporters looking at complaints on Twitter to
“take a deep breath,” saying the state was
looking at high turnout and enthusiasm.
The caucus marked the first Republican
election in the West, and the fourth of the
campaign.
Trump’s rivals concede they are running out of
time to take him on. The election calendar
suggests that if the New York billionaire’s
rivals don’t slow him by mid-March, they may
not ever. Trump swept all of South Carolina’s
50 delegates, giving him a total of 67
compared to Cruz and Rubio who had 11 and
10, respectively, heading into Nevada.
An Associated Press tally early Wednesday
showed Trump with 12 of Nevada’s 30
delegates, while Cruz and Rubio each received
5 with another eight delegates yet to be
allocated.
Rubio and Cruz have been laying into each
other viciously in recent days, an indication
they know Trump can be slowed only if one of
them is eliminated.
Rubio — who finished third in Iowa and fifth in
New Hampshire — had already left Nevada,
preferring to campaign in Minnesota and
Michigan. In recent days, he has also picked
up support from such Republican
establishment heavyweights as Arkansas Gov.
Asa Hutchinson, North Carolina Sen. Thom
Tillis and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.
“We have incredible room to grow,” Rubio told
reporters during a Monday night news
conference on his campaign plane.

Source : Foxnews

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