Republican candidates in high-stakes match in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio are locked in a high-stakes political chess match in South Carolina in a bid to pull ahead in the Republican primary race -- or at least keep their campaigns afloat if they don't.

See Full Article

The state's primary is Saturday.

The manoeuvring comes as some Republican leaders fear Donald Trump or Ted Cruz will collect the delegates needed to secure the party's nomination before a more mainstream candidate can consolidate the support of voters turned off by the brash billionaire and Texas senator. So-called establishment Republicans worry that either could jeopardize the party's chances of winning in November's general election.

"We do need to get the field down to Trump, Cruz and somebody," said Henry Barbour, a Republican National Committee heavyweight from Mississippi.

The Democratic field is already down to two candidates -- Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Clinton is counting on strong support among African-Americans who twice backed her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to counter Sanders' surprisingly strong insurgent campaign.

Saturday's Nevada caucuses are next for the Democrats, with a South Carolina primary on Feb. 27. Both Clinton and Sanders are appealing to black voters, as blacks make up more than half of the Democratic primary electorate in South Carolina and several other southern states.

For the Republicans, the only thing that is clear heading into the South Carolina primary appears to be Trump's grip on the lead following his victory in the New Hampshire primary. Cruz, the winner of the Iowa caucuses, is also in the mix for a strong finish.

But the more mainstream lane populated by Bush, Kasich and Rubio is more jumbled. Bush's campaign sees an opening to capitalize on Rubio's fifth-place finish in New Hampshire, while Kasich's strong second-place showing there has given the Ohio governor reason to keep his campaign going until primaries in friendlier territory in the Midwest. Rubio's team, meanwhile, is quietly confident that South Carolina will be a comeback story for the Florida senator.

Bush, the former Florida governor, has deep family ties to South Carolina -- his father and brother each won two Republican primaries here -- and a poor showing Saturday could leave him without a compelling rationale to keep his campaign going.

As the third major contest in the primary campaign, South Carolina is accustomed to settling divergent results in Iowa and New Hampshire, with the winner here emerging as the nominee in each presidential cycle from 1980 to 2008. But those typically were two-man contests as the race headed South: Ronald Reagan dispatched George H.W. Bush in 1980, the elder Bush defeated Bob Dole in 1988 and George W. Bush topped John McCain 12 years later.

Republican leaders are making the case that candidates who aren't competitive need to swallow their pride and let go of their presidential ambitions.

Katon Dawson, a former South Carolina Republican Party chairman who remains unaligned, said that if a candidate finishes in the single digits Saturday, "you ought to quit."

Associated Press writers Julie Pace and Bill Barrow in South Carolina, and Chad Day and Julie Bykowicz in Washington contributed to this report



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Sanctions disrupting humanitarian aid to North Korea, UN report says

    World News CTV News
    TOKYO - International sanctions on North Korea are taking a serious toll on humanitarian aid activities, according to a United Nations-led report. The report issued this week by the UN's senior resident official in Pyongyang said sanctions are inadvertently hindering legitimate operations on the ground and have indirectly contributed to a "radical decline" in donations it said are badly needed by millions of North Korean women and children. Source
  • Parents of 'no-fly list kids' upset at no funding for redress system

    Canada News CBC News
    Parents of children whose names are on Canada's no-fly lists are upset that no funding from the federal budget has been allocated towards a redress system. "By not funding the establishment of a redress system, the federal government continues to leave at risk the families of over 60 Canadian children of various races, religions, backgrounds and creeds who came forward and hundreds more still afraid to do so," a group called No-Fly List Kids said in a statement released on Twitter…
  • Canada faces risk of homegrown terrorists using vehicles: security experts

    Canada News CTV News
    Security experts say Canada is at risk of homegrown terrorists using vehicles as weapons, following the London attack and reports that a Canadian suspected of ties to ISIS has been arrested in Turkey. In Tuesday’s London attack, 52-year-old Khalid Masood used a rented car to strike pedestrians on Westminster Bridge before crashing the vehicle into a gate. Source
  • Sally Armstrong talks to Lisa LaFlamme about Kenya's fight against rape

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadian journalist Sally Armstrong is documenting efforts to combat a widespread culture of rape in Kenya, where one third of girls fall victim before the age of 18. “Justice Clubs” teach children about their right to be protected from rape. Source
  • U.S., 13 other nations demand Venezuela hold elections soon

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The United States and group of 13 nations across the Americas on Thursday called on Venezuela's government to hold elections and immediately free political prisoners, setting up a potential diplomatic showdown with President Nicolas Maduro's socialist administration. Source
  • Single mom recovering from triple amputation brought on by rare strep throat

    World News Toronto Sun
    WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg woman is recovering in hospital after developing a rare type of strep throat that forced doctors to amputate both her legs and one of her arms. Cari Kirkness, 28, thought she had come down with the flu when she went to the emergency room at Health Sciences Centre last month. Source
  • Hawaii judge who blocked travel ban target of threats

    World News Toronto Sun
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS First posted: Thursday, March 23, 2017 09:34 PM EDT | Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 09:54 PM EDT Source
  • Investigator who leaked chokehold officer's records resigns

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- A police watchdog agency investigator who leaked the disciplinary record of a white police officer involved in the chokehold death of unarmed black man Eric Garner resigned on Thursday. The investigator, who was not publicly identified, worked for the Civilian Complaint Review Board for less than a year and had no role in the investigation of any of the disciplinary cases against Officer Daniel Pantaleo that were leaked to the website Thinkprogress.org, the board said. Source
  • 4 dead in Sacramento home, suspect detained in San Francisco

    World News Toronto Sun
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Police found four people, including two children, dead Thursday in a California home and a suspect was in custody, officials said. The four victims were discovered when police broke into the Sacramento home after a relative reported that something might be wrong. Source
  • Snorer in chief?

    World News Toronto Sun
    Washington gossips are agog over reports the new president and first lady have separate bedrooms. The revelation is on the front of the latest US Weekly. The cover photos are of Melania and Donald Trump looking like they just bit down on a lemon. Source