Trump wins in Nevada as Rubio looks to push past Cruz

LAS VEGAS -- Donald Trump notched a win in Nevada's Republican caucuses on Tuesday as Marco Rubio bid to elbow out Ted Cruz for second place in an increasingly urgent effort to slam the brakes on the Trump juggernaut.

See Full Article

Trump now has three straight victories - in the West, the South and Northeast - a testament to his broad appeal among the mad-as-hell voters making their voices heard in the 2016 presidential race.

Six in 10 caucus goers said they were angry with the way the government is working, and Trump got about half of those angry voters, according to preliminary results of an entrance poll.

Nevada was a critical test for Rubio and Cruz, the two senators battling to emerge as the clear alternative to the GOP front-runner. Rubio was out to prove he can build on recent momentum, while Cruz was looking for a spark to recover from a particularly rocky stretch in his campaign.

Rubio, already campaigning in Michigan as caucus results rolled in, was projecting confidence that he can consolidate the non-Trump voters who have been splintering among an assortment of GOP candidates, saying, "we have incredible room to grow."

Cruz, a fiery conservative popular among voters on the GOP's right, finished a disappointing third in South Carolina after spending much of the past two weeks denying charges of dishonest campaign tactics and defending his integrity. Another disappointing finish in Nevada would raise new questions about his viability heading into a crucial batch of Super Tuesday states on March 1.

"There's something wrong with this guy," Trump said with his usual measure of tact during a massive Las Vegas rally Monday night. The former reality television star tweeted on Tuesday, "He used him as a scape goat-fired like a dog! Ted panicked."

Nevada's caucusing played out in schools, community centers and places of worship across the state - a process that's been chaotic in the past.

Count Tracy Brigida, fed up after her husband was laid off from his mining job, among those caucusing for Trump.

"I want a businessman to run the biggest business in the world," Brigida said as she caucused at a Las Vegas high school.

Jeremy Haight drove straight from his marketing job to caucus for Marco Rubio at the same high school.

"He's the most level-headed. He hasn't said anything stupid or crazy ... which is really what I think the country needs," Haight said.

It was Cruz for Megan Ortega, who declared: "He's consistent, he's bold and he's a class act."

Preliminary results of the entrance poll found that about 3 in 10 early caucus goers said the quality that mattered most to them in choosing a candidate was that he shares their values, slightly more than the quarter who said they want a candidate who can win in November. About a quarter said they want a candidate who can bring change. About 2 in 10 want one who "tells it like it is."

Nevada state marks the first Republican election in the West, the fourth of the campaign. And it's not one that's gotten much attention from the GOP candidates.

Through Tuesday, the Republican candidates and the super PACs supporting them had spent a combined $3.8 million on television and radio advertisements in Nevada - less than a tenth of the $39.3 million spent ahead of last weekend's South Carolina primary, according to Kantar Media's CMAG data.

That primary reduced a GOP field that included a dozen candidates a month ago to five, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush the latest to drop out after a disappointing finish in South Carolina. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson remain in the race and could play spoilers as the trio of leading candidates, Trump, Cruz and Rubio, battle for delegates with an increasing sense of urgency.

Trump's rivals concede they are running out of time to stop him.

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 have 11 and 10, respectively.

There are 30 delegates at stake in Nevada, awarded to candidates in proportion to their share of the statewide vote so long as they earn at least 3.33 per cent. While proportional contests give Trump's weaker rivals a chance to accumulate delegates, proportional contests also make it difficult to catch up if one candidate runs up a significant lead.

After finishing third in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire and second in South Carolina, Rubio needs a win soon to support the idea that he is the prime heir to Bush's supporters.

Indeed, Republican establishment heavyweights have been flooding to Rubio in recent days, including Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch. South Florida's three Cuban-American members of Congress announced their support for him in the hours before the Nevada contest.

The entrance poll survey was conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research as Republican voters arrived at 25 randomly selected caucus sites in Nevada.

-----

Associated Press writers Nicholas Riccardi in Las Vegas and Chad Day in Washington contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Health minister says Canadians need to avoid judging those addicted to opioids

    Canada News CBC News
    As the opioid epidemic continues to march across the country, destroying an ever increasing number of lives, the federal health minister says people have fallen into the habit of passing judgment on those who are addicted to the drug. Source
  • Why confessing Canada's failures could be part of Trudeau's plan for UN success: Chris Hall

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has now given two speeches to mark the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York, two speeches in which he sought to burnish his government's progressive, internationalist credentials at a time when so many other world leaders are focused inward. Source
  • Phoenix payroll system under budget? Sounds like creative accounting to expert

    Canada News CBC News
    The implementation costs of a payroll system that was delayed and has never worked properly actually came in under budget at a cost of $307 million, the federal government says. That figure is $2 million less than what the government projected several years ago — but it doesn't include the multimillions earmarked for fixing Phoenix. Source
  • Do kids and pit bulls mix?

    Canada News CBC News
    Chantal Campeau and her two children waited anxiously outside a private hanger at the Calgary airport a few weeks ago for some precious cargo to arrive. They were part of a small group of people who were eager to welcome 30 dogs — including 12 pit bulls — that had been on their own death row in an overcrowded shelter in California. Source
  • U.S. slow to present specifics on key NAFTA demands

    Canada News CBC News
    The United States has made a big fuss over using NAFTA talks to demand better labour standards in Mexico, but after two rounds of discussions, U.S. negotiators have still not presented any specifics about what they would like to see changed. Source
  • Trump calls the Iran nuclear deal 'the worst' but nixing it could be worse still

    World News CBC News
    ?A deal is a deal is a deal. Unless it's an Iran nuclear deal. Try explaining that to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who faces the possibility of seeing a three-year negotiation process that resulted in the 2015 Iran nuclear pact crumble at the feet of Donald Trump. Source
  • Iran unveils new missile during parade in defiance of U.S.

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's Revolutionary Guard has unveiled its latest ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometres - about 1,250 miles- capable of reaching much of the Middle East, including Israel. The unveiling came during a military parade on Friday in Tehran. Source
  • Hurricane Maria churns toward Turks and Caicos as death toll mounts

    World News CBC News
    Hurricane Maria barrelled toward the Turks and Caicos on Friday after lashing Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands with winds and rain that destroyed homes, caused flooding, devastated economies and left at least 32 people dead. Source
  • Death toll mounts as Hurricane Maria nears Turks and Caicos

    World News CBC News
    Hurricane Maria barrelled toward the Turks and Caicos on Friday after lashing Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands with winds and rain that destroyed homes, caused flooding, devastated economies and left at least 32 people dead. Source
  • 'Absolutely scandalous': Alberta man fined for killing grizzly used for research

    Canada News CTV News
    EDSON, Alta. - An Alberta man charged with killing a collared grizzly bear that was being tracked for research will pay nearly $13,000 in fines, but some say it doesn't go far enough to protect the threatened species. Source