Politico.com reports that
Donald Trump trounced his rivals in the Nevada caucuses on Tuesday, notching his third consecutive victory and giving the Manhattan mogul even more momentum heading into Super Tuesday next week, when voters in a dozen states will cast their ballots.
Trump’s decisive win, which the Associated Press announced immediately after polls closed, was propelled by an electorate even more enraged than the ones that had swept him to wins in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and a second-place showing in Iowa.
“We love Nevada. We love Nevada,” Trump declared in his victory speech. “You’re going to be proud of your president and you’re going to be even prouder of your country.”
For the first time in the 2016 primary season, media entrance polls showed that a majority of voters, 57 percent of Nevada caucus-goers, said they were “angry” with the federal government.
And, as significantly, they want to bring in an outsider to fix it. More than three in five caucus-goers said they favor someone from outside the political establishment rather than a candidate with political experience as president.
It all added up to Trump’s biggest night yet.
“Now we’re winning, winning, winning,” Trump said. “And soon the country is going to start winning, winning, winning.”
The outcome was bad news for Marco Rubio, who is now 0 for 4 in the February contests, and Ted Cruz, who won the Iowa caucuses but finished a disappointing third in South Carolina on Saturday.
Those two senators continued to vie for the crucial mantle of the best candidate to eventually take down Trump. With 36 percent of precincts reporting, Trump led with 43 percent of the vote, with Cruz and Rubio trailing far behind, both tied at 24 percent.
Rubio skipped an election-night speech, while an exhausted-looking Cruz proclaimed himself the only legitimate alternative to Trump.
“The only campaign that has beaten Donald Trump and the only campaign that can beat Donald Trump is this campaign,” Cruz told supporters.
Stopping Trump now looks like a steeper proposition after he trampled Rubio and Cruz on Tuesday, scoring huge wins across nearly every cross-section of the Republican Party. Entrance polls show Trump won moderate voters and very conservative voters by huge margins. He won in rural and urban areas, and among voters with only high school diplomas and those with post-graduate degrees.
Trump even handily bested Cruz among his supposed based of evangelical Christians, and, though the sample was small, topped his two Cuban-American opponents among Hispanic caucus-goers.
Trump reveled in the details. “I love the evangelicals!” he yelled. ““Number one with Hispanics,” he bragged.
And he pointedly called out the home states of his remaining rivals — Texas for Cruz, Florida for Rubio and Ohio for John Kasich — as places he now leads in the polls and will win the coming weeks.
“It’s going to be an amazing two months,” he said. “We might not even need the two months to be honest, folks.”
Indeed, it’s not clear where anyone can next beat Trump, though Cruz looked ahead to Texas, which votes on March 1, in his speech.
“I cannot wait to get home to the great state of Texas,” he said.
Cruz and Rubio now face a political calendar that plays even more to Trump’s strengths: massive made-for-TV rallies and free national media coverage, with a dozen states voting in only seven days.
Kasich, who was in last place in early returns, continued to insist he was in the race to stay. His chief strategist, John Weaver, released a memo after the race was called taking aim at Rubio, Kasich’s rival for the mantle of establishment favorite.
“Contrary to what his campaign is trying to portray, Senator Rubio just endured another disappointing performance despite being the highest spending candidate in Nevada,” the memo read. “Republicans are now left to wonder whether investing in Marco Rubio is throwing good money after bad.”
Cruz, who was neck-and-neck with Rubio in early returns, also said the Florida senator underperformed.
“Marco Rubio started working early and put a significant amount of resources into making Nevada the one early state he could win,” Cruz’s campaign wrote in a statement. “But despite the hype, Rubio still failed to beat Donald Trump.”
Low turnout put a particular premium on early organizing, in which both Rubio and Cruz quietly invested. Cruz had the backing of the state’s Republican attorney general, Adam Laxalt, and made appeals to Nevada’s rural voters with a television ad highlighting his opposition to the fact that the federal government controls 85 percent of the state’s land. (Kasich targeted the same issue in TV ads, as well.)
Rubio, meanwhile, tried to connect with Nevada voters from his time living there as a child in the late 1970s and early 1980s, telling audiences about how his father worked as a bartender at Sam’s Town and his mother as a maid at the Imperial Palace. (He still has numerous cousins in the state.) Rubio’s family’s dabbled with Mormonism during those years and Rubio hoped an active Mormon political network that lifted Mitt Romney to a landslide win, with 50 percent of the vote, would turn out for him.
But it didn’t happen.
Stumping in rural Nevada on caucus day, Trump continued to boast of his strong poll numbers in states coming up on the voting calendar, including Cruz’s home state of Texas. He warned supporters to be wary of “dishonest stuff” from Cruz, whom he dubbed a “baby” and a “liar.”
And Trump issued a warning shot to Rubio to beware taking him on: The two have largely avoided tangling but that could change if Rubio builds on his second-place finish in South Carolina on Saturday.
“When he hits me, ugh, is he gonna be hit,” Trump said. “Actually, I can’t wait.”
Trump was in a far more ebullient mood at his victory rally, where he stood behind a lectern for his third straight win, flanked by two of his sons.
Alluding to his practice in his earlier life of raking in money whenever he had the chance, Trump said: “Now we’re going to get greedy for the United States.”
Trump walked off the stage mouthing, “USA, USA, USA.”
Why is Billionaire Entrepreneur Donald J. Trump continuing to win?
To quote Ol’ Serpenthead (as his wife, Mary Matalin, calls him), James Carville,
IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID!
Andy Puzder, the chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, does a great job in illuminating the point, in an op ed, posted today on realclearpolitics.com.
Jobs and the economy are top of mind for voters from both parties this election cycle according to a recent Gallup poll. This is hardly a surprise. But what was a surprise to many is the importance of immigration and free trade as economic issues for working class voters and the level of betrayal they feel with respect to their government’s handling of these issues.
These voters feel stuck between free trade policies that encourage companies to move good paying jobs outside the U.S. and the failure to enforce our immigration laws allowing people here illegally to take jobs that remain. While the economic wisdom of legal immigration and free trade policies is compelling, politicians would be well advised not to minimize these voters’ concerns.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the past thirty years the number of people employed in U.S.-based manufacturing has dropped dramatically by 5 million. When people are living in towns where the local plant closed because a big company moved jobs to Mexico or China, it’s extremely difficult to convince them that free trade policies are working to their benefit. Recent announcements by companies like Ford and Carrier Air Conditioning that they’re sending jobs to Mexico only reinforce their frustration.
Arguments on the benefits of liberal immigration policies also have little appeal when employers are hiring illegal immigrants for good paying jobs–such as those in construction–because they’ll work for less. Lacking higher paying jobs in sectors such as construction and manufacturing, working class Americans are often left to compete for lower paying retail positions and again find themselves competing with immigrants willing to work for less.
While free trade is unambiguously good for the worldwide economy and for each individual nation, including ours, there are adjustment costs. Working class Americans of all racial and ethnic backgrounds have borne a disproportionate share of those costs, made worse by inexcusably lax enforcement of our immigration laws.
Scapegoating immigrants won’t solve these problems any more than the Democrats’ efforts to scapegoat the rich. But these voters have little interest in complex arguments on how free trade or immigration will improve the economy overall. Rather, they want to hear specifically how candidates are going to protect their jobs, their families and their children’s futures.
When Donald Trump talks about punishing China, building a wall, and restricting immigration–rightly or wrongly–he hits these voters where they live. Their level of betrayal with what has come to be called “Establishment” politicians is so great that they’re apparently willing to ignore any political and ideological differences they may have with Mr. Trump.
These working class voters are essential to a Republican victory in 2016. While much has been said about Mitt Romney getting a mere 27% of the Hispanic vote in 2012, Nate Silver’s “Swing the Vote” web site shows that even if he had gotten 67% he would still have lost the Electoral College vote and the election. However, with an increase of just a few percentage points in the college and non-college educated white vote, Romney would have won the presidency despite getting only 27% of the Hispanic vote.
With respect to the popular vote, the Census Bureau’s Center for Immigration Studies found that Romney would have had to increase his share of the Hispanic vote by 23 percentage points–from the 27 percent he actually received to 50 percent–to win it. However, he could also have won it by increasing his share of the white vote by only three percentage points, from the 59 percent he actually received to 62 percent.
And this assumes stagnant turnout. According to the Census Bureau, between 2008 and 2012, voter turnout for white voters without a college degree declined a disconcerting 3.7% (from 48% to 44.3%), or nearly 4 million fewer voters.
These voters are a proxy for all working class voters whose concerns cut across racial and ethnic barriers. Any candidate seriously intent on winning the presidency in 2016 must understand why they didn’t show up in 2012 and, more importantly, how to get them to show up in 2016. That will require solutions on how working class voters (white, Hispanics, black or Asian) can build a better life, pursue a career, find a path to the middle class, send their kids to college and retire with dignity.
Republican candidates should proclaim at every opportunity a simple, relatable and heartfelt economic message that allows working class Americans to believe their candidate is protecting their interests. In different times, they believed it about Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. Today they believe it about Donald Trump. The question for the rest of the Republican field is whether they will believe it about anyone else.
Give that man a cee-gar.
As the polls show, and will continue to show, Trump is striking a resonant chord in the hearts of Average Americans, living here in the part of America, which the snobbish Political Elites refer to as “Flyover Country”, but which we refer to as “America’s Heartland”, or, quite simply, “HOME”.
Our palpable anger is one which has been building since January of 2009, when a Lightweight, who throws a baseball like a girlas inaugurated as President of the United States of America.
That anger, a result of his anti-American actions and resulting failed Foreign and DOMESTIC Policies, which have affected Americans’ daily lives, including our Household Incomes, has been exacerbated by the Republican Elite, who, in their desire to “reach across the aisle” and “go along to get along”, have distanced themselves from the Middle Class Average Americans, like you and me, who elected them to Congress in the first place.
Meanwhile, these same average Americans, (i.e., you and me), remain mired up to our necks in an abysmal swamp of bills and taxes, living paycheck-to-paycheck, afraid to make a move, for fear of drowning in an ocean of debt.
Seemingly forgotten, in all of the forgotten promises, made by Barack Hussein Obama, and Establishment Democrats and Republicans, alike, are the 94 million Americans, who are no longer, largely through no fault of their own, participating in our Workforce.
You want to talk about anger and frustration?
Try looking for work, when you are over 55 years of age.
It makes you want to give up…daily.
But, I digress…
Anger has played an important part in the forging of this great country, which will be lucky to survive Obama’s final year in office.
It was anger that formed our country….an anger over being held captive to “Taxation Without Representation”…an anger which, as a prime example of history repeating itself, Americans are experiencing, even as I type this blog.
It is this anger, which has propelled Donald J. Trump to his lead in the Republican Primary Race…and those who prefer the Washingtonian Status Quo know it.
Hence, South Carolina’s Governor Nikki Haley’s alluding to it in her Rebuttal, something which has never been done before.
When delivering a Rebuttal to the SOTU Address, the Opposition Party’s Spokesperson is supposed to discredit the sitting President, not one of their own.
But, again, I digress…
In conclusion, concerning the “Mantle of Anger”, I, like Trump, wear it proudly.
It is an American’s Right…and Heritage.
And…we will wear it all the way to November.
Until He Comes,