Saturday, February 20, 2016

Last Call For The Shot Heard Round The GOP

Trump wins, Jeb loses in the Palmetto State.

Jeb Bush is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination, he announced Saturday night.

Bush struggled for months to make inroads against Donald Trump, who constantly mocked the former Florida governor's "low energy" and for spending tens of millions of dollars on his campaign.

But it was Bush's disappointing finish in South Carolina, where his brother, former President George W. Bush, and mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, campaigned for him, that was the final straw.

"The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken and I really respect their decision, so tonight I am suspending my campaign," Bush said, before being overtaken by emotion.

I figured Jeb would stay in until at least Florida, he couldn't even manage that.  It's all Trump, Cruz, and Rubio now.

Big takeaway from the exit polls: 73% of SC GOP primary voters are 45 or older, and 96% were white.  Trump won older voters by 11 points, where Cruz actually won people under 45 by 3 points.

Among the 46% of SC GOP primary voters who don't have a college degree, Trump won overwhelmingly, by 14 points over Cruz for High School or less, and by 12 points for those with some college.  But Trump also won college graduates, edging out Rubio by 3.

Trump won Republicans by 5 points over Cruz, but won the 22% of independent voters by 12 points over Rubio.

Finally, Trump beat Cruz by 4 points among evangelicals.  If you don't believe "prosperity gospel" is Trump's secret weapon, SC proves it beyond a doubt.

Last thing, and you'll hear this a lot: No Republican has ever won both NH and SC and has not been the nominee.  At this point, Trump should be considered the presumptive GOP candidate in November.

And the Republican party deserves every minute of it.

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