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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Trump comes out on top in the South Carolina primary

Francine Orr
Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ) introduces Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders to a crowd at the A Future To Believe In Rally at Bonanza High School on Feb. 14, 2016 in Las Vegas. The gym was filled with supporters. (Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Donald Trump swept South Carolina with a 10-point lead over runner-up Marco Rubio. This was an important win for Trump, who consolidated his lead in delegates by winning at least 44 of the 50 the state had to offer.

South Carolina has proven to be a good predictor of the Republican presidential nominee. Since Ronald Reagan’s win in 1980, all Republicans who have won in South Carolina, aside from Newt Gingrich, have gone on to win the Republican nomination.

In an unprecedented election season, all the remaining Republican candidates are still hopeful except for Gov. Jeb Bush. Bush dropped out of the race tonight with a live speech as votes were still being counted.

Bush’s candidacy as an establishment Republican looked promising in the summer, but the debate season soon wore him down. He became known for his feuds with Trump and for handing out plastic turtles on the campaign trail, with the slogan “Slow and steady wins the race.”

Marco Rubio honored his one-time mentor, Bush, in his speech following the primary.

“I have an incredible affection and admiration not just for Governor Bush, but also for his family and their service to our country,” Rubio said, “Jeb Bush has many things to be proud of — he’s an extraordinary husband, he’s an extraordinary father and he was the greatest governor in the history of Florida, and I believe and I pray that his service to our country has not yet ended.”

With Bush out, only five Republican candidates remain.

Rubio announced that it is now a three-man race, but Gov. John Kasich and Ben Carson, both of whom had a poor showing in South Carolina, are still hanging on.

Sen. Ted Cruz was the last Republican candidate to give his speech following the primaries, apparently waiting to see if he would pull ahead of Rubio in the tight race for second place.

As Cruz spoke, Rubio was ahead of him by 1 percent. Now, with 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Rubio leads by 2 percent. Cruz tried to rally the crowd, calling tonight’s results “remarkable.”

Cruz told supporters he was ready to “stand on the debate stage with Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, or whatever other socialist they nominate.”

The remaining five candidates now look forward to Tuesday’s Nevada caucus.

Follow Michelle Jaquette on Twitter.

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