I don’t have a lot more to say about the South Carolina results that others have not already said. After last night, the only three viable candidates left in the Republican race for President are Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and of course the now-undisputed frontrunner Donald Trump.
Also left are two other not-so-viable stragglers who both ought to quit. Ben Carson says he will stay on no matter what, but he is running out of money and electorally is a non-factor. John Kasich will likely stay in the race long enough to fight and win the Ohio primary (his home state) and deny Trump some much-needed delegates, but he hasn’t got much money either and is barely in the running in a lot of states.
Only Rubio and Cruz are in any sort of position to stop Trump anywhere, and even their ability to do that is questionable given the poll numbers in a lot of these upcoming states. I’ll tell you right now, these two ought to forget Nevada and focus their energies elsewhere. I think Trump should win Nevada easily, the state is tailor-made for him with all those blue-collar folks and casino workers voting for him. The real race will be in the South March 1.
The main news from South Carolina, however, is that it did its job in finally driving Jeb Bush out of the presidential race.
This frees up a sizeable chunk of the more moderate “establishment” vote and that should help Rubio, but the problem is Jeb may have stayed in this race one state too long. The stop-Trump effort really had to happen, or at least start happening, before South Carolina voted. Now, Trump has so much momentum that it may be too late.
Anyway, the bottom line is Jeb is done. Let me say: there was no campaign in more dire need of being put out of its misery than this effort. We were seeing Jeb having to call in family members to his rallies simply to get people motivated enough to show up at them. And then there was that rally in New Hampshire where Jeb had to implore the audience to “please clap!” It really was sad to watch this former presumptive GOP frontrunner go down in flames as badly as he did before the Trump juggernaut, but that is politics and political life can be cruel.
Yahoo Politics has this piece about awkward Jeb moments from this campaign, and Vox came up with this list of 17 saddest moments from his campaign. Anyhow, that’s it for South Carolina. On to Nevada for the GOP.