Trump Has YUGE Lead Going Into Nevada Caucuses

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Feb 22, 2016 3:46 PM
Trump Has YUGE Lead Going Into Nevada Caucuses

Here’s your daily campaign roundup:

The Donald, flush with victory after South Carolina, is expected to win the Republican Nevada Caucuses, where the billionaire business magnate has led by double-digits since December. Trump also holds the lead in 10 of the next 14 states in the GOP primary. Trumpmentum is alive and well, and here to stay. The Associated Press reports that his campaign has around 100 staffers in states across the South in preparation for Super Tuesday. He now has more paid staffers than Cruz or Rubio.

Dr. Ben Carson said he wasn’t leaving the race after his disappointing finish in the South Carolina primary, which included a strange meeting in a storage closet with Sen. Ted Cruz over dirty campaign tricks reportedly deployed during the Iowa Caucuses. It’s no secret that Carson’s campaign is running low on cash, having what’s described as a bare bones political crew now. So, why is Carson still running? The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza mentioned three reasons: 1) Carson truly feels wronged by Iowa and is looking for vengeance and a revival 2) because he’s got a skeleton crew as a campaign operation, he can remain in the race without racking the kind of debt Bush incurred before his graceful exit 3) he truly believes this is the beginning of…something; “a higher mission that will bear fruit eventually.”

Sen. Ted Cruz may have had his campaign narrative undercut with his inability to unite conservative and religious voters in South Carolina (his third place finish exemplifies that), but he and the Donald are the candidates with the most cash heading into Nevada and Super Tuesday. The campaign was struck with another controversy over a false smear aimed at Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). The campaign tried to paint the Florida senator as mocking a Cruz aide for reading the bible. It wasn’t true.

John Kasich has brought on a new communications director, which occurred not a moment too soon. In a town hall event in Virginia, Kasich told attendees how women helped his 1978 state senate race by leaving "their kitchens to go out and go door-to-door and to put yard signs up for me.” At times, nostalgia can bite back.

Sen. Marco Rubio is reaching a critical juncture in his campaign. He probably has enough support to win him some delegates on Super Tuesday, but his chances increase to nab large blocs later in March. Yet, it’s also when it becomes a winner-take-all contest, and a defeat in Florida could be a devastating blow. Moreover, he may have to entertain keeping his last obstacle, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, in play to avoid Trump claiming Ohio. Yet, if Kasich wins Ohio, the odds of a brokered convention could rise. Rubio’s super PAC has compared him to Harry Potter.

For Jeb Bush, the party is over.

On the Democratic side, they’re gearing up for South Carolina and Super Tuesday since they had their Nevada Caucuses this weekend, where Clinton emerged victorious in a much needed win for her campaign. It’s still a bit shoddy as to whether Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Hispanic vote (Clinton won in Latino hevy districts), but the delegate math with these upcoming contests is stacked against him. At the same time, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver noted that Sanders could win every caucus event from here on out. Nevertheless, the Nevada results show that Clinton may have the edge nationally on Sanders, which is what some were projecting in this primary; Sanders possibly winning (or in this case, doing well) in Iowa, clinching New Hampshire, and losing everything else. Clinton is projected to beat Sanders in South Carolina.

Via National Journal, Carson, Cruz, and Trump are campaigning in Nevada. Kasich is in Virginia. Sen. Sanders is stopping by the Bay State–and Bill Clinton is in the Lone Star State.

We’re 260 days away from Election Day.