By Paul Gable
Donald Trump scored another resounding primary victory by being the choice of South Carolina Republican voters Saturday.
This is another nail in the coffin of the Republican establishment.
If the South Carolina vote proves one thing, it is the Republican establishment is in real trouble this election year. Fully 53% of voters in the Republican primary said, in exit polls, they felt betrayed by incumbent Republican politicians.
Trump, who is definitely an outsider, and Ted Cruz, who is considered an outsider by Republican politicos, garnered 54.8% of the total vote.
With 99% of the vote in, Trump had 32.5%, Marco Rubio, 22.5%, Ted Cruz 22.3%, Jeb Bush 7.9%, John Kasich 7.6% and Ben Carson 7.2%.
Trump also was the top vote getter in 44 of the 46 South Carolina counties. Only Richland and Charleston counties, both of which went to Rubio, kept Trump from a clean sweep.
Jeb Bush, the candidate most closely aligned with the Republican Party establishment, finished a poor fourth and announced he was suspending his campaign. Despite having both his brother, former president George W, and his mother in the state to stump for him, Jeb’s campaign went nowhere.
I guess we can conclude, even this most conservative Republican state is tired of the Bushes.
Another candidate who had a disappointing night was Ted Cruz who finished in third place. If Cruz, who loves to pander to the evangelical vote, can’t do better than third place in this heavily evangelical state, I would think his days are numbered.
Horry County led Trump support with fully 49% of the total vote going to Trump. This is another indication that it’s the year of the outsider in politics.
More than any other county in South Carolina, Horry County, with its large transplant and retired population, is indicative of the mood of voters in the nation. More than 50% of the population in Horry County is transplants from all over the eastern half of the United States.
The Republicans now move to the Nevada caucuses in three days, then, on to Super Tuesday March 1st, when Republicans will vote in 11 states and caucus in a 12th.
The South Carolina Democratic primary is in one week. Hillary Clinton edged out Bernie Sanders 52% to 48% in Nevada caucuses Saturday.