Donald Trump has won the Nevada Republican caucuses, expanding his dominance in the early GOP contests despite the well-organized campaigns of his two chief rivals: Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
The results in Nevada, a state with complex caucus rules and unreliable voter data, were yet another sign of how Trump’s momentum is sweeping the country. He heads into the Super Tuesday contests riding high in the polls and maintaining a wide lead over the other GOP contenders in the delegate count.
“This is an amazing night,” Trump said in his victory speech.
He ticked down the list of all the groups he won.
“We won the evangelicals,” he said. “We won with young. With won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.”
Trump, who has campaigned on a hard-line immigration platform including a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, is winning Latino caucusgoers in Nevada. Entrance polls indicated Latinos made up 9% of the electorate and 44% of them planned to back Trump.
“We’re No. 1 with Hispanics,” the billionaire businessman exclaimed.
With 14% of the expected vote in, Trump was dominating the race with 45%. Rubio was at 24.3% and Cruz was at 20.5%.
Cruz and Rubio had campaigned aggressively in Nevada, but are engaged in a fight for second place as they try to consolidate Trump-averse Republican voters around them.
Cruz has attempted to cobble together a coalition of evangelical and libertarian voters, while Rubio has argued that he is the most electable of the GOP candidates. Knowing that time is running short to overtake Trump, Cruz is now laser focused on next week’s Super Tuesday contests.
“One week from today will be the most important night of this campaign,” Cruz said Tuesday night as caucus results were coming in.
He also reiterated his argument that he’s the only GOP candidate who can beat Trump, referring to his first place finish in Iowa earlier this month.