Donald Trump’s dominant performance in the Nevada caucuses takes the Republican Party one click closer to an outcome once thought unfathomable: that the flamboyant billionaire with no previous political experience and questionable conservative credentials really could become the GOP’s standard-bearer in November.
Mr. Trump won in Nevada with 46 percent of the vote, well ahead of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (24 percent) and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (21 percent).
Though only 5 percent of convention delegates have been allocated, that math will change quickly come March 1, Super Tuesday, with more than 10 states voting and one-quarter of GOP delegates at stake. Voters like to back a winner, and the more Trump wins – now three contests in a row – the more likely he is to win in the future.
“If one of the two senators wants to be the nominee, they have to put their squabbling aside and start focusing on taking down Trump,” says Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “I expect to see a glimpse of that in Houston at the debate on Thursday.”
“Here’s my thing with Marco – I believe he’s competitive enough to do it, but I don’t know if he has the killer instinct,” says Mr. O’Connell.