The results of the South Carolina primary have confirmed what polls were indicating for the past couple of weeks. Donald Trump won with a comfortable margin over his nearest rival, almost in the double digits.
Cruz and Rubio followed; Jeb retired
Second place has been disputed between Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush found himself in 4th place, which has prompted him to drop out of the presidential race, after an underdog campaign and being on the receiving end of a massive flurry of attacks, directed both at him and his family, from the GOP front-runner Donald Trump. His withdrawal may come as no surprise, seeing that many voices were softly recommending it after a series of unimpressive results in the previous primaries obtained by former President Bush’s brother.
Donald Trump’s victory in the South Carolina primary has been heralded by polls for a good deal of time, proving, therefore, that he is a force to be reckoned with and that his controversial statements have little impact on his popularity.
Mr. Trump has been the candidate of choice for independents, Republican voter and evangelical Christians. Garnering the support of religious voters must have been a painful blow to Senator Ted Cruz, an evangelical Christian himself, and a candidate who has based his campaign heavily on Christian principles.
The South Carolina primary may mark a turning point in the Republican campaigns, however. The herd of candidates has been consistently culled over the past primaries, with the most notable dropouts being Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina and now Jeb Bush. The fractious nature of voters’ preferences, from which Donald Trump has benefited in the past, will definitely reduce now, with more electors possibly coalescing against him. The real-estate tycoon’s support also seems to be faltering among young voters and women.
Trump’s voters made their decision long time ago
Mr. Trump’s win in the South Carolina primary is based on several demographics: Republicans without a college degree, voters angered by the federal government’s performance and those favoring a harsher policy on illegal immigration. A clear indicative of the GOP front-runner’s momentum, according to The New York Times is that over 50% of voters who made their decision more than a month ago chose him, despite his violent rhetoric and controversial policies.
The results of the South Carolina primary may be an indication towards the outcome of the future primaries on Super Tuesday. Jeb Bush’s defeat may not surprise anybody, as his campaign has been that of the underdog all throughout previous primaries. Ted Cruz coming in second, however, in a state which should have been his battleground of choice should be a warning sign for the Texas Senator.
As the primaries move out of the South and away from religious states, his support may be faltering. It may be perhaps that voters have been disappointed by the dirty campaign tactics he has employed so far, which seem to come into contrast with his Christian values.
Important result for Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Despite battling Ted Cruz for second place, Marco Rubio may very well count this as a victory. However, it is becoming clear that the young Senator’s target demographic is limiting his potential, as he is mostly appealing to more moderate voters. The grassroots conservatives and old-school Republicans seem to not be impressed by his campaign so far.
With the climate of the elections changing after the South Carolina primary, predicting actual results for Super Tuesday will become increasingly difficult. One this is certain – Donald Trump is here to stay.