Monday, February 22, 2016

The Campaign Trail 2016: The Return to Nevada

Since the Republican primary hopefuls had their last showdown in South Carolina the field has shrunk yet again, but not as much as it should have. Former Gov. Jeb Bush dropped out of the race before the South Carolina results were even final yet Ben Carson is still keeping his life support running refusing to drop out of the primaries.

Nevada is a key state for everyone left in the race. After his decisive South Carolina win, Donald Trump is leading the delegate count by a large margin and one week after Nevada speaks is Super Tuesday, where roughly half the necessary delegates for winning the Republican primary nomination are at stake.

As it stands right now, the front runner Trump way under performed in Iowa and followed up with two crushing wins in New Hampshire and South Carolina. He will obviously be eyeing that top spot to keep adding to his delegate pile. Senator Ted Cruz won Iowa, did well with his third place win in New Hampshire and under performed with his third place win in South Carolina. He needs that top spot to stay viable in this race. Senator Marco Rubio did better than expected in Iowa with his third place win, way under performed in New Hampshire with his fifth place slaughter in New Hampshire, and well with his second place win in South Carolina. He will want that first place finish to show he is the moderate conservative in this race to vote for. Gov. John Kasich was decimated in Iowa with his eighth place finish, did well in New Hampshire with his second place win, and decimated in South Carolina with his fifth place finish. He has to get a first place win to stay alive in this race allowing him to continue on and prove that he is the moderate conservative of choice. Carson did poorly in Iowa with his fourth place finish, horrifically poor with eighth place finish in New Hampshire losing only to former Gov. Jim Gilmore and was brutally decimated in South Carolina with his sixth place dead last finish. Outside of a landslide victory in Nevada Carson has nothing to hope for.

Before Super Tuesday the Republican field needs to narrow down to Trump, Cruz as the social conservative, and either Rubio or Kasich as the moderate conservative for the rest of the Republican primary cycle. Two of the remaining candidates will need to drop out after Nevada depending on the results.

As for what to expect? Trump, as normal, is polling high. Cruz and Rubio are polling in the middle. And Kasich and Carson are polling at the bottom. However it is how the people go out and actually vote that matters and polls have been very inaccurate in Nevada before.

For the next coverage of the Republican primaries return after the Republican Nevada Caucuses are over and for the next coverage of the Democratic primaries return on the 26th.

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