A few Observations on the South Carolina Primary

  1. Trump won South Carolina but he is hitting a wall of 35%. He has benefited from a multiple candidate race. South Carolina was a significant victory for Trump and makes him the favorite.
  2. Bush's withdrawal helps Rubio.
  3. Cruz's 3rd place hurts his candidacy since he has yet to expand his base beyond the very conservative, and Trump has managed to make inroads among not just conservatives, but moderate Republicans. So far he has the broadest coalition and the only one with a chance to stop him now is Rubio. Cruz's failure to win South Carolina puts his entire strategy in jeopardy.
  4. Rubio needs a sudden infusion of cash, and coming ahead of Cruz will allow him access to that quick infusion of cash and Super Pacs supporting him will benefit as well
  5. Evangelicals, like the rest of the GOP base, view the economy and terrorism as the top issues. In 2012, abortion was the key issue among 10% of Republicans, and it was rated behind the economy. Today, it is not even in the top four. The economy, including budget restraints, jobs and the economy, along with terrorism, are the top issues.
  6. Immigrations is rated as important by 10 to 15% of voters, which is more than triple what the voters viewed immigration as a issue in 2012, but this is significantly behind the economy and terrorism. It is not the number one issue among Republicans.
  7. Nearly 3 out of 5 South Carolinians oppose massive deportation and favor legal status for illegals. Combined with immigration not being in the top three of Republicans voters’ concerns, this shows that Republicans are certainly not anti-immigrant.
  8. A vote for Kasich and Carson is a vote for Trump. If Bush or Kasich had not been in the race, Rubio would have won South Carolina.
  9. Refer to Point 8, Kasich can’t win the nomination and his own strategy confirms this. He is hoping to make a splash in Midwest states, many of whose primaries begin March 15th, but by then he will be so far behind, it won’t matter.
  10. Why is Carson still in the race? He can’t win and now he is playing a spoiler; refer to point 8.
  11. Trump is still the weakest Republican to run against Hillary, whose victory in Nevada opens the door to finishing up Sanders in many of the upcoming Southern states. Nevada may have been closer than what Hillary wanted, but in this case, a win is a win.
  12. Among Democrats, jobs and improving the economy takes precedence over dealing with inequality.

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