Donald Trump wins the Nevada Republican caucuses

0
371

By: Associated Press

("Donald Trump" by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on campaign 2016 on the day of the Nevada Republican caucuses (all times are Eastern Standard Time):

5:00 a.m.

As they try to derail Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are facing enormous pressure in their home state primaries.

The Texas, Florida and Ohio primaries account for about a fourth of the delegates up for grabs in the next three weeks. And failure to defend their turfs could leave each explaining what states they can win going forward — and make Trump look all the more inevitable.

The presidential race now shifts to Super Tuesday, featuring 11 largely Southern states, including Texas, whose 155 GOP delegates are the top prize.

Then, on March 15, Florida’s 99 delegates and 66 in Ohio are at stake.

If no one can dent Trump’s advantage by then, the race may be all but over.

1:55 a.m.

Donald Trump will collect the most delegates from the Nevada caucuses. But even though he won by a large margin, he might not get a majority of the 30 delegates at stake.

Trump won at least 12 delegates and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz won at least five apiece. Eight delegates are still left to be allocated.

Nevada Republicans award delegates in proportion to the statewide vote, so a candidate can win a delegate with as little as 3.3 percent of the vote.

Overall, Trump has 79 delegates, Cruz has 16 and Rubio has 15. John Kasich has five delegates and Ben Carson has three.

It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

___

1:39 a.m.

Ted Cruz says he can’t wait to get home to Texas.

The Republican presidential candidate says in Nevada that next week’s Super Tuesday primaries, including the balloting in Texas, “will be the most important night of this campaign.”

Cruz spoke at a Tuesday night appearance at a Las Vegas-area YMCA after an underwhelming performance in Nevada’s caucuses.

With returns still coming in, Cruz and rival Marco Rubio were locked in a tight race for second place.

Cruz was heading to Texas shortly after the speech.

Supporter Glenn Beck introduced Cruz and said he’s “totally fine with him being in third place, because Super Tuesday is coming. Texas is coming.”

Cruz insisted that he’s the only Republican candidate who can beat Nevada caucus winner Donald Trump.

He says, “the undeniable reality that the first four states have shown is that the only campaign that has beaten Donald Trump and the only campaign that can beat Donald Trump is this campaign.”

___

1:18 a.m.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump is basking in his Nevada caucus victory by vowing to keep the open the military detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Trump tells supporters gathered at the Treasure Island hotel in Las Vegas that he’ll keep open the facility that President Obama is working to close. He says, “We’re going to load it up with a lot of bad dudes out there.”

Trump also drew loud cheers for his vow to build a wall along the southern border and his instance that Mexico will pay for it.

Trump offered shout-outs from the stage to several of his billionaire friends, including Phil Ruffin, who owns the Treasure Island, and casino developer Steve Wynn.

“Now we’re going to get greedy for the United States,” he says.

___

12:53 a.m.

Donald Trump is celebrating his win in the Nevada Republican caucuses with a prediction that he’ll soon claim the GOP presidential nomination.

The billionaire businessman tells supporters in Las Vegas that, “it’s going to be an amazing two months.”

He goes on to say, “we might not even need the two months, folks, to be honest.”

Trump has won three contests in a row after finishing second in the leadoff Iowa caucuses. He’s in a strong position headed into next week’s Super Tuesday contests, where voters in a dozen states will cast ballots in presidential primaries.

___

12:32 a.m.

Nevada caucus-goers who decided who to support before the last week were key to Donald Trump’s victory in the state, according to early results of the entrance poll conducted among people arriving at their caucus sites.

Among those who decided who to support in the last week, about 4 in 10 supported Marco Rubio. About a quarter supported Trump and about 2 in 10 supported Ted Cruz.

But a majority of those deciding before the last week supported Trump, and they accounted for about 7 in 10 caucus attendees.

The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research as Republican voters arrived at 25 randomly selected caucus sites in Nevada. The preliminary results include interviews with 1,545 Republican caucus-goers and have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

___

12:29 a.m.

About 3 in 10 Nevada caucus attendees said the quality that mattered most to them in choosing a candidate is that he shares their values, according to preliminary results of the entrance poll.

That’s slightly more said they want a candidate who can win in November or who can bring change, each chosen by about a quarter of caucus attendees. About 2 in 10 want one who “tells it like it is.”

Caucus winner Donald Trump was supported by nearly 9 in 10 of those caring most about having a candidate who “tells it like it is” and about 6 in 10 who wanted a candidate who can bring change.

Rubio was the favorite among those who cared most about electability, and Cruz among those wanting someone who shares their values.

___

12:15 a.m.

A crowd of several hundred supporters gathered at Donald Trump’s Nevada watch party at the Treasure Island hotel in Las Vegas burst into cheers and screams the billionaire businessman won the state’s caucuses.

Some shouted “USA! USA!” as the caucus results rolled in.

Many of the supporters in the crowd are from out-of-state and decided to drop by the celebration while in town.

Trump is expected to address the crowd later Tuesday night.

___

12:09 a.m.

Nevada caucuses winner Donald Trump was supported by 7 in 10 of those who preferred an outsider, according to early results of the entrance poll conducted for the Associated Press and television networks.

Nevada caucus attendees were more likely than primary or caucus attendees in any state so far to prefer an outsider candidate, the preliminary results show.

Marco Rubio was supported by a majority of Nevada caucus-goers who wanted to support a candidate with political experience over a political outsider.

That’s a silver lining for Rubio. Nevada is the first state where any candidate earned majority support among those wanting a candidate with political experience over an outsider.

___

12 a.m.

Donald Trump has won the Republican presidential caucuses in Nevada, giving the billionaire businessman three straight wins in the race for the GOP nomination.

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are vying for second place, far ahead of John Kasich and Ben Carson.

Preliminary entrance polls taken of Republican caucus-goers show that nearly 6 in 10 are angry at the way the government is working, and about half of them supported the billionaire businessman.

Trump was also supported by about 6 in 10 of those who said they care most about immigration, and nearly half of those who said they care most about the economy.

The race for the Republican nomination now moves on to next week’s Super Tuesday, when a dozen states will hold presidential primaries.

___

10:40 p.m.

Among early arrivals at Nevada’s Republican caucuses, nearly 6 in 10 say they are angry at the way the government is working. Entrance polls conducted as people arrived at caucus locations in Nevada show another third saying they are dissatisfied with the government.

Those early arrivals are most likely to say the top issues facing the country are the economy or government spending, each listed by about 3 in 10 caucus. Immigration and terrorism were each chosen by slightly fewer — about 2 in 10.

The survey was being conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research as Republican voters arrive at 25 randomly selected caucus sites in Nevada. The preliminary results include interviews with 925 Republican caucus-goers and have a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

___

10:35 p.m.

Cheering supporters and packs of selfie-seekers greeted Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump when he stopped by a Las Vegas caucus site Tuesday night.

Trump spent nearly an hour at Palo Verde High School. He was nearly mobbed by the crowd that had gathered to vote in the GOP caucuses. He drew more cheers when he asked, “Did you vote for Trump?”

The billionaire businessman ran through a list of campaign promises, including taking case of veterans and scrapping the president’s health care law. He then posed for photos and greeted people who had lined up to meet him after they’d cast their ballots.

The same caucus site was reported to be having problems with double voting, long lines and not enough ballots. National party officials say they are looking into those reports, but state party officials say there are no official reports of voting irregularities or violations.

Other caucus sites appear to be running smoothly with no reports of difficulty.

___

10:15 p.m.

As Nevada Republicans caucus across the state, the Republican National Committee says it is concerned about reports of double voting at a troubled caucus site in Las Vegas.

RNC spokesman Fred Brown acknowledges there have been reports Tuesday night of double voting, long lines and not enough ballots at Palo Verde High School. Some people were being turned away and directed to another location.

Candidate Donald Trump stopped by the school as part of his last-minute campaigning.

Brown says the double-voting problem appears to be limited to one part of a caucus site where different precincts have been combined. The party plans to compare the number of paper ballots cast to the sign-in sheet to determine whether any double voting actually occurred.

Other caucus sites appear to be running smoothly with no reports of difficulty.

___

9:15 p.m.

Marco Rubio says he can unify Republicans before the November election and appeal to Democrats who “never” vote for GOP candidates.

The Florida senator spoke Tuesday night during a rally at a western Michigan auto supplier, two weeks before the state’s primary.

Rubio says Republicans must win the presidency and the GOP race “cannot be about just making a point.” In an apparent shot at Donald Trump, Rubio told a crowd of more than 1,000 that he himself didn’t become a conservative when he thought about running for president.

Rubio says he would rebuild a “gutted” U.S. military but de-emphasize the federal government’s role in other matters, leaving those issues to state and local governments.

Rubio has framed the 2016 election as a “generational choice” and told his Michigan audience that it’s time for “our generation to rise up and do our part.”