The Republican establishment is in a panic following New York real estate mogul Donald Trump’s blowout win in Tuesday’s Nevada caucus.
Winning nearly 46% of the vote in Nevada, Trump has now racked up three consecutive double-digit victories in a row, beginning with the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.
GOP leaders worry Trump’s trifecta could give him enough momentum going into the all-important Super Tuesday vote to dominate the divided field of five candidates.
Donors and party leaders have been pressuring Ohio Governor John Kasich to drop out of the race, citing his poor performance in both South Carolina and Nevada, CNN reported. The GOP establishment has coalesced around Florida Senator Marco Rubio, seeing him as the most viable candidate in a general election – and the most likely to win enough support within the GOP to defeat Trump.
But hopes that a winnowing of the field will propel Rubio past Trump were deflated by the results of the vote in Nevada. Trump beat Rubio by 22 points, despite former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s recent withdrawal from the race.
Trump has secured an estimated 82 delegates thus far, compared to 17 a piece for Rubio and Cruz, 6 for Kasich, and 4 for Ben Carson. With three back-to-back victories, Trump is well-positioned to dominate the critical Super Tuesday primaries six days from now.
Super Tuesday spans primaries and caucuses in 13 different states, including Texas, Georgia, Colorado, and Tennessee. Super Tuesday accounts for 661 delegates, more than half 1,237 needed to secure the nomination.
Some in the GOP have already resigned themselves to Trump’s nomination, viewing it as inevitable following his Nevada win. Trump even picked up his first party endorsements from sitting GOP congressmen, with representatives Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York formally throwing their support behind Trump on Wednesday.