Donald Trump has won the South Carolina Republican primary, a second-straight victory for the billionaire real estate mogul after his first-place finish in New Hampshire.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are in close race for second.
Exit polls taken in South Carolina found that about three-quarters of Republican voters support a temporary ban on Muslims who are not American citizens from entering the United States. That’s one of Trump’s signature proposals.
A majority of voters looking for an outsider candidate supported Trump, providing a boost to the first-time candidate for office.
Afterward, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush suspended his campaign for the GOP nomination for president.
A teary-eyed Bush says he’s proud of the campaign he ran to unify the country and advocate conservative solutions.
The son and brother of former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush entered the race to huge expectations in June, and quickly fueled them with fundraising.
But he quickly slid in the polls behind some of his more outspoken Republican rivals such as billionaire businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who have billed themselves as anti-establishment alternatives to the early front-runner.
Following disappointing performances in both Iowa and New Hampshire, Bush pinned his hopes on South Carolina, a state where the Bush name has maintained some clout. But Bush was unable to break into the top three in South Carolina. He would likely have faced pressure from GOP leaders and donors to drop out had he stayed in the race.
Hillary Clinton has pulled out a crucial victory in Nevada’s Democratic presidential caucuses Saturday, overcoming an unexpectedly strong surge by Bernie Sanders and easing the anxiety of some of her supporters.
Clinton told her cheering supporters during a victory rally: “Some may have doubted us, but we never doubted each other.” She added “This one is for you.”
Clinton captured the backing of voters who said electability and experience were important in their vote. But in a continuing sign of her vulnerability, Sanders did best with voters looking for a candidate who is caring and honest.
Sanders said in a statement that he’d congratulated Clinton on her victory, but then declared his campaign has “the wind at our backs as we head toward Super Tuesday” – the multi-state voting contests on March 1.
Nevada was the first of two presidential primary contests being held Saturday. Republicans a battling in South Carolina, a state seen as billionaire Donald Trump’s to lose and one that could start to clarify who, if any, of the more mainstream candidates might emerge to challenge him.