PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Saturday night results from Nevada and South Carolina were in some ways the most consequential in the presidential race so far. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton’s ability to hold off Bernie Sanders in Nevada was an important win. It stopped Sanders’ momentum and set her up for a big win in South Carolina. It called into question Sanders’ ability to win in a diverse state.
On the Republican side there are at least three big angles. First, Donald Trump did very well in a state where 74%of the voters were evangelicals . This state held a huge home court advantage for Ted Cruz and he was unable to close the deal.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Another Round Of Snow Expected Overnight Into Thursday Morning Commute
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In addition to this , Cruz lost to Marco Rubio. I know that Rubio had the endorsements of many of the establishment politicians in South Carolina but to nose out Cruz here and possibly pick up the donors of Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the race, coupled with the expected upcoming endorsement of Mitt Romney make him a major player.
The third and most important fact coming out of this primary is that if the other candidates don’t unify around one candidate to oppose Donald Trump, Trump will be the nominee. I believe Trump has a very loyal 35 % core of supporters but can be defeated in a head to head match with either Cruz or Rubio.MORE NEWS: Sharon Hill Police Officers Charged With Manslaughter In Fatal Shooting Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
This primary was not as definitive as Super Tuesday will be but the seeds of that day were sown here. If evangelicals continue to support Trump, then he will be the nominee. Also, according to a Fox News poll, terrorism was the overwhelming concern of voters in South Carolina. Of course, Trump is viewed as the best candidate to deal with the economy and if he is viewed as best to deal with terrorism, then this is his race to lose.