By the time the witching hour arrived on the east coast and in heartland states like Ohio, way out west in Nevada, Donald Trump had racked up a 45.9 percent win margin as GOP caucus voters bet big on the New York real estate billionaire and reality TV star.
Trump’s huge win tonight will put pressure on the remaining weak Republican candidates, like John Kasich in Ohio and former neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, to get out of the race. More intense matchups between Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who are competing for second place. can show who voters really want for their presidential candidate.
Trump won big, so for Rubio who came in second with 23.9 percent or Cruz who came in third with 21.4 percent, the drubbing they took sends another message that The Donald looks unstoppable.
For John Kasich, whose best performance so far has been landing in a distant second to the real estate tycoon in New Hampshire, calls for him to get out will only get louder after his 3.6 percent finish in fifth place. But with an ego as big as the great outdoors, the 63-year old term-limited governor will find it hard to heed the call to inaction. Kasich’s calculation has been simple: stay in the race and hope everyone in front is gone through their own or someone else’s action. Kasich’s claim of being the nice guy who rises above politics and brings people together to solve problems seems to be a miscalculation in this election cycle.
“I would hope they would be clearing the decks for me. I’ve spent the least amount of money and am rising in the polls. I can win my home state. Why would I clear the decks for them? They ought to be consolidating around me,” Kasich said, demonstrating again how tone deaf he is to reality. Recent polling shows Trump beats him in his home state, and while Kasich thinks he’s rising in the polls, he’s rising to new low levels.
Now the last of the GOP governors, Kasich’s message of hope and inspiration might win him election as National Chaplin, but it’s not working with voters, who across the board are lining up with Trump as their outsider candidate who can quench their anger at Washington.
Kasich quest for the impossible dream is a fairy tail that few outside of Kasich’s inner circle of paid advisers and handlers believe in. Gov. Kasich has lost every race he’s been in so far, and if winning determines who the winner is, his four losses in nearly as many weeks should show him how far below expectations he’s performed, and how poorly he stands to do on Super Tuesday on March 3, when a dozen states and one territory hold primaries and caucuses. Super Tuesday is super because more delegates are at stake than any other day.
It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.
For Democrats and Republicans, Super Tuesday includes contests in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming caucuses are also in play but only for Republicans.