(CNN)Donald Trump has won the South Carolina Republican primary, a tremendous show of strength in the heart of the Deep South that validates his status as the GOP’s national front-runner.
Trump’s win, following his victory in New Hampshire earlier this month and a second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, gives the former reality television star a critical burst of momentum heading into Nevada’s Republican caucuses Tuesday and the slate of 13 states voting on Super Tuesday, March 1.
And the Republican presidential pack shrank to five as Jeb Bush said he is suspending his campaign after a poor showing in South Carolina.
Trump’s performance could unnerve the Republican establishment, since South Carolina has sided with the eventual nominee in every GOP presidential race since 1980, apart from 2012. And, following his risky attack on George W. Bush’s handling of terrorism and the Iraq War, Trump’s win provides more evidence that he can take positions that would undermine virtually any other politician.
South Carolina Republican Primary **
Trump 32.5% 44 delegates
Rubio 22.5% 0 delegates
Cruz 22.3% 0 delegates
Bush 7.9% 0 delegates
Kasich 7.6% 0 delegates
Carson 7.2% 0 delegates
Nevada Democratic Caucus
Clinton 52.6% 19 delegates
Sanders 47.3% 15 delegates