Donald Trump won the South Carolina Republican primary Saturday, according to reports from The Associated Press and The New York Times.

Trump has now claimed two of the first three nominating contests, meaning that his campaign is on track to win the nomination. Leading with more than 33 percent of the vote, the real estate mogul was followed by rivals Marco Rubio with 22 percent and Ted Cruz with 21 percent.

The New York Times reports:

The result is a setback for Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who was unable to overtake Mr. Trump despite the large number of evangelical Christians in South Carolina, and whose path to the nomination is heavily dependent on success in the South.

The win by Mr. Trump, after he quarreled in recent days with Pope Francis and accused former President George W. Bush of misleading the country to enter into the Iraq war, is certain to prompt further agitation among Republican leaders who are loath to see Mr. Trump become their nominee.

Read more here.

So what does Trump’s victory in South Carolina signify?

An article in The Huffington Post notes that “where Washington and New York-based GOP leaders pledge outreach to immigrants, moderate Muslims and other minorities, the reality TV star plays more overt racial politics than any national candidate since George Wallace. Trump’s brand of nativist, nationalist isolationism marked the path to victory. Rival candidate Jeb Bush is a dead man.”

“Added to his promises not to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits, and his populist rhetoric against trade and Wall Street,” the piece concludes, “it’s a wonder GOP elites and their wealthy donors haven’t done more to stop Trump’s rise — especially now [that] this caucus victory gives him the chance to run the table in coming primaries across the South on his way toward the nomination. In the end, Republican elites found that in South Carolina, they couldn’t beat something with nothing.”

–Posted by Roisin Davis


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