FNC has called the Nevada caucuses for Donald Trump seconds after the polls closed.
It appears to be a re-run of South Carolina with Trump winning decisively and Rubio and Cruz fighting it out for second place with Cruz having a one point edge as of this writing (23% to 22%).
Ben Carson will probably say he has momentum finishing well ahead of John Kasich, but is well behind Rubio and Cruz not to mention Trump.
This is three straight wins for Trump after losing in Iowa. These wins have taken place in the Northeast, the Southeast and now the Southwest.
If Republicans are to coalesce around a Trump alternative it will have to take place seven days from now on Super Tuesday.
UPDATE: While Rubio did finish second in Nevada as he did in South Carolina, he would lose to Trump by nearly a 2:1 margin (45.9% to 23.9%). In South Carolina, Trump had a 10 point margin of victory over Rubio.
This is Ted Cruz’s third straight third place finish. While third place wasn’t so bad in New Hampshire, the same cannot be said of either South Carolina or Nevada. Being holier than thou while your campaign staff bears false witness is a major turn off. At this point, Rubio is a more viable alternative to Trump than Cruz. But Cruz isn’t going anywhere nor for that matter is Ben Carson or John Kasich both of whom have about as much business in the presidential field as they do on a baseball field. Under these conditions, Rubio has little room for growth.
The GOP race is Trump’s to lose.