THE BIG IDEA:
Good morning from GREENVILLE, South Carolina.
Marco Rubio will edge out Ted Cruz for second place in the Republican primary here. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the Florida senator received 165,881 votes to the Texas senator’s 164,790. Jeb Bush dropped out after getting less than 8 percent of the vote.
But the big stories out of last night are Donald Trump’s decisive 10-point win and Hillary Clinton’s 5.5-point victory in the Democrats’ Nevada caucuses. The billionaire and the former Secretary of State are now each in the driver’s seat, front-runners to win their party’s respective nominations. Both won two of their first three contests and are strong favorites to win the fourth (Nevada for Trump this Tuesday; South Carolina for Clinton next Saturday).
-- The deeply-divided anti-Trump factions in the GOP really only have three weeks to get their act together if they’re going to stop the first-time candidate. If Donald wins Cruz’s home state of Texas on March 1 and then Rubio’s home state of Florida on March 15, it’s difficult to see how the convention in Cleveland does not become his coronation. “Let’s put this thing away and let’s make America great again,” a confident Trump said last night.
-- Cruz failed to carry a single county, including here in the deeply-religious Upstate, which should be tailor-made for someone with his profile. As National Review executive editor Rich Lowry put it, “If tonight is any indication of his strength versus Trump, how is Cruz going to win any March 1 state besides Texas?”
-- While Rubio got his groove back after the fifth-place finish in New Hampshire and benefits from Bush being out, it’s not at all clear which will be the first state he actually wins. Remember only a few weeks ago top people linked to his campaign were saying they could win South Carolina outright.
-- “As the campaign moves soon from a series of isolated contests in single states to primary days with multiple contests across a much wider terrain, Trump holds some key advantages,” Dan Balz explains in his column today. “The principal one is that the race will become ever more nationalized, favoring someone who has shown mastery for dominating media coverage at the expense of his rivals. A second is that his coalition appears similar to that of past winners of the nomination, as he is doing better than the others among Republicans who call themselves ‘somewhat conservative’ or ‘moderate,’ rather than those who say they are ‘very conservative.’ … A third is that against a divided opposition, Trump can continue to win primaries and caucuses with less than half the vote. That could become significantly more valuable starting on March 15, when states award delegates on some version of a winner-take-all basis.”
-- NBC’s Chuck Todd notes that Trump won by double digits despite defending Planned Parenthood, saying George W. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction as a pretense to invade Iraq and getting into a war of words with Pope Francis.
History may show that Trump spat with Pope on immigration may have helped get the frontrunner back on his most powerful message.— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 21, 2016
Trump becomes the fourth Republican since 1980 to lose Iowa, then win both NH and SC. The others were Reagan '80, Bush '88 and McCain '08.— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) February 21, 2016
Mark Sanford, who campaigned for Cruz yesterday, said on a radio interview tonight he thinks Trump runs the table after this.— DENALI (@timothypmurphy) February 21, 2016
Notion that blue states will block Trump overlooks his romping in NH and drawing throngs in Lowell, MA. Basic misunderstanding of his demo.— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) February 21, 2016
-- But, but, but – Dan Balz flags three potential cracks in Trump’s façade:
- “Trump’s winning percentage was the lowest or second lowest recorded here over the past 10 presidential primaries.”
- Late deciders broke against him: “Trump had a margin of nearly 2 to 1 among the 60 percent of voters who said that they had made up their mind earlier than in the last few days of the primary. Among the other 40 percent, however, he ran third behind his two leading rivals.”
- “He scored overwhelmingly among voters looking for someone who tells it like it is and led the field among those who are looking for a candidate to bring change to Washington. But among those in South Carolina who said that they wanted a candidate who shares their values, fewer than 1 in 10 backed Trump.”
-- And here are three others ways of thinking about the South Carolina results:
IA: Trump 28%, not Trump 72%— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) February 21, 2016
NH: Trump 35%, not Trump 65%
SC: Trump 34%, not Trump 66%#aintover
Romney '12 / Trump '16— Will Jordan (@williamjordann) February 21, 2016
IA 21 / 24
NH 39 / 35
SC 28 / 33
SC results (so far):— Alex Burns (@alexburnsNYT) February 21, 2016
2012 – Romney, backed by Haley: 167,279 votes, 2nd place
2016 – Rubio, backed by Haley: 165,749 votes, 2nd place
-- Hillary’s firewall is holding, and Nevada gave Clinton her first clean win. Iowa was basically a tie. New Hampshire brought a 22-point shellacking. A clear victory is exactly what the campaign needed to soothe anxious donors and elites.
“Some may have doubted us, but we never doubted each other,” she told supporters at Caesar’s Palace.
Her victory speech got high marks. After over-using “I” recently, she used a lot more “we”-s last night.
-- Clinton’s much-needed win comes as the calendar moves to much friendlier terrain. A deep look at preliminary network entrance polls shows two exceptionally important data points: Hillary won women by 16 points and carried African Americans three-to-one. Whites made up 59 percent of the electorate, far less than in Iowa and New Hampshire, while 19 percent were Hispanic and 13 percent were black. (Preliminary exits show Sanders leading among Latinos.)
-- Also significant: Clinton battled Sanders nearly to a draw among liberal voters, while winning moderates handily. “What's more, half of those who came out to caucus want a president who will continue the policies of Barack Obama,” The Fix’s Philip Bump flags, a validation of her strategy to run as his rightful heir. “This is Clinton's proposition over the long term: a close race will tilt her way as more black voters go to the polls. Nevada appears to have proved that correct.”
-- David Weigel humanizes Hillary’s win in one telling vignette, from a caucus site inside the Wynn: “Felicia Fletcher, a 44-year-old cashier at Circus Circus, was one of two undecided voters. Precinct captains for Clinton and Sanders descended on her, reducing lifetimes of politics to a few sentences. ‘Hillary’s been there for the working people,’ said Autumn Johnson, 38, a black woman with a blue Clinton T-shirt and a small American flag pinned in a hair bun. ‘I know that personally.’ Melanie Malfabon, 26, leaned in a little closer to argue for Sanders. ‘The banks have lobbyists, and that’s why so many people can’t get ahead,’ she said. ‘His average donation is $37. He’s not owned by big money.’ Finally, politely, Fletcher dropped the poker face. ‘I trust Bernie more,’ she admitted. ‘But I like Hillary’s views more.’”
-- Don’t forget: Sanders invested heavily in Nevada. He actually ran more ads on TV than Clinton did. This is a major factor in an alarmingly high burn rate, revealed in an FEC report that the campaign filed late last night. For the first time, Sanders outraised Clinton last month, bringing in $21.2 million to her $15.6 million. BUT he spent nearly $35 million to her $21.2 million during that time. Now she has more of a comfortable cash cushion. She started February with $33.7 million to his $14.7 million.
-- The big question on the Democratic side now is: Where does Bernie win next? Most of the states that vote on Super Tuesday should be Hillary country, from Alabama to Georgia and Virginia. Sanders’ team argues that he’s making inroads in each of those places, but they think he can win outright in Massachusetts and Vermont, with possible victories in Minnesota, Colorado and Oklahoma.
-- In his concession speech, Sanders already seemed to be looking past South Carolina to the 11 states that vote on March 1. He’s holding an afternoon rally here in Greenville that I’ll cover. But then he’s flying north.
-- To be sure: Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said just last month that their polling had Hillary up 25 points in Nevada. By this metric, she actually under-performed by 20 points. But public polling this week showing a neck-and-neck race rejiggered the expectations game in Hillary’s favor.
-- Even though the caucuses were much closer than anyone would have envisioned a year ago, that point is largely missing from the clips this morning. Instead, The Narrative has finally broken in HRC’s favor. Here are five examples from the coverage that’s out there this morning:
- Jon Ralston in the Reno Gazette-Journal: “Nevada may indeed prove to be the state that saved Clinton’s campaign … (in which) Clinton blunted Sanders and slingshotted her with new momentum into South Carolina and then Super Tuesday.”
- ABC’s Rick Klein: “Clinton regained control of the Democratic race … Sanders will need to win some states he’s not expected to if he’s going to contend for the nomination.”
- The New York Times’ Nate Cohn: “Clinton’s victory in the Nevada caucus suggests that her national advantage, although diminished, has survived … She carried Las Vegas’s Clark County, the most diverse in the state, by a 10-point margin.”
- The New Republic’s Jeet Heer: “Coming out of Nevada, Clinton can reasonably argue that she won in a state that looks much more like the Democratic coalition … The only thing missing from the equation is the enthusiasm of young people, which Sanders still has.”
- MSNBC’s Joy Reid: “Sanders has to prove he can win in a diverse state. And he needs to beat Hillary decisively in a big state to make up the delegate deficit.”
-- The conversation is once again about WHEN Clinton will wrap up the Democratic nomination, not IF:
W//SC, Super Tue, Super delegates, Hillary *could* wake up on 3/2 & point to seemingly unstoppable/inexorable march to delegate majority— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) February 20, 2016
That will be the morning of March 16. After she has won MO, IL, OH, NC and FL. https://t.co/aqdFgnuizj— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) February 20, 2016
-- The Bush Dynasty is over. (Until George P. is ready to run…)
Almost a year ago, I wrote a piece that explained why Jeb could not count on South Carolina, which had delivered big time for his dad in 1988 and his brother in 2000. It was based on more than two dozen interviews here with folks who should have been for Bush but were not. The story generated some of the most profane pushback I’ve received this cycle, from members of the former Florida governor’s high command. This was back when no one thought Trump would actually run, but it was a wake-up call that Jeb and his inner-circle were full of hubris, that their “shock and awe” strategy was not going to scare anyone away and that they really did not grasp the buzz saw they were walking into. (He had not been on the ballot since 2002, and it took him many months to get the rust off.)
Since I wrote that story, Bush’s super PAC spent more than $95.7 million and Jeb shook up his campaign, but it was all to no avail. He finished sixth in Iowa and then fourth in the last two contests. Last-minute visits from Bush 43 and Barbara Bush did nothing to arrest his continuing decline in the polls. “The people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision,” Jeb said last night in Columbia.
Finance reports due last night showed that Bush had only $2.9 million in cash at the start of this month. His super PAC, Right to Rise, only raised $370,000 in January. The Post’s Ed O’Keefe, who has been following Jeb full-time for a year, has written his political obituary. (Read it here.)
-- An endorsement that mattered: Nikki Haley throwing her support to Rubio demonstrably hurt Bush. In the exit polls, 26 percent of voters said the governor’s endorsement was important. Half of them voted for Rubio. Rubio also fared 9 points better among voters who said they decided in the final few days voting than those who decided earlier (27 vs. 18 percent). This is why Bush had been polling in the double digits but wound up with 7.8 percent.
The Rubio surge “was fueled by the upper class pragmatists of the Republican Party -- a coalition that skews wealthier and higher-educated, and cosmopolitan, just the type of Republican who is apprehensive about Trump,” Washington Post pollster Scott Clement explains. For example, 15 percent of Republican voters said electability in November was the most important factor in their vote in preliminary exit poll data. Rubio won 47 percent of those voters. And he won 36 percent of those looking first and foremost for a candidate with experience in politics.
Standing on stage with Haley last night, Rubio unveiled a new talking point aimed at turning his youth into an advantage. “Ronald Reagan made us believe that it was ‘morning in America’ again. And it was,” he said. “Now the children of the Reagan Revolution are ready to assume the mantle of leadership.” Expect to hear this a lot more.
-- The question now for Rubio: How long does it take Jeb voters and donors to fall in line? It took less than an hour for Norm Coleman, the former Republican senator from Minnesota. “I thought Jeb was the most qualified to be president," he told the Star Tribune. "But Rubio clearly is our best hope and most qualified to be commander in chief with Jeb out of the race."
-- But not everyone will follow so quickly, especially Bush himself. There is a LOT of bad blood between the two now. The onetime mentor deeply resents his protégé. The big question in Florida politics is whether he’ll endorse at all, with some Bush allies saying he’d hold off until the general. “No one knows what’s going to happen. There are a lot of hard feelings,” a Florida House Republican told Politico’s Marc Caputo. “We’ll have to wait till the dust settles. Make that the dirt. Once the dirt settles.”
-- Rubio needs a strong second-place finish Tuesday night in Nevada’s caucuses to crystalize his argument that he’s the establishment’s best hope to stop Trump. Cruz would be helped by the same. We have limited polling, and it’s hard to predict what turnout will look like, which makes the Silver State even more suspenseful.
-- Why Cruz’s narrow third-place finish is such a blow: “He is now in danger of being cast as the 2016 iteration of Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum — social conservatives who simply weren't able to expand beyond that base,” Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza explains.
Ben Carson’s declaration that he will remain in the race will also make it harder for Cruz to consolidate evangelicals who do not like Trump. The retired neurosurgeon continues to resent the Texan for his underhanded tactics on the night of the Iowa caucuses.
Cruz’s team predicts they can reassert themselves as the main alternative to Trump on Super Tuesday. “If you are a conservative, this is where you belong because only one strong conservative is in a position to win this race,” Cruz said in his concession speech. “This is the only campaign that has beaten, and can beat, Donald Trump.”
Jeff Roe, Cruz’s campaign manager, stresses that the electoral map still favors them. “There were 79,000 people choosing between us and Trump in the last four days,” he told Katie Zezima. “We were calling them. We know them. Now you don’t do that on Super Tuesday. Super Tuesday becomes much more of a narrative-based campaign, much more of a national campaign.”
-- With the above comments from Rubio and Cruz, it is quite difficult to see this quickly becoming a two-man race.
-- And don’t forget that John Kasich is still running. He got the outcome he wanted last night, which was squeezing Bush out. His strategy requires continuing chaos – and the nominee being decided during an open convention this summer, at which he could play a kingmaker role or emerge as a consensus alternative to Trump. But first he’ll need to win the Michigan primary on March 8. “To survive until then, however, he will have to weather 16 earlier contests, with more than 750 delegates at stake,” Balz notes. “The more he finishes behind the three leaders across a swath of states before Michigan, the more difficult that will become.”
-- In something else to keep an eye on, an interesting turnout trend continued:
Republicans appear to have broken another record: 735,000 people voted in South Carolina, just narrowly eclipsing a previous record set in 2000 and higher than in 2012 or 2008. That’s 20 percent of eligible voters in the state. (Philip Rucker and Robert Costa)
Democrats saw another drop-off compared to eight years ago: About two-thirds as many caucused in Nevada as did eight years ago, 80,000 compared to 120,000. (Abby Phillip, John Wagner and Anne Gearan)
On “Meet the Press” this morning, Sanders blamed his loss on lower turnout. “The voter turnout was not as high as I had wanted,” he said. “And what I've said over and over again, we will do well when young people, when working-class people come out. We do not do well when the voter turnout is not large.”
-- Breanne Deppisch and Elise Viebeck contributed to this special Sunday edition of The Daily 202.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- THE MONEY CHASE: FEC filings for January fundraising were due at midnight and trickled in while we were awaiting results. From Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy’s round-up:
- Of the $15.6 million that Clinton raised, $2.4 million was collected through the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee with the DNC and 32 state parties. She is also helped by a well-funded super PAC, Priorities USA Action, which collected $9.6 million in January, including $3.5 million from hedge-fund billionaire James Simons.
- Cruz was the money leader among the Republicans, raising nearly $7.6 million in January. He began the month with $13.6 million in the bank. He raised $3.2 million from contributors who gave $200 or less — 42 percent of his entire haul in January.
- Behind Bush, Rubio has been the beneficiary of the second-largest amount of super PAC spending: His group, Conservative Solutions PAC, has poured more than $30 million into ads touting him and attacking rivals. In January, the group raised just under $2.5 million. Oracle’s executive chairman, Larry Ellison, gave $1 million. Rubio’s campaign raised $4.9 million and spent twice that in January. He began the month with $5 million in the bank.
- Trump lent his campaign $4.9 million in January. In all, he has now put in $17.5 million. He reported $973,000 in donations from supporters.
GET SMART FAST:
- The Justice Department said it would allow Apple to retain possession of, and later destroy, specialized software it created to hack a San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone. The less intrusive option was issued in response to Apple CEO’s Tim Cook, who said any software created to hack the iPhone would, by extension, “threaten digital privacy of millions of Apple customers worldwide.” (AP)
- New detail: An FBI mistake got them into this mess. During the chaotic hours after the shooting, investigators asked a technician in the California county for which the shooter worked to reset the phone’s iCloud password. “But that action foreclosed the possibility of an automatic backup to the Apple iCloud servers that might have turned up more clues,” Ellen Nakashima and Mark Berman report.
- Six are dead and three more are injured in Kalamazoo, Mich., after a man drove around and opened fire at three locations, including a Cracker Barrel restaurant and a Ford dealership. (AP)
- A Michigan woman suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being shot in the head by her 3-year-old son. (USA Today)
- Prime Minister David Cameron announced that Britain will have a referendum on June 23 over whether or not to remain in the European Union. The announcement comes after more than two days of concession negotiations with the E.U. over currency protections and immigration. Though the UK emerged with a deal, British voters remain deeply divided over a potential “Brexit.” (Griff Witte and Karla Adam) (Confused? Check out a handy guide to the drama for non-Europeans here.)
- One of the occupiers arrested in the Oregon standoff is arguing he was there “as a journalist” in an attempt to avoid indictment. (Leah Sottile)
- John Kerry traveled to London and Jordan to discuss Syria’s civil war and the ongoing battle with ISIS. The Secretary’s weekend of diplomacy underscores his concern for pending peace talks in Geneva, which have so far been unsuccessful. Last week’s deadline for a “cessation of hostilities” has also expired. (Carol Morello)
- Tropical Cyclone Winston, a Category 5 cyclone with winds nearing 150 mph, is expected to make direct landfall on Fiji’s most populous island. (Angela Fritz)
- France has extended an eviction deadline for over 1,000 refugees living in its famous “Jungle” refugee camp. The original notice gave refugees seven days to vacate the camp before it was demolished. (James McAuley)
- After months of heavy fighting with Taliban insurgents, Afghan forces have pulled out of bases in Musa Qala, a strategic district in Helmand. Officials speculate the Taliban’s takedown of Musa Qala could signify further losses elsewhere. (Reuters)
- Two New York police officers were shot after a car chase in Brooklyn. They were responding to a noise complaint when a suspect pulled a revolver on them and fled. Both are in stable condition. (Niraj Chokshi)
Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) will appear on the ballot for Indiana’s GOP Senate primary after barely surviving a signature challenge. He faces fellow Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman in the May 3 primary. (Politico)
- The White House unveiled an initiative to connect over 1 million students with mentors in an effort to improve school attendance. (Emma Brown)
- Yahoo announced it is “exploring strategic options” for the company’s core business – another euphemism suggesting the company might soon put itself up for sale. (Hayley Tsukayama)
- Novelist Harper Lee, the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” died on Friday. (Emily Langer)
-- Among the thousands in attendance at Scalia's funeral were Vice President Biden and all but one of the living Supreme Court justices with whom Scalia served. (Read Robert Barnes’ spot story here.)
-- “Funeral cements Scalia’s legacy as a larger-than-life conservative force,” scene story by Joel Achenbach: “Replacing Scalia — how, when, with whom — is the urgent Washington partisan question of the moment, one that has intruded ungraciously upon what for many people at his funeral is a grieving period. When they say you can’t replace Scalia, they’re not just talking about a seat on the Supreme Court … Justices tend not to be flashy, verbose characters. Scalia, however, broke the mold and then shattered it into a thousand pieces. He was by leaps and bounds the court’s most voluble, entertaining, maddening member. Scalia tore up jelly-kneed lawyers in oral arguments. He sought no coalitions, happy to be the lone dissenter. He had no desire to ever be anything as mutable as a ‘swing vote.’ And beyond inciting all this grief, Scalia’s death is a blow to ‘originalism,’ the conservative legal philosophy that Scalia personified … ‘He’s one of a kind,’ said former solicitor general Ted Olson. ‘You can’t get over a man like that.’”
-- Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley will meet privately with the 11 Republicans on his panel to decide whether or not to even hold a hearing for Obama's pick to replace Scalia.
-- And retiring Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said the president’s nominee deserves a hearing, even though he’s ultimately likely to vote against that person. (The Journal Gazette)
-- “Obama’s final year in office shaping up to be one of genuine relevance,” by Steven Mufson: “It was not so long ago that many observers were arguing that it was time to slide Obama’s presidency onto the bookshelf labeled ‘history.’ The president’s political capital seemed spent, and [Obama] seemed tired … He looked and sounded like a lame duck. Then, bam! A confluence of events has conspired to keep the president not just relevant but also vital, even as the campaign to replace him intensifies. The unexpected Court vacancy, a historic trip to Cuba and a deeply unsettled presidential primary campaign all promise to keep the president at the center of Washington politics and policy deep into his final year in office. And he still has a chance to do damage control on foreign issues, such as the war in Syria … Many U.S. presidents have faded early from the political scene. [But] the White House insists that Obama still has some fight left in him.”
-- “Turkey’s increasingly desperate predicament poses real dangers,” by Liz Sly: “Turkey is confronting what amounts to a strategic nightmare as bombs explode in its cities, its enemies encroach on its borders and its allies seemingly snub its demands. Russia, Turkey’s oldest and nearest rival, is expanding its presence around Turkey’s borders … recently announcing the deployment of a new batch of fighter jets and combat helicopters to an air base 25 miles from the Turkish border. Strings of suicide bombings have brought fear to Turkish streets and dampened the vital tourist industry, [and] collapse of a peace process with Turkey’s Kurds has plunged the southeast of the country into war. Worries that the tensions could escalate further are spreading, both in Turkey and in the international community. ‘Turkey is facing a multifaceted catastrophe,’ said Gokhan Bacik, professor of international relations at Ankara’s Ipek University. ‘The scale of what is happening now is beyond Turkey’s capacity for digestion.’”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
— ZIGNAL LABS VISUAL: Check out the emojis most often tweeted in conjunction with Trump and Bush.
Here are some moments from the day:
Clinton is already in Houston Texas for a rally at Texas Southern. Big turnout late on a Saturday night pic.twitter.com/MP9Yb8mPBf— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) February 21, 2016
Dueling Sanders and Clinton supporters waiting to enter a caucus site at Caesars Palace pic.twitter.com/5skXu5vrjj— Monica Alba (@albamonica) February 20, 2016
What a great night. Thank you South Carolina, a special place with truly amazing people! LOVE— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2016
I love you Dad and proud that you offered a servant's heart to the people of this great Country #allinforjeb— George P. Bush (@georgepbush) February 21, 2016
2 Bushes, Adamses, Roosevelts won presidency. Maybe still a 2nd Clinton. Never a 2nd Kennedy, not a 2nd Taft. Our dynasties have limits.— Paul Kane (@pkcapitol) February 21, 2016
Guess now is when I remind the world Jeb's N.H. headquarters was in a closed furniture store next to a cemetery. pic.twitter.com/OXOdOYL5an— Philip Bump (@pbump) February 21, 2016
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is at his caucus site, a middle school classroom in Henderson, Nev. pic.twitter.com/oFsy3X8Lrg— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) February 20, 2016
Harry Reid's spokesman joked about an advisory that included the directions to go past "the fire breathing praying mantis":
But it was not all fun and games for the Democrats. There was quite a lot of drama. Longtime civil rights and farm-labor activist Dolores Huerta was heckled by a Sanders crowd, chanting “English only” after she offered to translate at a Nevada caucus. (Read the story by Janell Ross and Abby Phillip here.)
Harrah's casino site- Bernie supporters chant "English-only" to stop civil rights leader @DoloresHuerta from providing Spanish translation.— America Ferrera (@AmericaFerrera) February 20, 2016
Watch a clip of the moment:
Must we pit the woman & the Jew against each other? They're both swell- good Lord w the in-fighting. See who u agree w more & vote, cuz— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) February 21, 2016
Back in South Carolina:
Here's a taste of the online reaction to the results:
Trump is the monster created by 20yrs of talk radio conditioning listeners to be angry and spiteful rather than conservative and principled.— Joe Carter (@joecarter) February 21, 2016
Trump wins SC primary. After calling GWB a liar. After fighting with the Pope. After threatening to sue Ted Cruz. Welcome to the new GOP.— Matt Viser (@mviser) February 21, 2016
GOP must unite together to fight for core beliefs or risk losing everything to Trump. Wake up time.— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) February 21, 2016
Marco Rubio's gonna do five Sunday shows to celebrate a comeback that netted him ZERO delegates 🍾🎉 https://t.co/lnBljOSSxL— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) February 21, 2016
Now @marcorubio carries the Discredited Bush Agenda— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) February 21, 2016
Big loser tonight: Nikki Haley.— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) February 21, 2016
For 7 months Team @JohnKasich's goal was to overtake Jeb! Congrats, but that's like winning Gulf of Tonkin. Now comes the quagmire.— Robert Draper (@DraperRobert) February 21, 2016
Carson claimed to be non politician. Longer he stays in w these results, more he shows he's in it to build an email list and sell books.— Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) February 21, 2016
A few other images that are going viral:
GOOD READS FROM ELSEWHERE:
-- The New York Times editorial board argues that “superdelegates” need to better clarify their role in the Democratic election: “Even after Sanders’s victory in New Hampshire, some supporters began fretting about a new menace: ‘superdelegates’ who could deliver the nomination to Clinton in July. Super delegates serve multiple functions at the convention, among them maintaining order — for example, by casting their votes to avoid deadlock in a fragmented field. That is why superdelegates shouldn’t have to make ironclad pledges to transfer fealty to the biggest vote-getter .. Still, this issue presents the party with an important opportunity. By better explaining the role of superdelegates, and publicly acknowledging that the 2016 presidential nomination rightly belongs to the majority vote-getter, Democrats could show new, youthful voters that the party wants their energy and their ideas inside the tent. To these idealistic voters, superdelegate influence reeks of smoke-filled rooms and establishment deals, when in fact they were created to end such maneuverings.”
-- Politico, “Donald Trump’s Sizzling Sister Act,” by Ben Schreckinger: “For many minorities, Donald Trump’s gold-plated brand is tarnished by a presidential campaign mired in racial controversy. Lucky for him, two sisters are on a mission to stud that tarnished brand with diamonds and wrap it in silk. African-American video bloggers Lynette ‘Diamond’ Hardaway and Rochelle ‘Silk’ Richardson have risen from obscurity to fame with a series of infectiously watchable videos in which the pair praises Trump and denigrates his rivals. In addition to their prodigious output of videos with titles like ‘We are not giving Jeb the Keys to the White House. That set of keys is going to Donald Trump,’ Diamond and Silk, former Democrats themselves, promote ditchandswitchnow.com to get black voters (and Democrats of all races) to switch their voter registrations in states with closed primaries so they are eligible to vote for Trump. They see in the businessman qualities that many others miss. ‘He is very meek,’ said Diamond. ‘He’s humble.’”
HOT ON THE LEFT
Gun-wielding protesters showed up to refugee event at Texas mosque. From the Dallas Morning News: "An event to welcome refugees at the Islamic Center of Irving drew a small group of camouflage-clad, gun-wielding protesters Saturday ... Such a standoff has become almost commonplace in Irving, home to the Ahmed 'clock boy' controversy and a series of other tense events that have turned the city into a symbol of Islamophobia for many. About a dozen anti-refugee protesters stood on the outskirts of the mosque’s property Saturday, waving flags and holding signs that said, 'Say No To Syrian Refugees.'”
HOT ON THE RIGHT
Did Twitter's 'Trust and Safety' Council get Robert Stacy McCain banned? From Reason: "One [Twitter] user who won’t be expressing himself at all is Robert Stacy McCain: a conservative journalist, blogger, self-described anti-feminist, and prominent GamerGate figure who was banned from Twitter on Friday night. Clicking on his page redirects to this 'account suspended' message that encourages users to re-read Twitter’s policies on abusive behavior ... There’s a difference between using strong language to disagree with people, and abusing them. If McCain has crossed that line, I’m not aware of it."
On the campaign trail: Candidates are all over the map today:
- Clinton: Menlo Park, Atherton, Piedmont, Calif.
- Sanders: Greenville, S.C.
- Trump: Atlanta
- Rubio: Franklin, Tenn., Little Rock, Ark., North Las Vegas, Nev.
- Cruz: Pahrump and Henderson, Nev.
At the White House: President Obama delivers remarks at the National Governors Association Dinner and Reception.
On Capitol Hill: The Senate and House are in recess.
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- Yesterday’s nice day may have been an outlier, unfortunately. From Capital Weather Gang: “The forecast for Sunday has continued to look less pleasant as we close in. Clouds thicken through the morning and showers are possible by midday to early afternoon. We could even see a period of relatively steady rain late day. Before all that gets underway, highs make the mid-50s, or thereabouts. It’s probably coolest west, where rain begins earliest.”
-- Metro’s ridership has plummeted to its lowest levels in 10 years. (Luz Lazo)
-- According to federal government data, Metro operators have had 47 “red signal violations" since 2012. The local transit authority has hired a neuroscientist and outside safety expert to combat these dangerous violations, which are thought to be caused by distraction and human error. (Michael Laris)
-- The Miami Heat beat the Wizards 114-94. (Jorge Castillo)
-- The Capitals beat the New Jersey Devils 4-3. (Isabelle Khurshudyan)
-- Maryland held a joint-committee meeting on a right to die bill, which would make the state the sixth to legalize aid in dying. (Ovetta Wiggins)
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Morgan Freeman recorded the voiceover for a new Clinton commercial:
Watch Jeb announce he's dropping out:
Trump's full victory speech:
And a quick recap of how he won:
The Clinton campaign circulated this clip:
Funeralgoers remembered Antonin Scalia: