After South Carolina, GOP race becomes Trump's to lose
SOUTH CAROLINA (AP):
Yes, Donald Trump could really be the Republican nominee.
The blunt-talking billionaire posted his second straight victory in South Carolina's Republican primary on the weekend, ending any lingering doubts that he could transform his passionate supporters into voters.
On the other side of the country, Hillary Clinton blunted concerns about her viability with a clear victory over Bernie Sanders in Nevada, the first state to test the Democrats' appeal among a racially diverse group of voters.
Trump, now the clear leader in the delegate race, cemented his standing as his party's favourite. No Republican in modern times has won New Hampshire and South Carolina and then failed to win the nomination.
WELL PRIMED FOR WINNING
Having proven his mettle in South Carolina, Trump emerged well primed for more winning as the primary heads towards a cluster of Southern states.
"It's tough, it's nasty, it's mean, it's vicious," Trump said of the rollicking presidential campaign. "It's beautiful. When you win, it's beautiful."
Though Trump's victory was vindication for political mavericks whose hunger for an outsider has defined this year's campaign, those fortunes didn't extend to Sanders.
After winning the second contest in New Hampshire, the self-declared democratic socialist came up in short in Nevada, where Clinton collected the majority of delegates and told gleeful supporters that "this one is for you."
For Jeb Bush, it was the end of the line. His donors ready to bolt, the political scion dropped out of the race after failing to break into the top three.