Nevada and South Carolina results: Rubio officially takes second place; Trump and Clinton win

Donald Trump wins the South Carolina GOP primary, and Marco Rubio ekes out a second-place finish over Ted Cruz. Hillary Clinton wins the Nevada Democratic caucuses, giving her a burst of momentum.

  • Donald Trump wins the South Carolina primary, securing his hold on the lead for the Republican nomination
  • Hillary Clinton fends off a strong challenge from Bernie Sanders to win the Nevada caucuses
  • Jeb Bush, the front-runner very early on in the race, ends his campaign after a poor showing in South Carolina
  • Get results breakdowns from Nevada and from South Carolina

It's official: Rubio is No. 2

With all of the precincts counted, Donald Trump won with 32.5% of the vote in South Carolina. 

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio had 22.5% of the vote and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was right behind him with 22.3%. About 1,000 votes separate the two senators.

Some South Carolina context

Newt Gingrich won South Carolina four years ago with 40.4% — 243,153 votes. Right behind him was Mitt Romney with 167,279. 

I told Jeb how proud I am of him and his staff for running a campaign that looked to the future, presented serious policy proposals, and elevated the tone of the race. Jeb's decision to suspend his campaign reflects his selfless character and patriotism. 

Former President George W. Bush talking about his younger brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the Republican primary.

Ben Carson says he's sticking with his campaign

 (David Zalubowski / Associated Press)
(David Zalubowski / Associated Press)

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson may be finishing last in South Carolina's Republican primary, but he says he's not dropping out of the race. 

"We remain undaunted," he said in a statement. "We’ve barely finished the first inning, and there’s a lot of game left."

Carson added, "As more Americans have their say, they will see the true strength of our movement."

Fun with numbers

Ted Cruz: Washington is in 'full terror' over my rise

Ted Cruz claimed his campaign is sending shudders through the GOP establishment as he offers what he said is the only Republican alternative who can beat Donald Trump.

"That screaming you hear now from across the Potomac is the Washington cartel in full terror as the conservative grass roots is rising up," Cruz, the Texas senator, told supporters in Columbia.

But Cruz's bluster was tempered by his showing on the evening. In a primary where nearly three in four voters identified as evangelical, a group Cruz doggedly courted in the Palmetto State, he lost their support to Trump.

Cruz insisted that his tight race for the second place spot with Marco Rubio here in South Carolina defied expectations, just as he did in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Supporters here at an election night party at the state fairgrounds, many wearing "Cruz 45" jerseys, interrupted his speech with chants of "Cruz!"

"South Carolina has given us another remarkable win," he said. "Conservatives continue to unite behind our campaign."

But while Cruz bested Trump in one national poll, he more typically follows the billionaire.

Harry Reid will be endorsing soon

Now that his state has had its say, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada won't be remaining neutral in the battle between Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. 

"I'm going to make an endorsement, I'm not going to do it now, I'll make it when I get back to Washington ... so fairly soon," he said at a news conference Saturday in Las Vegas. 

Reporters asked Reid about a New York Times story that suggested his conversations with leaders from Culinary Local 226, the state's most powerful union with more than 55,000 members, might have drawn more people to the caucuses, helping Clinton.

But Reid said all he was doing was due diligence.

"I did everything I could to turn out the vote," Reid said. 

Clinton's caucus victory came thanks in part to union households, which backed her 54%-43%, according to the preliminary exit polls. About 3 in 10 voters were members of a union household, the polls also found.

Bush's farewell speech: 'Thank you for the opportunity to run for the greatest office on the face of the Earth'

Trump coloring book spotted in South Carolina

If you ever wanted to know what Donald Trump looked like as Superman, a wizard, a founding father, or Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, look no further than the Trump coloring book.

The book's been out for a few months, but according to the Washington Post's Jose DelReal, the presidential candidate's campaign passed it out on Saturday in South Carolina. 

Jeb Bush's White House dreams sputter to a halt in South Carolina

 (Ricardo Arduengo / Associated Press)
(Ricardo Arduengo / Associated Press)

He launched his campaign in the warmth of a Florida summer, hailed as the candidate who melded a new, multicultural Republican appeal, a family history of winning and the most formidable fundraising machine his party had ever built.

Eight long, humiliating months later, in the South Carolina winter, John Ellis Bush gave up, making him the most prominent casualty of an unruly presidential contest and marking a stunning public repudiation of a family that defined GOP success for decades during two turns in the White House.

Marco Rubio leans on Reagan's legacy and says race is down to three men

Marco Rubio invoked the legacy of Ronald Reagan after Saturday's primary in South Carolina to position himself as the Republican candidate who can best unite the GOP for a new era.

Rubio, in a tight battle for second place with fellow Sen. Ted Cruz, congratulated Donald Trump's win in the primary and praised Jeb Bush, who suspended his campaign shortly after polls closed.

"After tonight, this becomes a three-person race, and I will win the nomination," Rubio, the Florida senator, told supporters at his warehouse party in Columbia.

"Now, the children of the Reagan revolution are ready to assume the mantle of leadership."

Rubio's campaign, backed by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, the daughter of immigrants from India, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate,  represents a new movement in the party, he said.

The country, he said, "is now ready for a new generation of conservatives."

Jeb Bush supporter: 'Marco won the lane'

Bush aide: 'Trump blocked out the sun'

An aide to Jeb Bush said the former Florida governor decided to drop out of the race Saturday after a poor showing in South Carolina to allow Republicans to consolidate behind someone who can defeat Donald Trump.

This person said Bush's effort failed because “Trump blocked out the sun for seven months.”

The mood in the room at Bush party: Disappointment, but not surprise

The crowd at Jeb Bush’s election night party cried out “No!” and “We love you, Jeb!” as he announced he was ending his presidential campaign Saturday night after a poor finish in the South Carolina primary.

But many were not surprised.

“I’m disappointed. I was hoping for a third-place finish by Mr. Bush. But I think it was probably time,” said Seth Darlington, 18. “A lot of his supporters have come to the conclusion it was probably the best time.”

From the moment the doors opened to Bush's election night party at the Hilton hotel, the mood was grim. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich held his victory party here four years ago, and Bush's party space was a fraction of the size. There were no televisions broadcasting returns. The crowd included more volunteers and friends from out of state than South Carolinian voters. They hugged as Bush announced he was dropping out. 

Trey Robinson, 32, said that it was time for establishment Republicans to consolidate around a candidate, and that he planned to support Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who was in a tight race for second place in South Carolina.

“Here’s the thing – I think everyone wants everybody to get behind one conservative candidate,” said the Columbia resident, who works for a chemical manufacturer.

Gil Rawhock, a retiree from Camden, S.C., repeated the adage he had told Bush himself when the former governor was signing an autograph for him earlier.

“Don’t forget that great American philosopher Yogi Bera – it ain’t over till it’s over. It must be over,” the 81-year-old said.

Donald Trump says he will 'go back to war tomorrow morning' after winning South Carolina

Donald Trump thanked supporters Saturday night after his victory in the South Carolina primary, telling them he would “go back to war tomorrow morning” against his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination.

“There’s nothing easy about running for president, I can tell you,” Trump told the cheering crowd in Spartanburg, S.C. "It’s tough. It’s nasty. It’s mean. It’s vicious. It’s beautiful. When you win, it’s beautiful, and we are going to start winning for our country.”

Flanked by family members, Trump also mocked pundits for saying his GOP opponents’ votes combined could defeat him if some of them would drop out.

“These geniuses,” Trump said, his voice dripping with sarcasm. “They don’t understand that as people drop out, I’m going to get a lot of those votes also. You don’t just add them together.”

Trump also took a swipe at South Carolina’s Republican governor, Nikki Haley, whose endorsement of his rival Marco Rubio appeared to give a major boost to the senator from Florida after his poor showing in the New Hampshire primary.

Gesturing toward one of his top South Carolina supporters, Henry McMaster, Trump said: “The lieutenant governor of South Carolina, I will take him over the governor any time. Because we won.”

Trump paid quick tributes to Rubio and another rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, drawing a wave of groans that Trump tried to calm.

“We go back to war tomorrow morning,” he assured the crowd.

Donald Trump turns the spotlight over to his wife during victory speech

The end of Jeb Bush's run has loomed on the campaign for a while

Bush quits presidential race

Jeb Bush, the son and brother of presidents who once seemed a formidable front-runner for his party's nomination, quit the race Saturday night after a disappointing finish in South Carolina's primary.

"I'm proud of the campaign we've run," Bush told supporters. "But the people of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken."

"So tonight, I am suspending my campaign," he said, his voice briefly catching as some supporters shouted "no."

Marco Rubio is big winner among voters who want November victory

Marco Rubio has repeatedly insisted that he’s the best candidate to unite the Republican Party and win in November. Judging by exit polls, that message has taken root among the Florida senator’s supporters. 

Among South Carolina Republican voters who prioritize a candidate’s ability to win in the general election, 49% said they were backing Rubio.

However, it wasn’t a priority for most – only 15% of voters said that it was. 

More voters said they wanted a candidate who shared their values (37%, a category Cruz won) or could bring change to the country (31%, with Trump holding a wide margin). 

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