Even as establishment Republicans intensified the attacks on Donald Trump over the past week to ten days, the New York billionaire continued to put up impressive wins and continue his march to the Republican nomination.
Trump posted impressive victories in Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Virginia. Trump also won a narrow victory in Arkansas and Vermont. Even in Texas where Texas Senator Ted Cruz won easily, Trump still garnered 27 percent of the vote.
The only real blemish on the night was in Minnesota, a caucus state, where Trump finished well behind Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who finally got his first win under his belt. In addition to winning Texas, Cruz also pulled out a win over Trump in Oklahoma.
Even though Cruz and Rubio were able to get in the win column, Tuesday night’s results did nothing to quell Trump’s dominance over the Republican field. Cruz was expected to win his home state, and his six-point victory over Trump in Oklahoma was also in friendly territory. Cruz also ran strong in Arkansas and Minnesota, but he wasn’t much of a factor is states like Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee, other states that he needed to be competitive in.
Rubio’s win in Minnesota may have gotten the money off of his back, but his inability to win in states like Virginia, Arkansas, or Tennessee spell trouble for his campaign. Winning the low-turnout Minnesota caucuses isn’t a lot to hang his hat on before he goes head-to-head against Trump in his home state of Florida on March 15.
The problem for the anti-Trump crowd was on full display Tuesday night. As the frontrunner Trump runs strong everywhere. The same can’t be said of his opponents. Cruz ran strong in caucus states and southern states, but was uncompetitive in places like Vermont, Massachusetts, and Virginia.
Even more problematic for establishment Republicans is that even with all the talk about Rubio last week, he wasn’t able to post the necessary victories to slow Trump’s march to the nomination.