The polls are open and votes are being cast in the 2016 South Carolina Republican primary. Later today, at 11am Pacific, the Nevada Democratic Party caucus begins. In the Silver State, Hillary Clinton has sen her once commanding lead dwindle as Bernie Sanders gains ground with unions and younger voters. In the Palmetto State, Donald Trump was leading in most polls by a healthy margin of 10 points or more. But there has been an onslaught of attacks, including one by Pope Francis, which may have cut Trump′s lead. One of the many Ted Cruz Super-PACs unleashed another dishonest robo-call, trashing Trump and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley over the Confederate flag. Cruz seems to still be smarting after failing to get Haley′s endorsement. Another who was unhappy with her endorsing Marco Rubio is Jeb Bush, who may be fighting for his political life!
Reports are that Jeb Bush is running out of money! The once overflowing war chest of some $130 Million dollars or more has been depleted. Some estimates are that Jeb is down to his last $15-20 Million dollars! He has very little to show for the money he has spent. A poor finish today in the South Carolina GOP primary may spell the end of the Jeb Bush campaign. Many predict that if Jeb fails to place a close 4th behind Trump, Cruz and Rubio, Jeb will be under pressure to quit by GOP wise men. It could get worse if Jeb Bush finishes in fifth place behind John Kasich. In next week′s Nevada Republican caucus, the only recent poll shows Jeb with just 1% in last place behind everyone, even Ben Carson!
For Hillary Clinton, today′s Nevada caucus may be equally troubling. The State Department released another batch of emails from the private Clinton server, bring the new total of those with classified material in them to about 1,730. During a town hall event this week, Hillary refused to admit that she ever lied to the American people. In next Saturday′s South Carolina Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton still leads Bernie Sanders by at least a 10-point margin. But a loss in Nevada today could change that outcome, setting the stage for a real dogfight on the March 1st Super Tuesday contests.
Both votes today may also show just how wide spread the anti-Establishment sentiment is in America? If Trump wins with 35% or more in the South Carolina primary, and Bernie Sanders wins or keeps it very close in the Nevada caucus, we could see much trouble for both major political parties. A revolt is brewing within the Democratic Party over the allocation of delegates, especially in regards to the number of super delegates. Hillary Clinton has so far won most of the delegates after the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary despite the numbers achieved by Bernie Sanders. More critics are voicing disdain for just how undemocratic the DNC is!
The results of today′s South Carolina GOP primary may not just effect the Republican Party, but also the machine that can be called ′Conservative Inc.′. The dozens, if not hundreds of groups and organizations that nickle-and-dime contributions regularly from millions of Conservative activists. Not to forget the Big Money from Big Donors. The failures we have seen with the Jeb Bush campaign after the expenditure of about $100 Million dollars or more is a sign that money no longer is as influential as it has been in the past. A decisive win by Trump today would ′seal the deal′ on the death of Conservative Inc..
So what are my predictions for the 2016 South Carolina Republican primary and the Nevada Democratic caucus? I am going to be ′Conservative′ and predict that Donald Trump will win the Palmetto State GOP primary by between 5-to-10 points. It may wind up being even tighter than that, but Trump will still win. If Trump finished second, I would not waiver or be disappointed. After all, this is his first run in politics and he has been a target by everyone, including Pope Francis! Any other mortal would have been utterly destroyed by this level of onslaught, so even a second place finish for Trump would still qualify as a miracle. Rubio and Cruz are fully engaged in this battle, so where they wind up is anyone′s guess. If there is a surprise today, it will be John Kasich beating Jeb Bush. In Nevada, Hillary Clinton will win the Silver State caucus by a nose. The fix is in! But the lower the margin, the worse the news is for her. If Bernie Sanders does win, that will be a shocker and have an impact on next Saturday and beyond. But the real threat to Hillary Clinton is the FBI and should she lose today and next weekend, Obama may cut her loose and allow her to be indicted. Make way for Joe Biden!