6 things to watch in today's South Carolina, Nevada elections

Republicans in South Carolina vote Saturday and Democrats will head to the polls in Nevada. The two states are very different, but will play a role in both party primaries. Here's 6 things you need to know about Saturday's elections

Does another big win for Trump solidify his front-runner status?

This week in South Carolina Donald Trump called Pope Francis "disgraceful" and blamed former President George W. Bush for 9/11, and it doesn't look like it's hurting him in the polls at all.




Most polls show him with a 12-17 point lead in South Carolina. Trump won New Hampshire with 35 percent of the vote.

For Trump to win South Carolina big, despite not getting any of the major endorsements from the governor or the state's two U.S. senators, sends a message to the establishment that he can win across the south heading into Super Tuesday on March 1.

If Cruz or even Rubio are able to upset Trump in South Carolina, it would be a major blow to the Trump campaign and give the winner a boost heading toward the southern Super Tuesday states.

The fight on the Republican side is for second place

Most polls show the fight for second place in South Carolina is a jumbled mess, much like they did in New Hampshire. However, in South Carolina the fight appears to be between Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

The latest Real Clear Politics average of South Carolina polls has Cruz at 18.3 percent and Rubio at 17.6 percent. A second place win for Cruz is expected. He's an evangelical southerner and should play well in South Carolina.

Coming in third would be a loss for him. If Rubio comes in second, it will give him back some of the mojo he lost after his fourth place finish in New Hampshire.

A third place win is also good for Rubio, while it won't help him against Cruz, it will put him above former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the fight to be the establishment candidate.

Watching Rubio campaign this week with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, you couldn't help but think that's a strong general election ticket for Republicans.

Does Sin City finally give Clinton a solid victory?

For years, Hillary Clinton has been called the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2016. Well, she won Iowa by a hair and lost huge to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire.

Clinton could use a solid win in Nevada to boost her campaign. The polls show a tight race in Nevada. the latest CNN poll has Clinton at 48 and Sanders at 47. In 2008, Clinton won Nevada over Barack Obama, 51-45 percent. Losing a state that she won before would be a blow.

Nevada is also the first state voting with a large Latino population. She is campaigning hard for those votes.

Her latest TV ad is directed right at Latino voters.

Can Sanders win in a diverse state?

The Democratic electorate in Nevada is only 65 percent white, making it a much more diverse state than Iowa or New Hampshire. Sanders had success in Iowa and New Hampshire, both states without a very diverse population.

Sanders has done well with young voters, but getting traction with black and Latino voters will be key as the primaries change to southern and western states and show he can win the Democratic base. Twenty-seven percent of Nevada's population is Latino.

One thing to keep an eye on is age. If Sanders can win young voters in the state regardless of their background it will give him more momentum to keep going.

Kasich is going on regardless ... but

For Kasich, anything above last place in some ways is a win in South Carolina. If he manages to defeat Bush here, it would be significant and potentially a fatal blow to the Bush campaign. Kasich knows his politics may not play well in the South and he's looking ahead to New England states on March 1 and the Michigan primary on March 8

The last stand for Bush, Carson

Depending on which polls you look at the numbers don't look good for Jeb Bush and Ben Carson in South Carolina. In recent polls, the best Bush has done is 14 percent, however in some he is as low as 7. For Carson, he's in single digits.

Even if Carson comes in last, he will probably keep going just because he can. However, for Bush another 4th place or lower finish is a blow to his former front-runner status. His brother, former President George W. Bush even came to campaign for Jeb in South Carolina. Bush needs a bump, a 3rd place finish or higher would give his campaign a boost and be his highest finish so far.


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Ohio Politics

Gravesite for ‘Buckskin Girl’ gets new headstone with her name
Gravesite for ‘Buckskin Girl’ gets new headstone with her name

It took nearly 37 years before a positive ID was made of Jane Doe whose body was found along a Miami County road, but only a short time for donations and creation of a new stone marking her grave in Troy. Marcia Sossomon King of Arkansas, who was 21 when she died in 1981, was remembered Friday with the placement of the stone and a memorial service...
Have you seen missing Preble County woman?
Have you seen missing Preble County woman?

The Preble County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help to find a West Alexandria woman reported missing. Laura Patterson, 52, left her home on foot sometime between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday. It appears she took nothing with her, according to the sheriff’s office. Patterson works in the Monroe area, but her employer...
Severe weather downs trees, ignites fire in Miami Valley
Severe weather downs trees, ignites fire in Miami Valley

The strong winds also damaged trees around the area. In Miami Twp., a giant tree was uprooted in front of a business located at the corner of Centerville Road and Graceland Street.  Racheal Cullins, who works at the business said she was on the phone when all of the sudden she heard a really loud boom. She looked outside and the tree fell had...
UPDATE: Balloon glow, flights canceled Friday night at Ohio Challenge in Middletown
UPDATE: Balloon glow, flights canceled Friday night at Ohio Challenge in Middletown

Friday night’s balloon glow and balloon flights have been canceled due to weather conditions, according to Ohio Challenge balloon pilot Sean Askren. Saturday’s events are expected to take place as scheduled. Balloon pilot Sean Askren said “everything is a go” for tonight’s Ohio Challenge, but he warned that could change...
Man accused of killing 8-month-old child in Colerain Twp.
Man accused of killing 8-month-old child in Colerain Twp.

A 32-year-old man is behind bars, accused of killing an 8-month-old child. Crews were called around 11:30 a.m. Thursday to a report of a child not breathing in the 3300 block of Struble Road in Colerain Twp. in northwestern Hamilton County. Colerain Twp. police arrived first, and attempted life-saving measures until medics arrived but the child was...
More Stories