Trump wins Nevada caucuses
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With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Trump won with 45.91 percent of the vote, followed by Rubio with 23.85 percent and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz's Dem challenger slams Time piece praising Trump Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election 32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules MORE with 21.38 percent.
 
It was Trump's largest victory of the nominating cycle. 
 
Trump's win comes as he sweeps all ideological segments, according to MSNBC's exit polling. He edged out Cruz with the very conservative segment, 38 percent to Cruz's 34 percent.  And he blew out the field with somewhat conservatives, of which he won 47 percent, and with moderates, of which he won 56 percent.  

He also topped Cruz among evangelical voters, winning 41 percent of that bloc. 

Trump won with Hispanic voters in Nevada, too, according to entrance polls. He won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in MSNBC's entrance polls, compared to Rubio's 29 percent and Cruz's 18 percent. 

"This is not a factional candidate. This is a candidate with broad appeal across the board in the Republican Party," MSNBC analyst Steve Kornacki said as he went through the exit poll numbers. 

Trump, during his victory speech in Nevada, noted the voting blocs he won. "We won the evangelicals, we won with young, we won with old, we won with highly educated, we won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated," he said. 

"You know what I am really happy about? I've been saying it for a long time: 46 percent with Hispanics, No. 1 with Hispanics."
 
Trump’s victory had been expected on the heels of two consecutive victories, in New Hampshire and South Carolina. But a lack of regular polling added an air of uncertainty to the mix in the hours before the race was called.  

It’s yet another jolt of momentum for the GOP front-runner and a blow to those looking to knock Trump off the top of the totem pole.  

The real estate mogul will end the first month of voting with about three-quarters of the delegates awarded. That puts him in a strong position to expand his lead going into the pivotal Super Tuesday next week, when one-quarter of the total delegates are up for grabs.   

Now that Trump has emerged victorious, Cruz and Rubio continue to spar for second place.  

As results continued to trickle in, both campaigns shot off memos to reporters casting their rival's effort as a failure. In the eyes of the Cruz campaign, Rubio's failure to win in what some pundits have called his "firewall" emphasizes his inability to win the nomination. 
 
But as far as the Rubio's camp is concerned, Cruz and his allies are the ones who failed by not being able to knock Rubio out of second place despite a "strong presence in Nevada for months." Rubio, who was campaigning in Michigan on Tuesday night, did not give a speech after the Nevada caucus results were called.
 
Both John Kasich and Ben Carson, the other candidates remaining in the race, failed to mount serious challenges in the state as expected. Carson, placing a distant fourth, pledged shortly after the caucuses closed that he wouuld continue to press on despite his dismal financial situation.
 
Kasich, who has spent little time in Nevada, placed behind Carson and appears to be holding out on Michigan, Ohio, Vermont and Massachusetts in mid-March. 
 
The Ohio governor, who is vying for the same establishment voters as Rubio, jumped into the expectation-setting game as well with his own campaign memo that lambasted the Florida senator for "throwing good money after bad." 
 
"Contrary to what his campaign is trying to portray, Senator Rubio just endured another disappointing performance despite being the highest spending candidate in Nevada," Kasich strategist John Weaver said. "He also missed an opportunity to back up the notion that he can bring new people into the Republican Party or succeed above expectations in a diverse state."
 
The race for second won’t likely have a significant effect on the delegate count, since the state awards 30 proportionally based on results across the state. But it will provide a moral victory and an important boost into Super Tuesday.
 
Next week’s Super Tuesday has almost 600 delegates up for grabs, almost four times as many than had been awarded up until that point. That gives Rubio and Cruz an important chance to cut into Trump’s delegate lead, so capturing the momentum and media narrative into next week could prove pivotal.  
 
Going into Tuesday’s caucuses, Trump led with 68 delegates to Cruz’s 11 and Rubio’s 9. A total of 1,237 delegates are needed to win the nomination. 
 
The Cruz-Rubio rivalry has deepened over the past days with Cruz continuing to cast Rubio as too liberal and Rubio accusing Cruz’s campaign of dirty tricks.  
 
Those accusations boiled over into Cruz firing his national spokesman, Rick Tyler, after Tyler posted video of Rubio that inaccurately claimed he dismissed the Bible.  
 
Trump's victory became even more likely with reports Tuesday afternoon suggesting record turnout. Veteran Nevada journalist John Ralston tweeted that 37,000 people had preregistered for the caucus, more than the number of voters who ultimately turned out for the entire caucus in 2012.  
 
While not all of those who preregistered were going to turn out, that number combined with the significant portion expected to show up without giving the party advanced notice stoked predictions for record turnout. 
 
--This report was updated at 6:04 a.m.