Monday, February 22, 2016

Donald Trump’s Victory Spurs Renewed Scrambling Among Republicans

By MAGGIE HABERMAN and ALAN RAPPEPORT, NYT, FEB. 21, 2016

Mainstream Republicans grappled on Sunday with Donald J. Trump’s sweeping victory in South Carolina as if cycling through stages of grief, with some refusing to accept that he could be the party’s eventual nominee and others searching for ways to prevent his insurgent candidacy from becoming unstoppable.

As his rivals headed west ahead of Tuesday’s Nevada caucuses and Super Tuesday a week later, there was pressure on some of the party’s most prominent figures to declare their support for Senator Marco Rubio of Florida — who finished second in South Carolina on Saturday — or at least to help rally people behind him as the most viable alternative to Mr. Trump.

Both Mr. Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who finished third by a narrow margin, tried to make the case that the nominating fight was still at an early stage.

“Last night was truly the beginning of the real Republican primary,” Mr. Rubio said on CNN.

Mr. Cruz continued to remind people that he had handed Mr. Trump his only defeat so far, in Iowa.

(More here.)

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