NV caucuses set record; Trump endorsed; Kasich banking on Michigan
The latest from the presidential campaign trail:
NV caucuses set attendance record
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Nevada Republican party is reporting that attendance at its Tuesday night caucus set a new record.
The party says more than 75,000 voters attended the caucus. That’s more than twice the 33,000 who caucused in 2012.
Nevada’s Republican caucuses have been plagued by low attendance and other problems since they began in 2008. Democrats have seen stronger turnout numbers. They reported more than 84,000 caucus goers in their caucuses on Saturday.
As expected, the relatively high turnout Tuesday powered Donald Trump to a commanding victory.
Trump gets endorsement from sitting members of Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican front-runner Donald Trump has won his first endorsements from sitting members of Congress.
Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York said Wednesday they are backing Trump for the GOP nomination for president.
Collins said Trump has demonstrated he has “the guts and the fortitude” to help U.S. companies compete with China and take on foreign threats such as the Islamic State and North Korea.
Hunter called Trump a strong leader.
Hunter sponsored a bill passed by the House last year that would shut down funding for so-called sanctuary cities like San Francisco that shield immigrants from deportation by federal authorities.
Democrats accused Republicans of following Trump in demonizing Latinos and dubbed the bill the Donald Trump Act.
Kasich goes after Rubio as bad investment
UNDATED (AP) — John Kasich’s campaign is unleashing a stream of attacks against Marco Rubio, saying it’s time to “rethink the conventional wisdom” that Rubio is the establishment’s best hope for defeating Donald Trump.
Kasich’s campaign has sent three memos to reporters in fewer than 24 hours slamming Rubio’s campaign strategy, saying he’s proving to be a poor return on investment when comparing his campaign spending with his early-state finishes.
The campaign is attempting to downplay Rubio’s second-place finish in Tuesday night’s Nevada caucuses as a disappointment given how much he spent in the state.
A slate of GOP office holders have lined up behind Rubio, including Bob Dole, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utag and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Kasich has secured several prominent endorsements as well in recent days, including Tom Ridge, the former Pennsylvania governor and first director of Homeland Security.
Kasich’s campaign is banking everything on Michigan’s March 8 primary and is making clear the candidate has no plans to drop out soon.
For some GOP voters, a grudging acceptance of Trump
MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (AP) — As Donald Trump racks up wins, not all Republican voters are celebrating. But doubters are coming to grips with the idea that he may be their party’s best chance for retaking the White House.
The real estate mogul has scored three straight commanding primary victories and enters next week’s delegate-rich Super Tuesday elections in strong position.
Interviews with about two dozen frequent Republican voters in Virginia — an important general election battleground and one of several states with a primary next week — reveal the complex mix of emotions Trump evokes within in his own party.
There’s sometimes shock, confusion and anxiousness. But there’s also a grudging acceptance of his staying power and a feeling that he’d be better than another four years with a Democrat in the White House.
Reid endorses Clinton
(AP) Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid is endorsing Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
A spokeswoman for the Nevada senator said Wednesday that Reid was making the endorsement. Reid participated in his state’s Democratic caucuses Saturday but voted as “uncommitted.” Clinton won the contest.
Reid said he took pains to remain neutral in the competition between Clinton and Bernie Sanders so he would not be accused of rigging the caucuses.