Our Opinion: Super Tuesday looms as South Carolina ends a dynasty
Donald Trump rolled on, Hillary Clinton rebounded and a political dynasty may have come to an end Saturday in South Carolina.
If the Republican establishment hadn't given up waiting for Mr. Trump to self-destruct they surely had after Saturday. Mr. Trump's angry message, delivered in blunt if not coarse terms, resonated in South Carolina, where he won handily and took all 50 delegates.
The belief among the punditry this time was that Mr. Trump had gone too far by impolitely observing that George W. Bush had not kept America safe because the attacks of 9/11 came on his watch — which they indisputably did. The Bushes were popular in South Carolina, went the theory, and Jeb Bush brought in George W. to stump for his presidential candidacy.
So much for that theory. Jeb Bush ended his bid Saturday night after getting about 8 percent of the vote. The former Florida governor waged an honorable campaign and took on Mr. Trump for his insults and bullying, but this was a bad year to be an establishment candidate, especially one who never clearly articulated his reasons for wanting to be president other than that it was the family business.
Hillary Clinton earned a much-needed, post-New Hampshire victory in the Nevada caucuses, but the race was close and she won 19 delegates to Bernie Sanders' 15. Their next match is Saturday's primary in South Carolina, where Mrs. Clinton is expected to do well.
Then it will be on to Super Tuesday, March 1, when Massachusetts residents get to vote. A Public Policy Center survey has Senator Sanders leading the Democratic race by 7 points, while a variety of polls, none recent, have Mr. Trump far ahead. It is unlikely anyone would have predicted either several months ago, but it has been an unpredictable year. Ultimately it is the votes that matter, not the polls.
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