Wrap-up: Great night for Trump!
Only 81% of precincts have reported, so this could change overnight.
But so far, Trump has 34.8% of the vote, outperforming every single poll. Trump has demonstrated that he can turn out more voters then the poll numbers show.
This also shows that the internet polls were more accurate than the live-telephone-interview polls, because the internet polls had Trump as high as 34%.
This is also a great night for Trump because no alternative to Trump has emerged. Cruz had a very mediocre night with only 11.5% of the vote. That was in the lower side of his range of recent polls. No breakout for Cruz.
The Kasich breakout, with Rubio looking to come in 5th place, puts the GOPe in a huge bind. The GOPe was banking on their Boy Wonder Rubio coming in second and becoming the anointed establishment candidate. But then he had that robotic debate moment.
Christie looks like he’s going to drop out, but Kasich, Bush and Rubio are going to stay in, and the GOPe has no authority to tell any of them they have to drop out. As the second place winner, Kasich is certainly not dropping out. And Rubio will stay in on the basis of coming very close to Trump in his third-place finish in Iowa, and pretty close behind Bush in New Hampshire. And Bush isn’t dropping out because he hates Rubio and his campaign will believe that Kasich can’t repeat his performance in any other state, and certainly not in the southern states. But I wouldn’t write off Kasich so quickly. He has a lot of momentum now. (That is, I wouldn’t write him off for beating Rubio and Bush in future primaries. He’s not going to be able to beat Trump.)