Winning on the strength of blue collar workers and evangelicals, businessman and 2016 Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump, won North Carolina over his closest rival, Texas Senator Ted Cruz. The finally vote tally placed Trump on top with 458,151 votes, or 40.2% of the total, while Cruz came in second place with 418,740 votes and 36.8%, Ohio Governor John Kasich came in third with 418,740 votes, or 12.7% of the Republican voting electorate. Rounding out the field was Florida Senator Marco Rubio who suspended his 2016 campaign last night, following a humilitaing defeat in his home state. Rubio collected 87,858 votes for a total of 7.7% of all Republican votes cast.
Ted Cruz took an early lead over Trump until votes from the western counties began to be tallied. At that point, Trump took the lead, and while the margin of victory was small, just a 3.4% difference in vote totals between Cruz and Trump, Trump’s victory was solid, confirming once again the businessman’s front runner status.
It’s not that The Donald was unhappy with his vote totals. Quite the opposite; Trump’s campaign actually believed the race in North Carolina would be closer than it was, and that put a smile on Trump’s face. For his part, Ted Cruz ran an awesome campaign, and his support was broad-based. The fact is that over the course of the week prior to the election, Trump’s staffers actually believed that Cruz had a good chance to take away the entire evangelical vote, but there is a completely new dynamic revealing itself in this campaign for the Republican nomination for president.
This new dynamic for Trump now includes evangelical voters. As the campaign has worn on, these voters have come to realize that Ted Cruz is a Washington insider, and evangelicals don’t want an insider for their next president. Trump continues to collect a larger and larger percentage of the evangelical vote as the race has proceeded, and if the presidential election was held today, Trump would win the evangelical vote handily.
With North Carolina now in the rearview mirror, the Trump Express just continues to roll along. Every day that passes puts Trump that much closer to the nomination of his party. Last night Trump called on Republicans to “come together” and unify behind a single candidate: Donald Trump.
While it remains to be seen if Trump will actually win the nomination, he is definitely in the driver seat, having amassed almost twice as many delegates as Cruz has received in this campaign. Trump did again in North Carolina what he has done so many times this year: he simply won the campaign, and his populist message is resonating much the same way as Harry Truman’s message did at the summer convention during the year that he was elected to the presidency.
Is Donald Trump the new Harry Truman? Every day, in every way, it sure does appear to be so. History can repeat itself. If Trump continues on his current path, he should wrap up the Republican nomination just a few weeks before the Republican party nominating convention this summer in Cleveland, Ohio; just like Harry Truman did. In the battle for the Republican nomination this year, it is the businessman versus the Washington insider in the battle for the presidency.
Will Trump take the nomination? Let us know what you think; your opinion matters! Please feel free to comment on this article; your input is always welcome.