Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has won his third straight contest, as Trump has been projected as the winner of Tuesday’s Republican caucuses.
As of early Wednesday morning, Trump had 45 percent of the vote, well ahead of second-place finisher Marco Rubio with 24 percent. Iowa caucus winner Ted Cruz came in third with 20 percent of the vote. John Kasich and Ben Carson were in the single digits.
Trump is coming off a Feb. 8 win in New Hampshire and a Feb. 20 victory in South Carolina. Trump has taken a commanding lead on the rest of the GOP field in the number of pledged delegates.
'We will be celebrating for a long time tonight," Trump told his supporters Tuesday night.
The victory gives Trump huge momentum going into next week’s Super Tuesday. Trump was also able to stave off Rubio, who was expected to pick up support from supporters of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush after he dropped out of the race Saturday.
"They keep forgetting that when people drop out, we're going to get a lot of votes," he said.
According to exit polls gathered by the Associated Press, 6 out 10 caucus voters said that they preferred a candidate that is not politically experienced. The same number of voters said they were angry at how the federal government operates.
These voters tended to back Trump.
Unlike last Saturday’s contest when Trump walked away with all 50 pledged delegates, Trump will win a proportion of the delegates from Tuesday’s caucus based off the final statewide tally.
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk.Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook.