Trump Hopes to Follow Clinton’s Lead in Nevada

Screen Shot 2016-02-22 at 8.06.24 AMMAGGIE HABERMAN

Monday, February 22, 2016

Good Monday morning.

The shock and awe of a New York real estate developer-turned-reality television star’s winning the South Carolina Republican primary on Saturday night blotted out the other major, parallel story of Hillary Clinton’s victory in the Nevada caucuses.

Mrs. Clinton, depending on how delegates are allocated in Clark County, will end up with more pledged delegates from the caucuses than Senator Bernie Sanders. That would give her a lead not just in pledged delegates, which are won in states, but in superdelegates as well. A lead in both categories eluded her in the 2008 race against Barack Obama, and, if it holds through Super Tuesday and beyond, it would render moot some of the complaints against her from progressive groups. And the results in Nevada, just as the final numbers in Iowa did, vindicated for many in the Clinton orbit the approach and style of Robby Mook, her campaign manager, who faced a barrage of questions heading into those contests.

As for the Republicans, it is their turn to head to Nevada, where Donald J. Trump owns a hotel and has a commanding lead. Caucuses did not favor Mr. Trump in Iowa, where organization mattered a great deal and where his campaign was not well prepared. Nevada, as well as the Super Tuesday states, will be another big test of his ability to organize.

But despite some signs of weakness that showed in South Carolina in his base of support, Republicans who oppose Mr. Trump are increasingly fearful that, with a divided field of candidates heading into the Super Tuesday states, he is strong enough to emerge successful. The only person who might be able to stop Mr. Trump is Mr. Trump, by virtue of an eruption or provocation so far unforeseen.

Mr. Trump seemed to try hard, almost inadvertently, to damage himself, particularly in the final week before South Carolina voted. None of it stopped him.