Donald Trump owes Jerry Falwell Jr. a big fat wet kiss.
Trump’s big win Saturday night falls largely on the shoulders of the son of the late great Jerry Falwell Sr.
After New Hampshire, I wrote Trump would "march South"
triumphant, leaving that moderate, independent-leaning New England state and do surprising well in conservative, evangelical South Carolina.
There were some doubters. Cruz had done exceptionally well in Iowa, due to the evangelical voters.
But Falwell, a Southern Baptist, and his Liberty University, the South's leading evangelical university, would weigh more significantly with evangelical voters in the Palmetto State, I argued.
And the exit polls prove that Trump won South Carolina because of a seismic shift of evangelical voters away from Cruz to the billionaire.
Let's look at the data.
In the Iowa entrance polls, 62 percent of voters identified themselves as white Christian evangelicals/born again. Of those, Cruz captured 33 percent. Trump took just 21 percent.
Christian conservatives were the core of Cruz’s Iowa vote and key to his victory there.
In South Carolina, some 67 percent of voters said they were white Christian evangelical/born again. Cruz should have done exceedingly well here.
But this time Trump grabbed 34 percent of that vote, with Cruz trailing at 26 percent.
This key reversal of Christian conservative voters in favor of Trump, as well as his dominance with veterans, led to his landslide victory in South Carolina last night.
On March 1, Super Tuesday will bring 15 primaries and caucuses. Five of these – Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia – should all be favorable terrain for Donald Trump thanks to the same "Falwell Factor" that brought him victory Saturday.
Christopher Ruddy is CEO and editor of Newsmax Media Inc. Read more Christopher Ruddy Insider articles — Click Here Now.
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