Columbia (South Carolina)/Carson City (Nevada), Feb 20: The race for nomination for the presidential election in the US in November will get intense one more time on Saturday when the Democratic caucus will be held in Nevada and Republican primary in South Carolina.
Complete schedule of US presidential election caucus/primary schedules
The five important questions that will come up in the two states are:
1. Will Republican Donald Trump's attack on the Bush family help his cause?
Trump, who won handsomely in South Carolina, called Goerge W Bush a liar in the last debate, something which is likely to have an impact in South Carolina where the Bushes are very popular. However, Trump will be banking heavily on his supporters who haven't disappointed him so far. By opposing the Iraq War, Trummo might have tried to encourage the Independents and Democrats to vote in South carolina's open primary.
2. Will this mark a return of Marco Rubio?
Rubio might find an opportunity to regain the focus after a bad performance in New Hampshire. His highest point so far has been the backing of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and according to observers, the GOP establishment might play around him and expect him to win somewhere. If Rubio finishes even second in South Carolina, it will be a good step ahead.
3. Concerns for Jeb Bush?
Jeb Bush will be under a big pressure if he fails to surge ahead of Rubio and make the top three. In that case, he might withdraw from the race.
4. Is Cruz really surging past Trump?
If Ted Cruz, who won the Iowa caucus but fared badly in New Hampshire, ends up close to Trump (NBC/WSJ survey predicted him to be two points ahead of Trump nationally, which is an encouragement for his supporters), then Trump will have a serious race in his hand amd might have to think some other strategy besides his predictably unpredictable campaigning.
5. At Nevada, will Hillary Clinton come back?
The former secretary of state's campaign has been busy but it annoyed Henry Reid, the top Democrat in the state, when one spokesperson said that the state is 80 per cent white. However, given the small population of the Democratic caucus-goers in Nevada, many party observers feel Hillary would be able to overcome even if she loses here though ideally that is not a result her supporters will look to after the embarrasment at New Hampshire. She will have a bigger task in hand at South Carolina primary scheduled on February 27. A win will be must there for Hillary to put a check on Bernie Sanders.