The Note: Nevada Plays the Trump Card

VIDEO: Donald Trump on Nevada Caucuses WinPlayABCNews.com
WATCH Donald Trump on Nevada Caucuses Win

NOTABLES

--TRUMP, RUBIO TALK FIRST AND SECOND PLACE FINISHES: Donald Trump said his front-running presidential campaign is “looking pretty good” after its Tuesday night victory in the GOP Nevada caucuses. "It was a great night," he told ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS on "Good Morning America" today. "We're looking pretty good, by any standard.” A few minutes later, Sen. Marco Rubio told “GMA” co-anchor Robin Roberts that he congratulates Trump on winning, adding, "Well, we always want to do better.” But he feels “good about our second-place finish," Rubio said. Despite their respective first- and second-place finishes, Trump and Rubio have rarely attacked one another on the campaign trail. Trump said in Nevada Tuesday night that he hasn’t gone after the Florida senator because Rubio has yet to “hit” him. If he does, however, "you will see what happens," Trump told the crowd. More from ABC’s CORINNE CATHCART: http://abcn.ws/1STwtW7

--TRUMP LOOKS AHEAD TO AN ‘AMAZING TWO MONTHS.’ "We love Nevada," Trump told a cheering crowd in Las Vegas Tuesday night, ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI reports. "We will be celebrating for a long time." But even as Trump relished his victory in the Silver State, he wasted no time turning his attention to the nominating contests still to come. "It’s going to be an amazing two months," Trump said. "We might not even need the two months." From Nevada, the battle for the Republican presidential nomination moves into the dozen states holding primaries or caucuses on March 1. Super Tuesday could further whittle down the GOP field. During his remarks, Trump ticked off several groups such as evangelical Christians and Hispanics that entrance polls in Nevada showed him winning. “Number one with Hispanics,” Trump said. "I’m really happy about that." http://abcn.ws/1VDolXy

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: The “chaos candidate” is thriving on chaos. Now, he’s actually building something out of it, too. Even with Jeb Bush gone -- his description of Donald Trump living on -- and the establishment falling in line behind Marco Rubio, Trump rolled to victory in the Nevada caucuses. He benefited, again, from divided opposition. Yet this win looks like more than that: With a third straight victory, Trump is showing signs of growing his own base of support, smashing supposed ceilings the way aging casinos get knocked down on the Strip. Trump again ran strong among evangelical voters, delivering another blow to a lagging Ted Cruz. He ran strong across issue areas and education levels, consolidating Republican support in ways his opponents have claimed only they would be able to do. http://abcn.ws/1T5T1TP

 

YESTERDAY ON THE TRAIL with ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI and PAOLA CHAVEZ

HOW HE DID IT: TRUMP RIDES WAVE OF ANGER TO VICTORY. New highs in desire for an outsider candidate and in voter anger vaulted Donald Trump to an easy victory the Nevada Republican caucuses, completing a three-contest hat trick for the New York billionaire – first New Hampshire, then South Carolina, now Nevada. Six in 10 caucus-goers in preliminary entrance poll results said they were looking for someone from outside the political establishment, compared with about half in previous contests. And a smashing seven in 10 percent of them voted for Trump, a new high for his populist campaign among outsider voters. ABC’s ANALYSIS DESK reports. http://abcn.ws/1QatiDK

AHEAD OF CAUCUSES, TRUMP CALLS CRUZ A ‘WEAK LITTLE BABY’. Trump once again set his sights on Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, comparing him to a "soft weak little baby," he said ahead of the Nevada caucuses. "Now I’ve met much tougher people than Ted Cruz, he’s like a baby compared to some of the people I have to do...he’s like a little baby, soft weak little baby by comparison," the real estate mogul said. "But for lying, he’s the best I’ve ever seen.” ABC’s JOHN SANTUCCI and JESSICA HOPPER have more. http://abcn.ws/1QaC0Ss

WHAT SANDERS NEEDS TO DO TO KEEP UP WITH HILLARY CLINTON. Bernie Sanders has no plans of surrendering to his presidential political rival Hillary Clinton anytime soon. Asked during a press conference Monday if he still had a pathway to victory, Sanders said the answer was simple: “The short three-letter answer is: Y-E-S.” But even he acknowledged that defeating Clinton in the party’s nomination fight will not be easy and he is facing a long, uphill battle. “This is about is a slog, if I may use that word, state by state by state,” he said. Looking past South Carolina, where Sanders continues to lag significantly in the polls ahead of the state’s primary on Saturday, the campaign is focused instead on "Super Tuesday" states and beyond, ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS reports. http://abcn.ws/1QaExvL

NOTED: SANDERS TWEAKS CLINTON ON RELEASING SPEECH TRANSCRIPTS. Bernie Sanders said, rather cheekily, on camera at a nationally televised CNN town hall Tuesday that, of course, he would release all of the transcripts of his paid speeches. (hint hint – he says there have been none.) Drawing an undeniable contrast to his primary opponent former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sanders said, “I have given some speeches, the money was donated to charity…If I could find the transcripts I am very, very happy to do it. ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS has more. http://abcn.ws/1SSsAk6

MOTHERS OF TRAYVON MARTIN, ERIC GARNER ENDORSE CLINTON. In a muggy, cramped Baptist church in South Carolina Tuesday night, five grieving mothers —- all of whom have lost a child to gun violence or allegations of police brutality -— sat on stage beside Hillary Clinton, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly for a roundtable where they shared their stories, made a plea for gun control and offered their heart-felt endorsements of the Democratic presidential candidate. "Nobody reached out to us. Nobody listened to us. Nobody said black lives matter until this brave and powerful woman stood up for us,” Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teenager who was killed by George Zimmerman in 2012, said about Clinton at the Central Baptist Church in Columbia, S.C. Fulton is one of the five women who call themselves the “Mothers of the Movement,” referring to a growing, national effort to end racial violence and to reform the criminal justice system. The group also includes the mothers of Eric Garner, Dontre Hamilton, Jordan Davis and Sandra Bland, according to ABC’s LIZ KREUTZ. http://abcn.ws/1Ou0MLd

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

BEN CARSON SAYS PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS ‘RAISED WHITE’. President Obama may be the country’s first black president, but Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson evidently believes Obama was “raised white.” “He’s an African American,” Carson told Politico’s Glenn Thrush in an interview for his “Off Message” podcast. “He was, you know, raised white.” Carson, while noting that he was proud of the president for breaking racial barriers with his historic 2008 win, explained that "[Obama's] experience and my experience are night-and-day different. He didn't grow up like I grew up by any stretch of the imagination.” ABC’s ALI DUKAKIS has more. http://abcn.ws/1QZdrYe

 

WHO’S TWEETING?

@RalstonReports: Trump loves: Hispanics, evangelicals, poorly educated people, and, of course, WINNING.

@matthewjdowd: Summer flings, voters will get serious, ceilings, Trump won't win a primary, organization matters - and other establishment political myths

@AJentleson: "Senate Republicans said Tuesday that they will refuse to even meet with anyone that President Obama nominates" http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/02/23/senators-bring-presidential-politics-into-fight-over-supreme-court-vacancy/80801866/ …

‏@wpjenna: What attracted Melania Trump to her husband? His mind, she says.

@HotlineJosh: "Clinton running to re-energize the D coalition, but is performing poorly with Obama’s strongest supporters." https://www.nationaljournal.com/s/619673?unlock=CFWPGAMN5RVWOIM5&mref=homepage-free …