Donald Trump Wins Nevada Caucus as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio Continue Their Battle for Second Place

Donald Trump Wins Nevada Caucus, Marco Rubio & Ted Cruz Fight for Second
Donald Trump
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

02/24/2016 AT 01:35 AM EST

As expected, Donald Trump won Tuesday night's Nevada caucus.

CNN announced Trump's win after just 3 percent of the votes had come in. With 13 percent of the state's 1,784 precincts reporting, Trump took home 44.6 percent of the vote, while Sen. Marco Rubio took second with 24.6 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz rounded out the top three with 20.5 percent. Dr. Ben Carson and Gov. John Kasich received a total of 10 percent of the vote.

Nevada's 30 delegates will be proportionally allotted to candidates according to the final percentages of votes won at the caucuses.

Trump addressed his supporters in Las Vegas soon after his victory was announced.

"We're winning, winning, winning the country, and soon the country's going to start winning, winning, winning" he said. "It's going to be an amazing two months ... we might not even need the two months, folks, to be honest."

He also spoke about his vast appeal across the Nevada electorate.

"We won the evangelicals, we won with the young, we won with the old, we won with highly educated, we won with the poorly educated – I love the poorly educated – with the smartest people, with the most loyal people," Trump said. "And 46 percent with the Hispanics, number one with the Hispanics. I'm really happy about that."

Hillary Clinton on Donald Trump: 'We Were Not Friends'

Statewide polls leading up to Tuesday night's caucuses showed Trump with a double-digit lead over both Cruz and Rubio, according to CNN. Those polled said they thought Trump would do the best job of all the candidates at handling the economy, illegal immigration, foreign policy, ISIS and social policies such as abortion and LGBT issues.

With 67 delegates already under Trump's belt prior to the Nevada caucuses, Cruz and Rubio have engaged in a bitter feud for second place, having claimed 11 and 10 delegates, respectively, so far. Cruz won Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucus earlier this month, while Rubio took second in South Carolina on Saturday.

The Democratic candidates duked it out in Nevada on Saturday, when Hillary Clinton beat Sen. Bernie Sanders with 53 percent of the vote.

Although Clinton and Sanders must first compete in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday, the Republican candidates can now focus all their attention on Super Tuesday (March 1), when 595 delegates from 11 states will be at stake.
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