Donald Trump once again lapped the GOP field in Nevada Tuesday night, defeating Marco Rubio in the state’s caucus by 22 points. Now, for the first time this cycle, two of his party’s elected leaders have accepted that this isn’t a dream: Trump is actually the GOP front-runner. And front-runners get endorsements.
Chris Collins became the first sitting member of Congress to endorse the Donald Wednesday morning.
“Donald Trump has clearly demonstrated that he has both the guts and the fortitude to return our nation’s jobs stolen by China, take on our enemies like ISIS, Iran, North Korea and Russia, and most importantly, reestablish the opportunity for our children and grandchildren to attain the American Dream,” Collins said in a statement.
Collins, a mainstream Republican who serves a district in upstate New York, had previously backed Jeb Bush. But with Jeb! 2016 already euthanized, and the Republican base showing overwhelming support for Bush’s bully, Collins has decided to join up with the insurgency.
An hour later, California representative (and vaping icon) Duncan Hunter joined him.
“I don’t think Trump wants my endorsement,” Hunter told Politico. “And that’s one reason why I like him.” Hunter also likes Trump’s draconian policies toward undocumented immigrants, having sponsored legislation to increase immigration enforcement in so-called sanctuary cities.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump said that “endorsements mean very little.” When it comes to actually swinging votes, the Donald’s success proves the accuracy of that assessment. But Wednesday’s endorsements are significant as milestones on the road to Trump’s nomination.