Can Marco Rubio beat Donald Trump?

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Photo: Flickr / Michael Valdon
Media Outlet: CNN

The big news coming out of South Carolina was obviously Donald Trump's decisive 10-point victory. No longer the maverick, no longer the insurgent, no longer the question mark -- Trump is now the clear front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination.

Sen. Ted Cruz was unable to turn his advantage with the evangelical right into electoral success. With his formidable ground operation and fund-raising apparatus, it would be a huge mistake to write him off. Yet now he is clearly running to catch up with Trump, rather than alongside him.

But South Carolina was also important because it began to clarify who the "anti-Truz" candidate would be. The results in the Palmetto State were significant. Marco Rubio, who has been picking up steam, remains in pretty good position going into Super Tuesday, though his delegate count is low.

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Julian Zelizer is a fellow in New America's Political Reform program. He is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and writes a weekly column for