Businessman Donald Trump inched closer to the US Republican presidential nomination after easily outdistancing his rivals in the Nevada caucus on 23 February, giving him his third win in four early nominating contests. Broadcast networks called the state for Trump almost immediately after voting ended, with the state Republican Party confirming the victory soon after. With returns still being tabulated, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was in second place, with Ted Cruz, a senator from Texas, coming in third.

"Oh, boy. We love Nevada. We love Nevada. Thank you. Thank you. This is a great place. Thank you. Thank you very much. Great evening we will be celebrating for a long time tonight, have a good time, have a good time," Trump said addressing his supporters in Las Vegas.

"So we won the evangelicals. We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated. With the smartest people. With the most loyal people. And you know what I really am happy about because I've been saying it for a long time, 46% with the Hispanics," he said.

Trump's decisive win is likely to further frustrate Republican establishment figures who, less than a month ago, were hoping that the outspoken billionaire's insurgent candidacy was stalled after he lost the opening nominating contest in Iowa to Cruz. But since then, Trump has tallied wins in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and now Nevada, with a suite of southern states ahead on 1 March, so-called Super Tuesday.

"If you listen to the pundits, we weren't expected to win too much, and now we're winning, winning, winning the country," Trump said at a victory rally in Las Vegas.

The Nevada win is the third in a row for Trump in the state-by-state nominating contest for the November election.