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It's A Trump-Cruz Race After Rubio's Debate Performance, Says Peter King

King says Jeb Bush is the only one left who can challenge the two frontrunners.

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Rep. Peter King says the race for the Republican nomination is now between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz after Marco Rubio's last debate performance.

"This shaping up as a Trump-Cruz race to the finish," said the New York congressman on AM970 The Answer's John Grambling Show.

"The reason I say that is, I think Marco Rubio really hurt himself in the debate on Saturday. That's gonna be hard to come back from. Jeb Bush spent a fortune in New Hampshire. I think he's the most qualified guy in the whole field, but he barely finished fourth. And John Kasich — who ran a really solid race — he's pretty much out of money and the issues that he raised in New Hampshire probably are not gonna sell as well in South Carolina or the big southern states coming up on Super Tuesday, March 1."

King said Jeb Bush is the only one who could possibly challenge Cruz and Trump.

"Right now, while nothing's definite in this business, anything can happen, I would say the odds are it's gonna be a Trump-Cruz race to the finish, sooner or later," King said. "I would say the guy who has a chance to change that is Jeb Bush because he does have money left and South Carolina is next and the Bush family has a good organization and is very popular in South Carolina."

Trump's win by a large margin in New Hampshire, King said, was a sign that the businessman is a real force in the race.

"Donald Trump's victory was really impressive and the reason I say that is, I know he was ahead in the polls, but I would say nine out of 10 political people doubted he would be able to take the celebrity factor and the large crowds and the rallies and actually translate that into votes," he said. "I think people thought it was more like a Beatles factor, people wanted to come out and see what Donald Trump looked like. The fact is, I don't think anyone really expected him to win two to one, no matter what the polls were saying, that's a big victory. He is factor going forward."

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

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