Conservative CNN commentator: It's time for GOP to 'hit the panic button' over Trump 'phenomenon'
Matt Lewis on CNN -- (CNN screen grab)

With insurgent GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump holding commanding leads in both South Carolina and Nevada over his primary rivals, Republicans should be hitting the panic button warned a conservative commentator on CNN Wednesday morning.


CNN regular Matt Lewis, who recently published "Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections," explained that, as an establishment Republican he believes that the party has ample reason to be concerned, reports Media Matters.

After noting that Trump is leading second place Ted Cruz in Nevada, 45 percent to 19 percent, Lewis said "its time to hit the panic button."

"Look, I'm an establishment guy under the new rules of what constitutes the establishment, which is changing. I remember when establishment used to mean liberal. Now it just means that, like, you've have been around for 15 minutes." he said with a rueful laugh. "This is -- I keep saying it, but it's time to hit the panic button. I mean, I think that conservatives, mainstream conservatives, establishment Republicans, whatever you want to call them, have for so long been saying, 'OK, let Donald Trump have his fun. But sooner or later, voters are going to wake up, once voting starts they're going to get serious. They're going to come to their senses.'"

"And it just never happens. It's never happened," he added. "Look at New Hampshire. The exit polls. I mean, he basically won every cohort. It's not just non-college educated, liberal Republicans. He won conservatives, he won college graduates. This is a real phenomenon that's happening and I don't know when we hit the panic button or if there is a panic button to hit. But I think it looks like Donald Trump is going to easily win South Carolina and maybe the race is now for second place."

He added ominously, "But until this becomes a two man race, I don't see how you stop Donald Trump."

According to Real Clear Politics, Trump would be beaten handily by both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Watch the video below from Media Matters: