A ferocious battle for the White House between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has almost become a certainty as both leapt further ahead in the battleground states of a marathon Super Tuesday. Super Tuesday is the first day in which the US presidential candidates participate in a primary that includes 12 states.
In the Republican race, Trump won seven states, with victories stretching into the Deep South and as far north as Massachusetts, adding to the momentum he had built last month by winning three of the first four contests. In the Democratic race, Clinton defeated Vermont senator Bernie Sanders in seven of the 11 states, including the delegate-rich prizes of Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts and Virginia.
As the battle heats up, attention will now focus on Trump whose march has baffled the Republican leadership as well as the American public, the former racking their brains on how to thwart the demagogue’s advance. With his incendiary and obnoxious remarks on immigrants, Muslims, women and on a host of other issues, Trump was initially written off as a blip but that indifference has now given way to dismay and desperation as the Republican hopeful strides steadily towards his goal.
Trump has been so divisive and an anathema to his own party that his victory has left Republicans in disarray while Democrats coalesced around Clinton. Some Republican stalwarts have even raised the possibility of the party splitting if Trump wins the nomination. “I think that’s a very real possibility. There are a lot of people who just cannot see themselves supporting Trump,” said Christine Todd Whitman, a former New Jersey governor, summing up the general mood.
Americans and the rest of the world will be watching to see whether Trump sticks to all his hatred, or mellow down as he moves closer to the White House. But he continues to be as unpredictable and mysterious as ever. Several experts believe that the compulsions of office will force Trump to change his positions if he gets elected and if that doesn’t happen, America will cease to exist as we know now.
Clinton and Trump have started sizing up each other. “I’m going to be going after Hillary Clinton – if she is allowed to run,” Trump said, sharpening his attack. Trump wants to make America great again, while Clinton wants to make America whole again. The world will expect both of them to make America great and whole again because what we see today is a weakened Washington that’s not bold enough to perform the seminal role it has been playing until now, and the country remains divided more than ever before, with racism, anti-immigrant rhetoric and Islamophobia at their peak.