Donald Trump’s resounding victory in the South Carolina primary is a wake-up call that the traditional wing of the Republican Party can no longer ignore. If the Republicans don’t manage to form a coalition around Cruz or Rubio — the only ones who have a chance at stopping Trump’s ascent to the White House — the convention in July will be a hard pill to swallow. The next three weeks are crucial for the GOP.
Even though Trump’s victory confirms last week’s polls, it raises a simple question: Who can stop Trump from obtaining a nomination and, most of all, how?
It seems as though no matter what he says or does, Trump’s supporters won’t back down. Foreign policy commentators were confident that Trump’s indirect attacks against former President George W. Bush would cause him to come crumbling down, especially in South Carolina, a state known for favoring the Bush family. May I remind you that, during the debate on Feb. 13, Trump accused the former Republican president of using lies to drag the country into the Iraq conflict and pointed out that the Twin Towers went down during Bush’s time in office. The acrid remarks toward the Pope, who previously stated that he who builds walls instead of bridges between people is not a Christian, didn’t alter Trump’s image. For many American voters, Trump’s speech fits like a glove.
For those tired of Washington’s traditional politics, all of the following are music to their ears: attacks on the federal government, the rooting out of corporate practices, enterprises being shut down in America and re-opened in Mexico or China, immigration and the need to build a Mexico-funded wall across the southern border, a more careful selection of trans-Atlantic allies, taking down the Islamic State, and an aggressive policy against Russia. Aggressively, Trump suggests trust and gives hope. Under these conditions, the Republicans’ only chance is a joint attack against Trump, with solid subject matters and an electoral platform.
Going back to the anti-immigrant speech that Trump so proudly propagated, it’s funny that the wife of the man who’s building his campaign on hate speech against immigrants was born in the former Yugoslavia, has a strong accent, and only became an American citizen in 2006. This is the perfect expression of “sleeping with the enemy.” South Carolina is deciding the nomination. Traditionally, the Republican candidate who wins the primary elections in South Carolina ultimately becomes the party’s nominee. The only exception was in 2012, when the state was won by Newt Gingrich, and the race for the White House was won by Mitt Romney. Along with Jeb Bush’s withdrawal from the race, and after Carson and Kasich’s poor results in South Carolina, it becomes more obvious that the real fight for the nomination will be between Trump, Rubio and Cruz.
Most likely, a large part of Bush’s votes will now be in Rubio’s favor. A possible withdrawal by Carson and Kasich would bring things further into perspective. With the results in from South Carolina, it’s obvious the Republicans don’t have much to celebrate — Hillary Clinton is winning Nevada. For the former secretary of state, a win in Nevada is vital. Although she won by no more than 5 percent, her success in this state makes her the candidate with highest chance of being nominated.
Having the most Nevada delegates in her pocket, Clinton aimed her attention at Texas, which votes next Tuesday. But first, she took the time to thank her supporters in Nevada and to emphasize the key points of her campaign: equal pay for the same work, fighting against racism, and immigration and justice reforms.
Bernie Sanders, however, wasn't discouraged by his defeat in Nevada, and announced that he is feeling confident about Super Tuesday, when he will most likely manage to win a few states, including Vermont, his home state. He still manages to mobilize young people with a progressive and unifying message.