Even though Hillary Clinton is not an inspiring candidate, the specter of Donald Trump in the White House will mobilize the Democrats like never before.
Trump is a prodigy. His scores are much better than his real support. In the first four states that were picking their Republican candidates in February, he won 33 percent of the votes. In 11 states that were voting on Tuesday, he won altogether 34 percent, and theoretically, he should have gotten more than that, as the number of his rivals decreased (a few candidates resigned in the process).
The billionaire wins smoothly only because the anti-Trump votes are quelled. But that will not change because his two rivals, Sen. Rubio* and Sen. Cruz, are determined to keep on fighting.
The extreme conservative Cruz says: "The only campaign that can beat Donald Trump and that has beaten Donald Trump is our campaign." Indeed, he won in four out of 15 states that have voted up to this point, but in order to preserve viable chances, he should have performed much better. If he lost to Trump even in the conservative South, then where and how on earth would he beat him?
In the more central states, Sen. Rubio is predicted to do better. But this new role in which he is being cast, "the last to stop the erratic celebrity," is unfortunate. Trump emphasizes that he is headed toward the White House despite inept politicians that only talk and don't actually do anything. And that appeals to Republican voters: In surveys, locals most often say that they want an outsider, which is why by uniting around Rubio and anointing him as an "establishment's candidate,” elites are giving him a kiss of death.
Perhaps Rubio and Cruz won't back away until the end, counting on Trump not getting the votes of the delegates for the party convention in July — 1,237 votes are needed to ensure the nomination, and what if, after the primary election in all 50 states, it turns out that Trump has 1,100 delegates and Rubio and Cruz 600 each? In case of a gridlock on the convention, a second poll will be conducted, and the delegates won't be obligated by the outcome of primary elections in their [respective] states anymore. They'll vote for whomever they want.
Rejecting democracy is something party elites wouldn't dare to do. And if they do, an enraged Trump will announce that he is standing as an Independent and humiliate the party by getting more support in the general election than their candidate (pulled out of a hat at the convention).
Thus, something that seemed crazy not so long ago turns out to be the only realistic scenario: Trump will stand against Hillary Clinton in the general election. The “socialist” Sanders will fight her bravely and until the end, but he won't make up for the loss of a few hundred delegates; unlike the Republicans, the Democratic Party has a safety anchor in the form of 700 super delegates that effectively brought his morale down right from the start. In the convention, most of them have promised to vote for Clinton.
Could the erratic celebrity really become the president of United States? Some people are afraid he could, as Trump draws peak numbers of Republican voters to the polls. And judging by their low attendance in the Democratic primary election, Democrats are apathetic.
Still, panic is premature. Admittedly, Clinton is not an inspiring candidate, but the specter of Trump in the White House will mobilize the Democrats like never before. They will also vote in droves in November, which is why Clinton remains a favorite.
*Editor’s note: Rubio has suspended his campaign in the days since this article was published.