Trump triumph leaves Republican party in disarray

Washington—Donald Trump’s triumphal march toward the Republican presidential nomination left his party in disarray Wednesday, as Democrats coalesced around their White House frontrunner Hillary Clinton after her slew of Super Tuesday victories. Both candidates emerged the clear winners on Tuesday after several party nominating contests, piling up delegates on the biggest, most pivotal day of primaries in the race to succeed President Barack Obama.
Trump was victorious in seven of 11 states, weakening but not eliminating his top rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, both US senators.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson meanwhile announced after his poor Super Tuesday showing that he did not “see a political path forward” in the race. Carson’s campaign soared last year but steadily lost steam amid questions over his personal narrative and lackluster debate performances.
Should Carson officially drop out, that would leave Trump and a trio of pursuers: Cruz, Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich. Clinton equaled Trump’s score with wins in seven states against Senator Bernie Sanders, absorbing a formidable challenge from the left.
But whereas Clinton appeared to solidify her support ahead of the next key round of primaries March 15, divisions among Republicans deepened over Trump’s success with a slashing campaign that has galvanized disaffected voters but opened wounds on racial, ethnic and gender fronts. With the 69-year-old billionaire powering past their favored candidates, Republican stalwarts have raised the possibility of the party splintering if Trump wins the nomination.
“I think that’s a very real possibility,” Christine Todd Whitman, a former New Jersey governor, told National Public Radio. “There are a lot of people who just cannot see themselves supporting Trump. You have Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, telling Senate candidates if this is a problem for you, go ahead and run ads against him even if he is your party’s presidential nominee.”
Cruz and Rubio have both pitched their campaigns to Republican voters looking to stop Trump.—AFP

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