The much-anticipated Super Tuesday primary contests, which are expected to bring huge wins to GOP front-runner Donald Trump, were met by a virtual wet blanket in the small hours of Tuesday morning in the form of a new national poll. The poll, conducted by CNN and ORC International, shows that despite Trump’s huge lead on all contenders for the Republican nomination, he will be hard pressed to win the general election in November, regardless of whether he faces off against insurgent candidate Bernie Sanders or the heavily favored Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton easily defeats Trump in a hypothetical matchup, topping the billionaire 52 percent to 44 percent. Bernie Sanders also appears poised to beat the outspoken real estate mogul by a comparable margin. In fact, Sanders also beats Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio by significant margins as well, according to the aforementioned poll.
One intriguing facet of the poll indicates that Hillary Clinton would likely face a tight race against Marco Rubio, who is widely regarded as the “establishment” candidate on the Republican side of the race. In fact, the Florida senator would likely edge out Clinton to the tune of 50 percent to 47 percent if the election were held today.
The results of the poll aren’t likely to go unnoticed by the Republican National Committee, who has already had a bumpy relationship with Donald Trump ever since he announced his candidacy. In fact, Business Standard notes that at least a quarter of Republicans who are presently not supporting Trump have indicated that they will not get behind him even if he becomes the GOP nominee.
All of the above-noted factors, from Donald Trump’s faltering poll presence against Democrats to the burgeoning friction between his larger than life persona and the men and women of his own party, spell imminent chaos for the GOP. A report by Quartz quotes a Republican operative as stating that the party is in “existential danger” amid fears that either Trump or those who are dissatisfied with him as the Republican nominee could split and form a new electoral faction. Citing a number of historical precedents, writer Steve LeVine explains that the threat of a contested convention this summer is not the real threat for Republicans, as the real potential for “rupture” will come following the election if the party appears unable to repair and regroup moving forward.
A recent opinion item published by USA Today effectively predicts that the end is near for the Republican party in the event that Trump secures the nomination. Conservative legal expert Randy E. Barnett uses that very premise to build a case for a third party option to Republicans and Democrats alike.
“If Trump wins, he’s made clear he cares nothing for the constitutional constraints on the president, or on government generally. His ignorance of our republican Constitution — to match his ignorance of much else — and his strong-man approach to governance would make Trump’s election a political cataclysm second only to Southern secession in its danger to our constitutional republic.”
The wailing and gnashing of teeth among more traditional Republicans notwithstanding, Donald Trump remains likely to come out of Super Tuesday as a stronger contender for the GOP nod than ever before. Despite major backlash over his initial reluctance to condemn David Duke and the KKK as well as sharp opposition by rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, Donald Trump is expected to win big in primaries across the country, even presenting a substantial threat to Cruz in his home state of Texas. Indeed, the momentum he gains as the result of big wins in the current round of primaries could conceivably provide Donald Trump with an insurmountable lead in the Republican field, forcing the rank and file of his party to either follow him or find their own way before November.
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