After a landslide victory in the Indiana primaries, billionaire businessman, Donald Trump, has today edged ever closer to becoming the Republican candidate in the upcoming Presidential Elections in the United States.
In the aftermath of the Indiana defeat, Senator Ted Cruz announced his withdrawal from the race on the basis that there is ‘no longer a viable path to victory’ for him. Although Ohio Governor, John Kasich remains in the race, it seems unlikely at this point that anyone from within the Republican Party will be able to knock the wind out of Trump’s sails.
Recent polls show that despite Trump’s recent win, he still lags behind Senator Hillary Clinton who holds a 13% lead. The country is well and truly divided over who they want to run the country for the next term. Although Clinton holds many voters’ confidence in a range of issues including foreign policy, terrorism, education and healthcare, she currently falls down on the question of the economy. It seems that based on his vast business empire, Trump holds this card over Clinton.
Despite the polarization in preference, it appears that voters do not necessarily want these candidates to be elected. Rather, they know that they do not want the opposite candidate to get in. 51% said they would vote for Clinton so that Trump wouldn’t succeed, while 57% of Trump supporters expressed a similar sentiment in relation to Clinton.
Trump’s campaign to date has been a mixture of showmanship and significant gaffes, as he takes to the world stage in an operation unlike any business deal he has negotiated before. The campaign arena is traditionally a ruthless space and a recent development regarding the recently resigned Senator saw Trump make allegations indicating that Cruz’s father had played a part in the assassination of John F. Kennedy back in the early sixties.
Last week, Trump inadvertently gave Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic nomination a boost when he noted that ‘all she has going for her is the women’s card’. Clinton took this on, to her advantage, by agreeing that yes she is campaigning for women’s healthcare and other rights. Her campaign team even went so far as to issue cards to her supporters with ‘Women’s Card’ clearly displayed on them, a move which garnered a boost in donations.
This is not the first time that Trump has aired his opinion in a way which has not gone down too well with a large cohort of people. His policies on immigration are highly protectionist and go against the open, welcoming approach taken in recent years by the current administration. President Obama made a historic move last month by being the first US president to visit Cuba since the 1920’s. In comparison, Trump’s professed approach, should he make it to The White House will be to ‘build a wall’ around the border with Mexico to reduce immigration. Despite it being his campaign promise, it is Trump’s plan to insist that Mexico pay for construction costs.
In his victory speech last night, however, Trump appeared to display his poker face, illustrating that he can keep a calm, dignified exterior as would befit a president. Rather than using show tactics he focused on issues of concern to many within his own party, in the hope of winning over Ted Cruz supporters.
Although Trump has been declared the presumptive nominee for the party, there is still the matter of achieving a majority vote in the Republican Party convention in July. John Kasich intends to fight ‘til the end by all accounts, for if Trump does not get a majority vote in July there is a chance that some party members will support him.
There is still a long road ahead before the 45th President of the United States is determined. A poll conducted in April revealed that as high as 65% of Americans look negatively upon Donald Trump – and yet he’s still going strong. Who knows whether Trump’s campaign which has seen misogynistic remarks about women, controversial statements about various races and religions, and has even incited violence at rallies, will prove to pave the road to Pennsylvania Avenue?