Recap of the US Presidential Primaries: Trump and Clinton in the Lead, Sanders is the Dark Horse

Recap of the US Presidential Primaries: Trump and Clinton in the Lead, Sanders is the Dark Horse
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像
What you need to know

·Trump is increasingly likely to become the Republican candidate for the 2016 Presidential election. ·Sanders has had a string of wins, capped with the upset at Michigan, that threatens Clinton’s current lead for the nomination race.

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On the heels of winning the majority of states during Super Tuesday and Saturday, Donald Trump is leading in the Republican nomination race, followed by Senator Ted Cruz. Meanwhile former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is leading in the Democrat race, but Senator Bernie Sanders is still poised to take the lead.

This came after an intense buildup where nomination candidates rushed to canvass their political party delegates for votes as almost half of the US has held their primaries.

Clinton stays ahead, but Sanders might catching up
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Clinton’s victories in Super Tuesday, along with winning the key states of Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Iowa, have put intense pressure on Sanders who has less than half the amount that Clinton has. Her strong performance comes in light of controversies on her position on race, possible leakage of top secret information via email, and flip-flopping of her beliefs throughout her political career.

There also has been heat on Clinton’s campaign trail where contributions to her campaign came mainly from the investment and legal industries as well as large donations from other corporations representing business interests. She recently has been attacked for refusing to release transcripts of her speeches to banks where Clinton charges a $225,000 speaker fee. Her political experience and support from minority groups as well as the older generation has kept Clinton in the lead in the race for the nomination.

Sanders, in contrast with Clinton, has been pushing for better tax and government reform to fix income and social inequality instead of observing the status quo. His base of support comes from the younger generation who wants a more liberal candidate that is “honest and trustworthy.”

The senator’s campaign has primarily run on small donations in contrast to the large donations for Clinton, which Sanders consistently points out as Clinton “collects millions and millions of dollars from Wall Street … and from drug companies and from fossil fuel industries." Sander’s message has resounded in the Midwestern states, especially with the surprise win over Clinton in the Michigan primary; he was estimated to lose in the double-digits, yet came out to beat Clinton. After his losses on Super Tuesday, Sanders came out to have won more states the past few days than Clinton, pointing towards a fast momentum in his favor.

Republican camp under Trump?
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Trump continues to dominate the Republican nomination race with a lead of fifteen states; ahead of Senator Cruz who has won six states and Senator Rubio with two. Under his “Make America Great Again” campaign, Trump has been solidly gaining supporters across the country despite the debacle with the KKK and moments where the crowd reacted violently to minority protesters and media.

While being inconsistent at times, in his victory speech after Super Tuesday Trump insists to build a wall at the US-Mexico Border, lower taxes and rewrite international trade agreements.

Both Sen. Cruz and Rubio are attempting to stop Trump’s victory path, with Rubio depicting a Trump nomination as a “disaster for the Republicans, for conservatives, and for the nation.”

While Cruz and Rubio had been vying for the nomination, they both came to the mutual topic of casting themselves as the best alternative choice for the party compared to Trump. 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney came out strongly against Trump and advised to stop him by splitting the delegates among the other candidates.

Cruz remains a popular candidate while Rubio is struggling, placing his chances at Florida’s, his home state, primary on March 15. While both have similar views on Trump, they still regard each other as opponents, which could split a possible combined vote against Trump. Radio host Glen Beck has called for a joint Cruz-Rubio ticket to win over Trump, but it remains to be seen if that strategy would be taken.

Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources:
“Here’s how Rubio and Cruz can still take down Trump" (New York Post)
“Glenn Beck calls for Cruz-Rubio ticket to take on Trump" (The Hill)
“Trump builds delegate lead – but it’s no lock" (Fox News)
“Read Donald Trump’s Super Tuesday Victory Speech" (TIME)
“Sanders touts freedom from super-PACs, attacks Clinton’s paid speeches" (The Hill)
“The Differences Between Clinton’s and Sanders’s Core Voters" (The New York Times)
“Minority Voters Push Hillary Clinton to Victories" (The New York Times)
“New York Times Calls on Hillary Clinton to Release Wall Street Speech Transcripts" (Accuracy in Media)
“Why it’s tough for Hillary Clinton to explain away her flip-flops" (The Washington Post)
“Hillary Clinton’s Emails: The Final Batch Released" (abc News)
“Black Lives Matter protesters confront Clinton at a fundraiser" (CNN)
“Six N.J. newspapers call on Christie to resign" (USA Today)
“Sanders camp sees opportunity as Southern state voting wraps" (Fox News)
“Clinton, Trump capture key Super Tuesday wins" (Taipei Times)
NBC News
OpenSecrets.org