Will Trump, Clinton remain front-runners after Super Tuesday?

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Saturday is an important day in the U.S. presidential race as the candidates hurtle toward Super Tuesday and its motherlode of delegates, who could decide who gets nominated.

See Full Article

The stage for that all-important, 12-state showdown on March 1 will be set by two contests Saturday in Nevada and South Carolina, where voters will help narrow the field and anoint front-runners.

Hillary Clinton could see her grip loosen on that favourite status if she loses the Democratic caucuses in Nevada, a state with a minority mix that makes it a better national bellwether than the two earlier states.

Donald Trump will be at the other end of the country, seeking to solidify his claim as his own party's front-runner. Should he win the Republican primary in South Carolina, after carrying New Hampshire, he'd have history on his side: No modern candidate has ever lost the nomination after taking those two early states.

The most important outcome in South Carolina possibly involves the fourth- and fifth-place Republican positions.

A decent finish by the also-rans makes it likelier they'd remain in the race, and keep the anti-Trump vote split when 12 states vote on Super Tuesday. So Trump has reason to hope Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Jeb Bush remain in the fight while he sweeps up delegates March 1.

Another rival wasn't so ready Friday to concede anything to Trump. Staunch conservative Ted Cruz said the current poll numbers could be a mirage, as they were in Iowa where he won an upset.

"(Before Iowa) it was Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump," Cruz told a rally. "We ended up winning more votes than any Republican in the history of the Iowa caucuses."

He was applauded by a crowd that is far more ideologically conservative than Trump, who, like his fans, tends to cherry-pick policy preferences from left and right.

Cruz drew attention to that distinction at an event where he was endorsed by a former South Carolina governor, along with a star of the TV show "Duck Dynasty."

The latter -- the bearded, camouflaged Phil Robertson -- said Cruz understood something his rivals don't: "Bibles and guns brought us here." Cruz elaborated, explaining that the Supreme Court vacancy should be filled by a president who has shown a track record of supporting gun rights, religious freedom and pro-life causes.

Cruz quoted the Declaration of Independence's reference to the Creator and took a swipe at Trump, a thrice-married, formerly pro-choice, Democrat-donating, Bible-misquoting New York billionaire.

"It easy to say 'Make America Great Again,"' Cruz said, referring to Trump's slogan.

"That's easy to say. He even put it on a baseball cap. But the question is: Do you understand what it was that made America great in the first place?"

South Carolina voters are religious -- two-thirds of Republican primary voters in 2012 were evangelical or born-again Christians. But few made religion a priority in the ballot box, according to what they told exit pollsters.

They also picked the thrice-married Newt Gingrich the last time. Upon leaving polling stations, only eight per cent of respondents said abortion was their top issue; 85 per cent said it was the economy or federal deficit.

Trump's lead has withstood his previous violations of conservative orthodoxy. He still holds a sizable polling lead in South Carolina, despite insulting the track-record of George W. Bush who remains popular here.

Numerous polls have suggested one vulnerability, however: A smaller field. Trump's lead shrinks massively in polls about a hypothetical two- or three-person race involving Trump, Cruz and a single establishment-friendly candidate like Rubio, John Kasich or Jeb Bush.

His unpopularity with other factions of the party could hurt him if the field narrows -- which is why he'd have reason to hope for strong, campaign-sustaining performances Saturday by that latter trio.

But in a worrying bit of news for Trump, there are reports that Bush's donors are starting to abandon him -- and that a group supporting him has suspended plans to buy ads in future states.

The current governor has endorsed Rubio, and the previous one has endorsed Cruz.

On the Democratic side, Clinton picked up a big endorsement Friday from a prominent African-American lawmaker in South Carolina -- where Democrats vote next week, and where she's expected to do well.

But first she faces a test in Nevada, where the polls are tight.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Wedding ring lost 15 years ago returned

    World News Toronto Sun
    WHITE TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A Christmas tree farmer has found and returned a wedding ring a New Jersey man lost roughly 15 years ago. David Penner says his wedding band slipped off his finger during a visit to Wyckoff’s Tree Farm in White Township with his wife years ago. Source
  • B.C. boy with mysterious broken bones returned to parents

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    VANCOUVER — While watching their son and daughter play in a home near Vancouver’s children’s hospital, a couple from northern British Columbia received the news they had been praying for. The Ministry of Children and Family Development had seized their two children for the second time in October, because their five-year-old son kept suffering unexplained broken bones. Source
  • Boy, 14, killed trying to jump from NYC train to platform

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Police say a 14-year-old boy has died while attempting to perform a dangerous stunt at a New York City subway station. The New York Police Department says the boy was riding between the cars of a southbound L train when he tried to jump onto the platform at the New Lots Avenue station in Brooklyn around 10:40 p.m. Source
  • Admitted Calgary killer testifies of assassination plan outside courthouse

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Purported gangsters planned to murder a rival gang member as he arrived at court to be sentenced for shooting his own rivals, court heard Wednesday. The Crown’s star witness in the murder conspiracy case, an admitted killer himself who has been granted immunity for his testimony, said he conducted taped conversations with all three accused. Source
  • Trump to meet with victims of Ohio State University attack

    World News Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Donald Trump is going to try to show a more sensitive side Thursday, meeting with victims of last week’s Ohio State University attack, before taking his “thank you” road show to three more states that supported him in the election. Source
  • Dads beware: Men over 50 most at risk of Christmas-related injury

    Canada News CTV News
    The next time you see Dad hanging awkwardly off the roof trying to put up Christmas lights, don't believe him when he says "I've got this." That overconfidence puts him at higher risk of being injured in a fall this holiday season, according to the B.C. Source
  • Human rights group, worried about HIV, urges Philippines action

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines -- A human rights group says the Philippines is facing one of the fastest growing epidemics of HIV in the Asia Pacific, fueled by government policies that restrict intervention, including access to condoms by men who have sex with men. Source
  • Driver of deadly crash had history of accidents, seizures

    World News Toronto Sun
    BALTIMORE — The man who crashed a Baltimore school bus into a transit bus, killing himself and five other people, had been in at least a dozen car accidents in the past five years, had a history of seizures and other medical issues, and recently had his commercial driver’s license privileges suspended because of an outdated medical certificate, according to federal transportation investigators. Source
  • Accused pizza shop gunman says he regrets how he handled the situation

    World News Toronto Sun
    SALISBURY, N.C. — The man accused of firing an assault rifle inside a Washington restaurant said he regrets how he handled the situation but refused to completely dismiss the false online claims involving a child sex ring that brought him there. Source
  • Police arrest 18-year-old in baseball bat attack on Hamilton teen

    Canada News CBC News
    Hamilton police have arrested and charged an 18-year-old with aggravated assault and robbery in connection with the attack on Noah Rabbani, the 15-year-old who was brutally beaten while walking home from a friend's house late last month. Source