Many Republicans concerned Trump will win on Super Tuesday

VALDOSTA, Georgia -- On the eve of Tuesday's crucial multi-state primaries, a sharp new divide erupted between Republicans who pledge to fall in line behind Donald Trump if he wins their party's nomination and others who insist they can never back the bombastic billionaire.

See Full Article

The fissure could have major implications beyond the primaries, exposing the looming challenges in uniting the party, no matter who wins the nomination.

Trump has won three of four early nominating contests, roiling a party that had assumed his populist appeal with voters would fizzle. Instead, he's only grown stronger and appears to be in commanding position heading into Super Tuesday, the biggest single-day delegate haul of the year.

Republicans will vote in 11 states on March 1, or Super Tuesday, with 595 delegates to the party's national nominating convention at stake. It takes 1,237 delegates to win the nomination at the July convention.

If Trump sweeps most of the states up for grabs Tuesday, he could amass a delegate lead that would be difficult for any rival to overcome. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is banking on a win in his home state to keep him in the race, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio wants to stay close in the delegate count until the primary hits his home state on March 15.

Meanwhile, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is solidifying her lead. Like Trump, Clinton could begin putting her party's nomination out of reach for rival Bernie Sanders with a strong showing on Super Tuesday. Democrats will be voting in 11 states and American Samoa, with 865 delegates at stake.

After a decisive victory in Saturday's South Carolina primary, Clinton has shed nearly all references to her Democratic opponent, choosing instead to focus on Trump. Sanders, meanwhile, remains resolute in his message, offering his standard economic-focused campaign speech and looking past last weekend's defeat.

With Sanders lagging in delegates and likely to face more losses on Super Tuesday, Clinton's team is starting to become more concerned with the need to eventually unify the party. They are trying to avoid further alienating the passionate Sanders backers, whose support she will need to win a general election, and remind Democratic voters that she could face Trump -- a hated figure in the party.

Republicans face an even more daunting challenge in uniting a party roiled by the emergence of a political outsider as the front-runner for the party's presidential nomination.

Nebraska's Ben Sasse, a rising star among conservatives, became the first current senator to publicly raise the prospect of backing a third party option if Trump clinches the nomination. In a letter posted on Facebook late Sunday, Sasse urged Republicans to consider whether a party led by Trump would still represent their interests.

"If our party is no longer working for the things we believe in ... then people of good conscience should stop supporting that party until it is reformed," he wrote.

Other Republican leaders were less explicit, but sent similar messages on Monday, particularly in light of Trump's refusal to immediately disavow former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke's support.

Mitt Romney, the party's 2012 nominee, called that "disqualifying." And South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, campaigning in Atlanta alongside Rubio, said she would "not stop fighting a man who refuses to disavow the KKK." The Klan advocates white supremacy, and has sometimes used violence.

Trump said he had not understood the CNN interviewer who first raised the question about Duke's endorsement, and he did later repudiate him. "How many times do I have to continue to disavow people?" he said.

Several high-profile Republicans and conservative writers have embraced an anti-Trump social media campaign, using the Twitter hashtag "NeverTrump."

The Associated Press asked Republican senators and governors across the country if they would back Trump if he secured the nomination. Just under half of those who responded would not commit to backing him, foreshadowing a potentially extraordinary break this fall.

"I am increasingly concerned by Donald Trump's statements and behaviour, and I have serious concerns about his ability to win the general election and provide presidential leadership," Indiana Sen. Dan Coats said in a statement to AP.

Tensions boiled over during Trump's rally Monday in Radford, Virginia, where he was repeatedly disrupted by demonstrators, including 20 or more chanting "Black lives matter." At another point, he asked a protester, "Are you from Mexico?" after he was interrupted during remarks about immigration. He ordered several people to be removed, then cast himself as a unifying political force.

"Believe it or not, we're going to unify this country," he said.

Trump has received enthusiastic endorsements from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and from Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, one of the most vocal opponents of immigration law changes on Capitol Hill. Several other party officials have said they would back the real estate mogul if he does become the nominee, though some say their support would be reluctant.

Party leaders are particularly worried about the ripple effect of a Trump nomination on other races for Congress and governor. Several Republican senators in Democratic-leaning states are vulnerable, and some Republican leaders fear that a Trump candidacy could put the Democrats back in control of the Senate.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • You can make a difference by donating your old bicycle

    Canada News CTV News
    If you have an old bicycle gathering dust in your garage, there’s a far better use for it. A new photography exhibit at Montreal’s Photo Café shows how donated bicycles can change the lives of people around the world. Source
  • French citizens in Montreal express mixed reactions to early election results

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL -- French nationals in Montreal expressed mixed reactions on Sunday as preliminary results showed far-right leader Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron leading in the first round of France's presidential election. At a French cultural centre in Montreal, both applause and boos rang out as a French TV station announced its projections just after the vote closed at 2 p.m. Source
  • 'He can't think straight': Mom pleads for teen charged with threatening Jewish centres

    World News CBC News
    An Israeli-American teenager accused of making dozens of bomb threats to Jewish community centres was identified for the first time on Friday in separate criminal complaints filed in U.S. federal courts in Florida and Georgia that linked him to hundreds of hoax calls in 2015 and 2017. Source
  • American monitor killed in Ukraine when mine hits vehicle

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- An American member of the OSCE's monitoring mission in eastern Ukraine died Sunday and two others were wounded when their vehicle was blown up by a mine in the separatist Luhansk region. The mission's deputy head, Alexander Hug, said the member killed was from the U.S. Source
  • How Kenya's drought has turned into violence: AP explains

    World News CTV News
    NAIROBI, Kenya -- The shooting of a novelist and conservationist in Kenya has drawn attention to the violent tensions between landowners and herders who are trying to keep their animals alive in a widespread drought. Source
  • U.S. officials say pirates have returned to waters off Somalia

    World News CTV News
    DJIBOUTI -- Pirates have returned to the waters off Somalia, but the spike in attacks on commercial shipping does not yet constitute a trend, senior U.S. officials said Sunday. The attacks follow about a five-year respite for the region, where piracy had grown to crisis proportions during the 2010-2012 period, drawing the navies of the United States and other nations into a lengthy campaign against the pirates. Source
  • Centrist Emmanuel Macron, far-right Marine Le Pen to face off May 7 in runoff vote, pollsters project [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    PARIS — Amid heightened security, French voters began casting ballots for their next president Sunday in a first-round poll that’s being seen as a litmus test for the future of Europe and the spread of populism around the world. Source
  • Trump at 100 days: 'It's a different kind of presidency'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- For nearly 100 days, President Donald Trump has rattled Washington and been chastened by its institutions. He's startled world leaders with his unpredictability and tough talk, but won their praise for a surprise strike on Syria. Source
  • Bill O'Reilly's No Spin News podcast returns Monday

    World News CBC News
    It's been less than a week since conservative television personality Bill O'Reilly was fired from Fox News and he's already heading back to the airwaves in a podcast from his website. The 67-year-old former host of the longtime, highest-rated Fox news show The O'Reilly Factor is set to release a new podcast on his personal website Monday at 7 p.m. Source
  • Two Canadians the latest addition to U.S.'s most-wanted terrorist list

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Two Canadians are the latest addition to the United State's list of most-wanted terrorists that says the men are a threat to American national security and economic interests. The decision to add 24-year-old Farah Mohamed Shirdon and 30-year-old Tarek Sakr to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists was published Wednesday in an official register of U.S. Source