Headaches for Trump and Biden Despite Clear Victory: 5 Conclusions After Super Tuesday


Yes, Donald Trump and Joe Biden seem more confident of their nomination as American presidential candidates than ever. No, that doesn’t mean they don’t have to worry—five conclusions after the – not so exciting – Super Tuesday.

  1. Donald Trump and Joe Biden steamroll over the opposition

The results of Super Tuesday are not surprising at first glance. “Both Donald Trump and Joe Biden are steamrolling over the opposition,” says US correspondent Björn Soenens.

Donald Trump won among the Republicans. He won 14 of the 15 states where voting was open yesterday, sometimes with 70 to 80 percent of the vote. Exit polls show that Trump supporters are mainly concerned about migration and border control, themes on which Trump profiles himself considerably.

His challenger, Nikki Haley, could only win in Vermont, a relatively small and traditionally left-wing state. It is only the second time Haley has won in the primaries, after the elections in Washington DC last weekend.

A similar victory is noticeable among the Democrats. There, current President Joe Biden won the primaries in all 15 states. The win went to a relatively unknown candidate only in the overseas territory of American Samoa, in the Pacific Ocean.

Super Tuesday?

Super Tuesday is the most important day of the primaries for the presidency in the US. During the primaries, Republicans and Democrats in each state choose their delegates. These delegates, in turn, choose their candidate for the White House at the party conventions in the summer.

Millions of voters can cast their ballots on Super Tuesday. It is the day it usually becomes clear which presidential candidate is heading for a nomination. This year, voting took place in 15 states and 1 overseas territory.

  1. What should worry Trump: Haley supporters may not rally behind him

It now seems almost sure that Trump will become the presidential candidate for the Republicans. Although Nikki Haley emphasises that he is not the right man to take on Joe Biden in the real presidential elections in November. Winning primaries is different from the elections themselves, she keeps repeating.

But that turns out not to be the case. “In the past, there was a lot of internal struggle to win the nomination during the Republican primaries, but once a candidate was chosen, all Republicans supported their candidate towards the real elections.”

Trump is confident of the 70 to 80 percent of Republicans who will vote for him in the primaries. But the other 20 to 30 percent – now voting for Haley – are in doubt. This is also evident from an exit poll in North Carolina, where only 1 in 5 Haley voters say they will choose the Republican candidate in November, “regardless of who it is.”

This becomes especially difficult in areas around large cities, where many young people and highly educated people live. Haley is doing relatively well there, although she does not get enough votes to win the nomination.

And that is worrying for Trump, especially in states where it can sometimes amount to tens of thousands of votes. Although the road to November is still long, opinions can be revised.

  1. Not all Republicans are happy with President Trump if he is convicted

And then, of course, the four criminal cases are pending against Trump. Exit polls in the states of Virginia and North Carolina already showed that 40 and 32 percent of Republican voters, respectively, do not think Trump is suitable as president if he is convicted.

One trial on the undermining of American democracy and his role in the storming of the Capitol after the 2020 elections has already been postponed. The Supreme Court announced at the end of last month that it would not consider whether Trump can be prosecuted for this until April 22. This means that the process – which was supposed to start this month – has been postponed, perhaps until after the summer.

  1. Waiting for Nikki Haley to throw in the towel

With every loss in recent weeks, Nikki Haley reiterated that she would continue, primarily until Super Tuesday. Now that she couldn’t win here either, the question is how long Haley will last.

“That will mainly depend on the lenders,” says Soenens. “They also see that she is barely winning anything. If she wanted to win the nomination as a Republican candidate, she would have to win 80 percent of all delegates in the upcoming primaries. That is mathematically impossible.”

The first sign of doubt seems to be Haley’s absence on Super Tuesday. She didn’t give a speech last night. There was only a written statement, primarily focusing on the victory in Vermont.

  1. What should keep Biden awake at night: the protest vote

Among the Democrats, Joe Biden also seems certain of his nomination. Although he also has headaches.

In last week’s Michigan primary, more than 100,000 Democrats – 12 percent – chose to go to the polling booth and vote for “no candidate” instead of the current president. They did this as a protest of Biden’s position in the war in Gaza.

That movement continued on Super Tuesday. In Minnesota, 20 percent of the Democratic votes went to ‘no candidate’; in North Carolina, it was about 12 percent.

It is worrying here, too, this time for Biden. Especially in states where it can sometimes amount to tens of thousands of votes, such as in North Carolina. “If the Democrats who now opt for ‘no candidate’ stay home in November, Biden could lose that state – and thus his presidency.”

But here, too, the road to November is still long.

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