As voters head to the polls today in several states, the biggest battle is Republican-on-Republican. Establishment versus Donald Trump.
Trump has been leading in the polls for many months. Winning three out of four early voting states so far, he’s poised to win more. Can he be stopped? Right or wrong, voters see something in the brash businessman they like — something they haven’t seen in the other GOP candidates.
The Washington Times reported that the GOP “mounted a last-ditch effort to derail” Trump. Sen. Ted Cruz accused him of “plotting to go back on his vow to deport illegal immigrants,” and Sen. Marco Rubio demanded Trump make his clothing line in the U.S. An excerpt:
Stunned by polls showing Mr. Trump easily leading in most of the dozen states that vote Tuesday — and a new poll showing him approaching majority support among Republicans nationwide — Republican leaders, strategists and candidates pleaded with voters to back away from Mr. Trump.
“Now, more than ever, America needs Mr. Trump’s aggressive approach to the problem of illegal immigration,” Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of many of the state-level immigration crackdown proposals in recent years, said in a statement adding himself to Mr. Trump’s list of supporters.
Voters also continue to build support behind Mr. Trump, with a CNN/ORC survey of registered Republicans and GOP-leaners showing him with 49 percent of the vote nationally. That suggests that Mr. Trump was right in saying that he would pick up supporters when other candidates withdrew from the race, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Is there a lesson in all this for the GOP?
“A vote for Donald Trump tomorrow is a vote for Hillary Clinton in November,” Sen. Rubio said. “I will go to all 50 states and every territory. I will continue to speak out until I literally have no voice left. I will go anywhere and speak to anyone before I will let a con artist get ahold of the Republican nomination.”
Trump received unexpected endorsements from Jan Brewer, former governor of Arizona and immigration enforcement proponent, sitting Sen. Jeff Sessions, and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
Sen. Cruz probably will win his state’s 155 delegates, leading Trump in Texas polls. Trump is leading in delegate-rich Georgia. Fox News reported that 595 delegates are at stake for the GOP candidates.