Trump, Clinton dominate Super Tuesday; rivals stay on

Washington, March 2 (IANS) Donald Trump ‘trumpled’ through and Hillary Clinton cruised to commanding wins in seven states each in Super Tuesday’s nomination contests across 12 states, but their rivals vowed to stay on in the US presidential race.

Handily winning seven states, from the liberal northeast to conservative south, the brash billionaire demonstrated broad appeal for his anti-establishment movement among the Republicans, while Democrat Clinton showed her strength with minorities in the South.

But the “most consequential night of voting so far in the presidential campaign demonstrated remarkably divergent fortunes of the two major parties vying for the White House: Democrats are falling in line. Republicans are falling apart,” as the New York Times put it.

“This has been an amazing night,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. He vowed to be a “unifier” and to go after Clinton with a singular focus once he wins the Republican nomination.

“I’m a unifier,” Trump said, seeming to pivot his message for the presidential election on November 8. “I know people are going to find that hard to believe but I’m a unifier.”

But Trump’s Republican rival vowed to fight on after Texas Senator Ted Cruz won his home state of Texas, the biggest single prize of the night, and added Oklahoma and Alaska, while Rubio finally landed his first win in the Minnesota Republican caucuses.

Pointing to his three victories combined with his win in the Iowa caucuses, as proof that only he can actually beat Trump, Cruz suggested that Rubio and others “prayerfully” consider exiting the race to unite the party.

But Rubio called it a “fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party,” and vowed to “go through all 50 states before we stop fighting to save the Republican Party from someone like that (Trump)”.

“The complicated delegate math meant that Trump’s various competitors combined could yet prevent him from reaching the threshold needed to win the nomination,” said Time magazine.

“But the path forward for the anti-Trump wing of the GOP looks increasingly tricky – and ugly,” it said.

After her southern sweep in the Democratic race, Clinton declared at her victory rally in Florida: “What a Super Tuesday.”

And setting her sight on the November elections, she took aim at Trump by asserting that America was already great, despite his campaign mantra, and vowing to make the country “whole again”.

Clinton’s self-styled Democratic Socialist rival Bernie Sanders, backed by an army of small donors and grass-roots appeal, also vowed to stay in the race after victories in his own state, Vermont, along with Colorado, Minnesota and Oklahoma.

“This campaign is not just about electing a president,” Sanders said at a rally Tuesday night in Vermont. “It is about transforming America.”

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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