US polls: Frontrunners look beyond Tuesday primaries

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: May 09, 2016 23:07 IST
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump‘s supporters greet him at the conclusion of a rally in Lynden, Washington. (AFP)

Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump goes into the next set of nominating contests, starting West Virginia and Nebraska on Tuesday, as the only candidate still standing.

In the Democratic race, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton in polls in West Virginia (they wrapped up Nebraska in March), but the frontrunner is way ahead in the count of delegates.

Both races are trying to move, in a way, to the next stage, the general election, with the frontrunners, Trump and Clinton, focusing their attacks on each other increasingly.

Trump is also waging another war — against Republican leaders, who remain leery of his candidacy, and some of whom have said publicly they won’t support him.

Some conservatives are even exploring a third-party candidacy against Trump, who, with 1,068 delegates, is just 169 short of the 1,237 required to win the Republican nomination.

With both Nebraska and West Virginia already in his bag by default, Trump will get there, preventing a messy contested convention, but can he get his party behind him?

Experts and analysts say the rift between Trump and his opponents is too deep to be repaired, and the presumptive nominee is not helping with his fiery rhetoric.

In fact, Trump doesn’t seem too keen on party unity either.

“Does it have to be unified?” he said, when asked in an ABC interview Sunday. “I’m very different than everybody else, perhaps that’s ever run for office. I actually don’t think so.”

He added: “I think it would be better if it were unified. I think ... there would be something good about it. But I don’t think it actually has to be unified in the traditional sense.”

Clinton is facing a somewhat similar situation on the Democratic side. With just 155 short of the 2,383 delegates needed, she has a lock on the nomination now.

With an eye on general election, she has been reaching out to Sanders supporters urging party unity arguing differences in the Democratic party are far less severe than those on the other side.

She is expected to lose West Virginia, a coal-rich state where 400 of the 500 mines shut down in the last eight years, because of her position on climate change, support for clean energy.

With a win in the state, Sanders might find one more reason to continue his race, but his path to the nomination is disappearing — with 1,454 delegates, he has way too much ground to cover

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