Give Me a Crash Course In . . . Donald Trump v Hillary Clinton
The billionaire businessman is the last man standing in the Republican camp. But polls suggest the Democrat will take the White House
Hillary Clinton: her lead is so comfortable that she can lose the remaining primaries and still clinch the nomination. Photograph: Joe Raedle/Getty
So will the November election to pick the next US president be between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?
It’s looking like it. Trump’s victory in Indiana’s Republican primary, on Tuesday, effectively sealed the party’s presidential nomination for the insult-spewing billionaire. That win made it all but impossible for his final two opponents, the conservative Texas senator Ted Cruz and the moderate Ohio governor John Kasich, to stop him reaching the 1,237 nominee-picking delegates he needs to win. They subsequently quit the race.
Clocking his 28th victory out of 43 qualifying rounds in states and US territories, Trump was the last Republican standing out of a field of 17 that included established career politicians.
The former first lady, senator and secretary of state has scored big victories in the delegate-rich states of New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio, giving her an unassailable lead among delegates and superdelegates – high-ranking Democrats and elected officials – who will formally pick the nominee.
Her lead is so comfortable that, because of the way delegates are distributed proportionately in the Democratic race, she can lose the remaining contests, in nine states, to Sanders and still clinch the nomination.
The nominees will be formally selected at the party conventions in July.
How has a brash reality-TV star who has insulted Muslims, Mexicans and women become the presidential standard-bearer for the Republican Party?
The property developer harnessed an anger among Republican voters frustrated with the broken promises of politicians and years of frozen wages.
He blamed “bad” trade deals and weak leadership for a perceived loss of the United States’ economic and geopolitical standing, campaigning around a simple slogan, “Make America great again,” that tapped the nostalgia of voters eager for a return to the postwar period of unquestioned American strength.
Trump’s landslide victories came on the back broad support among Republicans – from moderates in the northeast to blue-collar workers in the industrial midwest and conservatives in the south.
He was the favourite among most voters hungry for an outsider and angry with government.
Trump would be the first nominee not to have held public office since Dwight Eisenhower, who was in the Oval Office from 1953 to 1961. So is the Republican Party happy with the result? No. Although Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican national committee, called for the party to unite behind the presumptive nominee and focus on beating Clinton, Trump has split the party.
The 2008 Republican nominee, John McCain, said that he may face the race of his life in seeking a sixth term in the US Senate in the November election, because of Trump’s unpopularity among Hispanics. The former presidents George HW Bush and his son, George W Bush, have indicated that they will not back him.
Can Trump win the White House?
All but one recent poll shows Trump losing the presidential election to Clinton in a hypothetical head-to-head, although, given the outcome of the Republican primaries, anything is possible: they are both viewed very negatively by voters across the board. Polls show that Trump and Clinton would be the most disliked major-party nominees in modern political times.
A CNN/ORC poll this week found that 49 per cent of voters view Clinton unfavourably, compared with 56 per cent for Trump. This election, if the two presumptive nominees are formally picked, will come down to which candidate the American people dislike the least.