Despite Super Tuesday win, Trump not an 'unstoppable force' GVSU expert says

Erika King
Erika King

Despite winning a majority of states that voted in GOP primaries on Super Tuesday, Grand Valley State University political science professor Erika King said that Republican front-runner Donald Trump hasn't become an "unstoppable force."

"We learned some things on Super Tuesday, but nothing truly definitive," King said. "Trump continues to demonstrate that he has some degree of appeal to a wide swath of primary voters, but what he didn't do is prove that he can gather enough votes to be an unstoppable force."

King also noted that while Trump gained a lot of delegates on Super Tuesday, his opponents gained some as well, pushing the contest to other states to determine who will be the nominee.

"The contest hasn't reached a tipping point quite yet," King said. 

King said Hillary Clinton's wins of several large states on Tuesday have her on a trajectory to the nomination, but cautioned that there are many states to go, and Bernie Sanders has managed to gather the support of many young people, especially white males compared to Clinton's largest demographics, which include women and older voters.

But Clinton is going after Sanders supporters with a change in campaign rhetoric, focusing on more liberal points including income inequality, which has been the cornerstone of the Sanders campaign, King said. 

The interesting campaign dynamic to follow, King said, is how Clinton and Trump focus their attacks from this point forward. 

"Both Clinton and Trump spoke in their victory speeches about bringing people together," King said. "Trump talked about himself as a unifier of the party."

It will also be interesting, King said, to see how long the remaining Republican candidates stay in the race. She said that Rubio will need critical delegates from the Florida primary, as will Kasich in the Ohio primary if they hope to remain viable candidates.

"Florida, along with Ohio, are the first two winner-take-all primaries for the Republicans, and that means a big incentive for candidates to stay in until their state votes," King said. "They are large population states, and would be a big boost to whomever gets those delegates."

Listen to the full interview with King here.