South Carolina hints at Biden-Trump rematch - Hindustan Times
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South Carolina hints at Biden-Trump rematch

ByHT Editorial
Feb 26, 2024 08:28 PM IST

The outcome of a rematch will be continued shrinking of the middle ground, as the partisan retreat of voters and leaders becomes more pronounced.

The South Carolina primary that ended on Saturday with a defeat for Nikki Haley could well be the end of her attempt to secure the Republican nomination in the US presidential elections later this year. To be sure, there is Super Tuesday ahead, on March 5, when 15 states and one territory in the country vote. However, former president Donald Trump has retained pole position so far with decisive margins against Haley, and the Republicans who dropped out of the race earlier. Haley has failed to find meaningful support from the Republican voters, a result of what American political experts see as the Tea Party Republicans finding common ground with MAGA (after Trump’s Make America Great Again call) Republicans.

During a rally at his campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, near his family home, United States President Joe Biden slammed former President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo) PREMIUM
During a rally at his campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, near his family home, United States President Joe Biden slammed former President Donald Trump (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, REUTERS/Russell Cheyne/File Photo)

The primaries have established that the Republican voters have shrugged off Trump’s legal troubles and pronouncements that have outraged the US’s allies. Charges of insulting the military — with his comments about Haley’s husband, a National Guardsman posted in Africa — haven’t dulled his appeal among Republican voters. Also, Trump’s stance that Russia could “do whatever” it pleased to NATO members who didn’t pay sufficiently to the alliance, hasn’t dented his support among Republican voters, who seem to be more aligned with the view that the Ukraine war is not for America to finance.

Against this backdrop, a Joe Biden-Trump face-off, for the second time, looks almost certain. The portents of a second Trump presidency are many to list, but a US exit from global climate negotiations can be expected, as well as the further decline of multilateral platforms. A low-tolerance approach to unskilled immigration will be on the cards. The outcome of a rematch will be continued shrinking of the middle ground, as the partisan retreat of voters and leaders becomes more pronounced.

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