Despite my enormous affection for Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Notting Hill (1999) and,…
“I like that ad..If you ask me whether to let it run or bring it down, I will say, let it run…” Donald Trump, front-runner in the Republican presidential nomination race, said after winning primaries in Michigan and Mississippi on Tuesday. The ad in question, “The Best Words,” released earlier this week by a conservative group that supports Senator Marco Rubio, is on Mr Trump’s use of profanities and vulgarities on stage. It starts with Mr Trump’s statement that he has the “best words” since he has had Ivy League education, and then goes on to a series of his statements with words that had to be bleeped out.
“People are tired of political correctness,” Mr Trump said, defending his choice of words, after it became clear the Republican establishment’s multiple efforts to push him back has had little impact on Tuesday’s polls. Mr Trump won three of the four states, and lost one to Senator Ted Cruz. “I hope Republicans will embrace it,” Mr Trump said. “We have something going that is so good, we should grab each other and unify the party….Believe it or not, I am a unifier.”
The Republican establishment’s anti-Trump efforts, for most part, are about flooding primary states with advertisements targeting him and financed by traditional donors of the party. Mr Trump claimed $ 38 million was spent ahead of Tuesday polls to “spread horrible lies” about him while some independent estimates put the figure at $ 11 million. If the results are an indication, the public is not buying it. “It shows you how brilliant the public is,” Mr Trump said. Mr Rubio, the establishment favourite, slid further down to distant fourth places. His last chance is on March 15 when his home state Florida votes. Mr Trump is ahead there according to opinion polls.
On the Democratic side, which had primaries in Michigan and Mississippi, Senator Bernie Sanders pulled off an upset victory over Hillary Clinton in Michigan. Ms Clinton won Mississippi and more delegates than Mr Sanders.
Various opinion polls ahead of the voting had shown Mr Sanders trailing Ms Clinton between 11 and 37 points in Michigan and his two-point victory indicates invisible undercurrents. Mr Sanders also won 30 percent votes of African Americans, and 70 percent of the independent voters – statistics that not necessarily suggest a Hillary defeat in the nomination race, but certainly signaling trouble for her in the general election.
The outcome in Michigan – though disproving opinion polls, is not hard to explain. The state is home to American automobile industry that is still far from the bygone glory despite the recovery supported by a federal bailout after the 2008 crisis. The primaries there had the highest turnout since 1972, as Mr Trump and Mr Sanders – who both campaigned against the “disastrous trade deals” that ruined the sector, mobilised large sections of working class voters. The Republican primary had 1.3 million voters and the Democratic primary had 1.1 million. Mr Trump, in a four-candidate contest polled 4.81 lakh votes, while Mr Sanders, in a two-candidate race got 5.9 lakh votes. By the time she wins the nomination, her reputation among the middle class would have been seriously dented by the constant pounding by Mr Sanders who blames Ms Clinton for supporting global trade deals. Then it will be the Republican’s turn. “I haven’t even started on her yet,” said Mr Trump on Tuesday