WASHINGTON — Donald Trump wins, wins, wins, just as he said he would. From ultra-conservative fringes to the Republican mainstream, the White House hopeful is assembling a formidable coalition of angry voters that could carry him to the party nomination in July.
"So we won the evangelicals. We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated; I love the poorly educated," Trump exulted on Tuesday night after his victory in the Nevada caucuses, accurately citing the findings of entrance polls there.
"Of course, if you listened to the pundits, we weren't expected to win too much and now we're winning, winning, winning the country. And soon, the country is going to start winning, winning, winning."
Trump's chances of accomplishing that are better now that he has shown he is not just a single faction candidate.
He has won nominating contests in three very different states: New Hampshire, where more than a quarter of voters described themselves as "moderates;" South Carolina, where three quarters of voters were evangelical Christians; and Nevada, where 15 per cent of voters were "non whites", the highest proportion of minorities to date in the primaries.
He has the wind in his sails in the 11 states that vote in Tuesday's primaries, including Texas and much of the South. A quarter of the delegates to the Republican nominating convention are in play on so-called "Super Tuesday".
With Trump increasingly confident and his rivals scrambling, talk on Wednesday turned to whom The Donald might pick as his running mate.
While he said it was too early to name names, he told a Q&A session at Regent University in Virginia that he wanted "somebody that's political", an established figure who knows Washington and is a contrast to Trump's own outsider status.
Meanwhile Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are fighting for second place, while Ohio Governor John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson are struggling to gain traction.
All five will be on stage on Thursday for the final debate before Super Tuesday's primary bonanza, with observers wondering whether the knives will come out against Trump.
With Trump soaring, The Washington Post issued a startling editorial on Wednesday demanding Republican leaders coalesce to prevent "the unthinkable" from occurring.
"History will not look kindly on GOP leaders who fail to do everything in their power to prevent a bullying demagogue from becoming their standard-bearer," the board wrote. — AFP