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Trump’s Path to the GOP Nomination: A Victory on Super Tuesday

How Trump Steamrolled His Way to the GOP Nomination

Super Tuesday affirmed what has appeared evident for some time: Donald Trump has virtually secured the Republican presidential nomination. With resounding victories across multiple states, Trump has effectively solidified his position as the presumptive nominee. Even before the closure of all polls, the Associated Press had already declared most of the 15 states in his favor.

Although it will take at least another week for Trump to formally assume the role of presumptive GOP nominee, his victory seems inevitable. All that remains is for his sole remaining opponent, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, to conclude her campaign, for the rest of the party to rally behind him, and for the Trump campaign to collaborate with the Republican National Committee, a process already well underway.

“They call it Super Tuesday for a reason,” Trump remarked to a gathering of supporters at Mar-a-Lago. “This is a significant moment.”

Trump’s triumph brings him a step closer to potentially reclaiming the presidency and implementing a policy agenda that stands out for its severity.

He has pledged to pursue actions such as deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, reinstating his travel ban on Muslim-majority nations, reshaping the federal bureaucracy with MAGA loyalists, addressing homelessness by relocating individuals to tent cities, and exerting influence over the Justice Department to settle scores with his political adversaries.


Trump (Credits: Reuters)

Furthermore, his victory inches him nearer to overcoming two of his ongoing criminal prosecutions. As President, he could potentially halt the federal indictments against him, one for election interference and another for mishandling classified information.

When Trump departed from office in January 2021, following the events at the U.S. Capitol, few envisioned his decisive victory three years later, in what has turned out to be one of the least competitive open primaries in U.S. history. Nonetheless, Trump and his allies had a strategy from the outset to neutralize GOP dissenters and discourage potential challengers.

Their success wasn’t assured. When Trump initiated his candidacy in November 2022, he faced uncertainties. The Republicans had just experienced a disappointing midterm cycle, with many candidates endorsed by him losing pivotal races nationwide. Notably, not a single member of Congress attended Trump’s campaign launch at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump’s primary objective was to undermine Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whom many considered his most formidable intra-party rival, particularly after DeSantis’s landslide reelection.

Trump swiftly went to work, disparaging him with derogatory nicknames and mobilizing online trolls to ridicule his campaign missteps. These attacks not only undercut DeSantis’s attempt to present himself as a more competent version of Trump but also served as a warning to potential challengers: expect fierce backlash from the MAGA camp.

Subsequently, Trump capitalized on his legal troubles by framing his prosecutions as an assault on his supporters, which bolstered his popularity and fundraising efforts. He also cleverly employed his predicament to corner GOP opponents, presenting them with a dilemma: either concede that his legal woes rendered him unfit for the presidency or risk being labeled as part of a conspiracy against him.

With a weak field of competitors who hesitated to confront his vulnerabilities, Trump’s path to victory became smoother.

By skipping primary debates, he diminished their significance, positioning them as mere auditions for his potential running mate. This cultivated an aura of invincibility around Trump, leading to endorsements from influential party figures like Montana Senator Steve Daines and House Speaker Mike Johnson.

By the time Haley emerged as the final contender, she had already faced defeats in Iowa and New Hampshire, casting her bid more as a symbolic challenge against Trump rather than a serious campaign for the presidency. However, her persistence earned her the ire of America First supporters.

Employing tactics similar to those used against DeSantis, Trump and his allies branded her as a neoconservative warmonger, despite her limited foreign policy experience being as Trump’s envoy to the United Nations. In her home state of South Carolina, Trump secured a resounding victory in the primary, and following her win in Washington, D.C., the Trump campaign dubbed her “the queen of the Swamp.”

Haley’s minor success coincided with Trump’s pivot towards the general election. He proposed restructuring the RNC, appointing new loyalists to lead the organization, including Lara Trump and Chris LaCivita. Recently, both Trump and Biden made simultaneous visits to different border towns in Texas, offering a preview of the upcoming electoral contest.

While Trump could not mathematically secure the nomination on Super Tuesday, needing 1,215 delegates, the earliest he could achieve this milestone is on March 12, with upcoming primaries in Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Washington.

Despite Haley’s indication of staying in the race beyond Super Tuesday, her path forward seems increasingly untenable, and it remains uncertain whether she will rally her supporters behind Trump, especially after her recent wavering on endorsing the eventual nominee.

Despite the uncertainties, Trump appeared undeterred on Tuesday night, focusing his victory speech on the remaining obstacle to his return to power. “We’re gonna take back our country,” he declared.

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