Opinion: Nevada Republican caucus reveals desperate US | Opinion | DW | 24.02.2016
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Opinion: Nevada Republican caucus reveals desperate US

Is there anything left that can stop Donald Trump’s rise to the Republican presidential nomination? Many Americans fear that the right-wing billionaire could even win the White House, DW's Ines Pohl writes.

It is victory No. 3 for Donald Trump. After New Hampshire in the Northeast and South Carolina in the South, Trump's win in Nevada shows that he can also score in the West. He bested his only real remaining rivals, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, by more than 20 percentage points.

And now anything really is possible: not just Trump's winning the Republican nomination, but even his taking the presidency itself. That is because the likely Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, has racked up too many mistakes in her long political career to be considered a safe bet to defeat Trump.

Pohl Ines Kommentarbild App

DW Washington correspondent Ines Pohl

For that reason Nevada was a particularly painful evening for many moderate Republicans who had hoped that former supporters of Jeb Bush would now rally around Rubio. Apparently that did not happen, which begins to make sense when one closely examines the Florida senator's political stances.

Clock is ticking

Rubio is the only remaining hope for moderate Republicans. But many of his views - regarding women's rights, LGBT equality and the official use of torture, for examples - are as reactionary as Donald Trump's.

The fact that a politician like Rubio is now considered the last best hope of the Grand Old Party's moderates is a telling sign of how far the GOP has moved to the right in recent years.

Rubio himself cannot be blamed for that - just as Trump's success has less to do with the billionaire himself. It is the problem of a party that has refused to face reality for far too long. This is a party that has not wanted to examine how easy it has become to rile its voter base up with empty promises and bawdy machismo.

Time is running out. Trump and his team are on a roll now, and they will do everything to translate their three victories so far into more votes in the upcoming primaries. That makes it quite possible that Trump's victory tour will continue on Super Tuesday. And from there he may even march on to Washington.

Trump's rise has now even led some Democrats to mull registering as Republicans in order to exert some influence on the party by voting for a less extreme candidate. This is what it has come to in the Desperate States of America after caucus night in Nevada.

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