US Presidential candidate Donald Trump has signed a pledge not to run as an independent if he loses the Republican Party's nomination. This might come at a high cost for the Republicans, commentators suggest.
"It is my great honor to pledge my total support and loyalty to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stands," Donald Trump told a press conference at Trump Tower in New York on Thursday.
He signed the loyalty pledge after meeting with Republican Party Chairman Reince Preibus.
The real estate tycoon promised not to run as an independent candidate if he loses the Republican Party's nomination for president in 2016. He had previously refused to rule out a third-party bid if he did not win the nomination, triggering fears among Republicans that this could split the conservative votes.
In 1992, another billionaire candidate, Ross Perot, ran a third-party campaign that cost the Republican President George H.W. Bush many votes. In the end, Democrat Bill Clinton won the election.
Trump, who lacks political experience and only recently joined the party, stated that he changed his mind because of his soaring poll figures. Winning the Republican ticket was "the absolute best way" to win the White House, he said.
However, some commentators suggested that securing Trump's loyalty might come at a high price for the Republicans: It might antagonize conservative voters who do not share his more controversial opinions.
Donald Trump repeatedly made headlines with disparaging comments on illegal immigrants.
das/rg (AFP, Reuters, dpa)