Research News

After Super Tuesday, don’t discount the underdogs just yet


Published March 3, 2016

James Campbell
“Many see Trump as unfit for the presidency.”
James Campbell, UB Distinguished Professor
Department of Political Science

Donald Trump won seven more states on Super Tuesday, making it anything but Super for Republican rivals.

But the stakes — the potential election of Hillary Clinton, perhaps a Democrat-controlled Senate and a liberal-leaning Supreme Court — are much too high for Trump’s Republican rivals to concede the nomination to him, according to UB political scientist James Campbell.

“There is still much more of the nomination process to go and there is a firm resolve among Trump’s rivals to see this through to the end of the process,” says Campbell, UB Distinguished Professor an author of the forthcoming book “Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America.” “Although many now see a Trump nomination as an inevitability, I think it would be a mistake to underestimate the commitment of a large part of the Republican Party — probably a significant majority — to stop Trump.

“Many see Trump as unfit for the presidency.”

Trump now leads the Republican pack with 319 delegates. Ted Cruz has amassed 226, Marco Rubio has 110 and John Kasich has 25. A candidate must have the votes of 1,237 delegates to win the nomination.

While Cruz, Rubio and Kasich face an uphill battle, Campbell says as the field shrinks — Ben Carson announced yesterday he sees no “path forward” — other candidates will get more votes.

Additionally, the determination to stop Trump is strong and won’t go away any time soon.

“With stakes this high, it looks like both mainstream and movement conservatives are ready to fight a Trump nomination,” Campbell says, “to the absolute end.”