By Ianiz Patchedjiev
As the Nevada Primary approaches, the Republican candidates increase the intensity of their attacks while the Democrats approach a virtual tie in their polls. With Super Tuesday less than a month away, the candidates are desperate to stand out any way they can.
The Republican debate hosted last Saturday in Greenville, South Carolina displayed some of the most intense arguing seen so far in the campaign. Whether it was Trump calling Cruz a nasty liar that can’t get any endorsements, or Cruz screaming at Rubio in Spanish after being told that he can’t speak the language, little debate was actually featured amongst the arrays of personal attacks. Bush and Rubio notably teamed up to thrash Trump over his continued criticism of George W. Bush’s response to the September 11 attacks, and John Kasich had to defend his expansion of Medicare in Ohio (in coordination with Obamacare). The candidates wasted no time discussing the replacement of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who unfortunately passed away just hours before the debate. Here, the candidates were unified in asking the Senate to delay the appointment of a new judge until after Obama leaves office.
A few days after the debate, Trump brushed off criticism from the Pope himself who criticized the candidate’s border control plans. Trump’s response was to call out the pope on Twitter for the existence of Vatican City’s border walls by posting several pictures of them. Trump then continued his line of attack by buying the domain for “jebbush.com” and redirecting traffic to his own website. Jeb Bush, whose brother George W. Bush has recently assisted in campaigning, shot back by humorously impersonating Trump and calling the billionaire a “loud bully”.
Meanwhile, polls indicate that Sanders and Clinton are tied yet again- this time, in Nevada. The most recent CNN/ORC poll in Nevada shows that while Clinton holds a slight lead in some issues, voters are split on the issue of who they believe will handle the economy better and on who represents the middle class better. What’s interesting is that Nevada is much more racially diverse than New Hampshire, indicating that Clinton is at risk of losing her lead in minority communities; This is likely due to Sanders’ ads and speeches that target minority communities. One such endorsement featured a four minute video from the daughter of Eric Garner, whose father was one of the most recent high-profile victims of police violence, supporting the Senator’s policies. Furthermore, Republicans have begun to criticize both Sanders and Clinton, a phenomenon rarely seen a few months ago. For example, Marco Rubio, who usually focuses on Clinton when referring to the Democrats, recently attacked Sanders’ supporters by suggesting that they move to a socialist country instead of trying to change America. The reason behind this move is simple: Republicans no longer see Clinton as their inevitable adversary. Yet, the former Secretary of State has an incredible lead in superdelegates over Sanders; this may prove to be the decisive advantage she’s been searching for when the time to nominate the Democrat candidate arrives.