Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are perfect opponents for each other. They are two candidates who have come alive in their campaigns as it became clearer that the other one would be the likely nominee of their party.
The voting in the “Super Saturday” primaries and caucuses didn’t disrupt that narrative — or settle the contest in either party. Cruz won a decisive victory in Kansas and an upset in Maine. Still, Trump enjoyed narrow wins in the delegate-rich states of Louisiana and Kentucky.
The billionaire remains ahead in the delegate count and he is polling extremely well in a number of key states like Florida. Bernie Sanders’ supporters celebrated his victories in Nebraska and Kansas, but Clinton continued to pump up her delegate count with a victory in Louisiana. So when all is said and done, there were some surprises with Cruz coming on strong, but Clinton and Trump remain out in front.
In their post-primary events Saturday night, they highlighted their potential rivalry. Clinton rejected Trump’s slogan, “Make America great again,” and argued that the goal should be “Make America whole again.” Trump made fun of Clinton’s alternative and argued that he’s the one Republican candidate she definitely doesn’t want to face this fall.
For months, Clinton and Trump have been defining themselves in contrast to the other.
In October, Clinton targeted Trump for criticism: “Some people think Mr. Trump is entertaining, but I don’t think it’s entertaining when somebody insults immigrants and insults women. If you are going to run for president, then you should represent all the people of the United States.”
And in January, Trump told Jimmy Fallon that it would be “an amazing thing” if the two faced each other in a general election, predicting it would boost voter turnout. He said then, as he has since, “I haven’t even started on her yet,” foreshadowing the kind of attacks on Clinton that he’s unleashed successfully on fellow Republican contenders.
To understand why Democrats are becoming slightly more enthused about Clinton, you have to look at the impact of Trump being the likely Republican candidate.
To understand why so many Republican voters seem to be willing to sign on to a candidate like Trump, who often doesn’t sound or act very conservative, and who says outlandish things, it is vital to see the enormous shadow that Clinton casts over the campaign trail.