Donald Trump speaks during a CNN Republican presidential debate. (Photo: John Locher/AP)But it offers insight into this year's most stunning political phenomenon. Butler lists four reasons why he's making a dramatic electoral switch — from voting twice for Barack Obama, to supporting a candidate celebrated on white-nationalist websites for blasting foreign governments, Mexican migrants and Muslim visitors.
Hillary Clinton opposes Keystone XL, TPPHillary Clinton faces a surprisingly strong challenge from the left, by Sen. Bernie Sanders. She's shifted toward his positions against the Keystone XL pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty. She's weathering scandals over her secretive use of emails, her family's business ties, and an ongoing congressional probe into the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. compound at Benghazi. But she's surviving. While she could lose New Hampshire, according to an average of surveys, she's well ahead in Iowa and leads Sanders by almost 50 percentage points in South Carolina. Clinton also beats most Republicans, in most polls, with one glaring exception: Rubio. The rookie senator is emerging as the great centre-right hope — a favourite among the pro-trade, big-military, immigration-friendly traditional party establishment. One problem for them: he's not leading polls in any primary state. The biggest threat to Trump on the anti-establishment side is Cruz. He's rising in the polls, and leading in Iowa. The Calgary-born, Texas-raised conservative firebrand senator has so assiduously courted the insurrectionist vote that he's refused to say a negative thing about either Trump or Carson. "Bear-hug both of them and smother them with love," is how Cruz described his game plan, in a leaked audio recording of a strategy session. The party brass is reportedly so aghast over the idea of a Trump win, in particular, that it's considering holding its first brokered convention in 40 years. Such a move could provoke an even wilder move: Trump bolting the party, and running as an independent. He's threatened to do it. Carson has also threatened to leave the party, if he feels cheated by its backroom operators. An independent Trump run would badly split the Republican vote, polls say. But many voters love the idea of a third party — 60 per cent, according to Gallup. "The parties now are not saying what needs to be said," Butler agreed. "Maybe (Trump's) starting a future independent party."
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