With Sarah Palin backing him and the polls tightening, will Donald Trump win the Republican nomination?

Trump has secured the backing of Sarah Palin (Source: Getty)

Ed Bowsher, senior analyst and joint output editor at Share Radio, says Yes.

Donald Trump will probably win the Republican nomination. He’s leading nearly all opinion polls, with 37 per cent support among Republican voters, according to HuffPost Pollster. Granted, the mainstream Republican party will eventually coalesce behind one relatively moderate candidate, most likely Marco Rubio. But that will take time and, anyway, Trump’s most popular rival is Ted Cruz, who is just as extreme as Trump. If most of Cruz’s voters end up backing Trump, which is likely, “the Donald” would be in a dominant position. But if he does win the nomination, the markets at least won’t be too concerned. Trump wants to abolish the estate tax and also cut taxes on capital gains. Even his plans to impose tariffs won’t be universally derided by investors – some US businesses will benefit. And although he will probably get the Republican nomination, he’ll almost certainly be beaten by Hillary Clinton in the general election. The Clintons looked after Wall Street in the 90s, and they’ll probably do so again.

Liz Mair, president of Mair Strategies, says No.

2016 has been a surprising cycle so far, but there are a number of reasons why Donald Trump may be overestimating his chances of becoming the Republican nominee. First, many of his supporters have not historically participated in elections, and are not currently registered in a way that even allows them to participate in the nominating process. Second, about a quarter of Republican voters have indicated they could not support Trump as the nominee (and the real number may be higher). If Ted Cruz and a third candidate – maybe Marco Rubio, maybe Chris Christie – consolidate their support as other candidates drop out and Trump does not, winning the nomination becomes much harder for him. Third, a Trump nomination would be so risky for the party that the current view among many power-brokers is that an intervention would be staged to prevent him from getting the GOP’s support and jeopardising the fate of senators and congressmen also running in 2016. Trump could win, but it’s hardly a given.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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