US primaries: Nikki Haley drops out

Republican Nikki Haley on Wednesday announced her withdrawal from the race to become presidential candidate for her party after losing to her rival Donald Trump in 14 out of 15 states in the Super Tuesday primaries; her only win was in Vermont. Commentators speculate on what the now likely duel between incumbent US President Joe Biden and challenger Donald Trump will bring.

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Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

Now well positioned

Gazeta Wyborcza says Haley shouldn't be written off just yet:

“She may have lost, but she has managed to show that there are still quite a few people in the Republican electorate who would like to close the Trump chapter. Haley is still relatively young and has put herself in a good position for the 2028 election. If Trump wins this year, he won't be able to run in the next election, as the constitution only allows for two terms in office. If he loses, Haley will be able to say that backing her would have been the right thing to do from the outset.”

Zeit Online (DE) /

Trump on the red carpet

For Zeit Online, the way Haley is quitting highlights the dominance of the Trump movement:

“Even though it is very unlikely that she will play an active role in this election campaign, for example as Trump's vice-presidential candidate, she is still trying to avoid alienating Trump voters as she exits. ... This day was a low point in this election campaign. Not because Haley is a desirable president. But because a red carpet is now being rolled out before Trump's eyes. In the coming months, he will walk it like the king he considers himself to be. As if Nikki Haley had never existed.”

Polityka (PL) /

An election with many uncertainties

For Polityka, the end result is still open even after Haley's withdrawal:

“This doesn't mean it will be all plain sailing for Trump now. The fact that Nikki Haley received a lot of votes in some of the larger states confirms that not all Republicans want him back in the White House. The Democratic camp is hoping that these voters who are attached to the traditional values of their party, such as respect for democratic principles and support for the US's allies all over the world, will vote for Biden in November. Some polls suggest that around 30 percent of Haley's supporters will switch to the Democratic camp. The rest will either stay at home on election day or vote for an independent candidate.”

Contributors (RO) /

A woeful political culture

Political analyst Valentin Naumescu at Contributors is greatly disillusioned by the quality of the candidates and their debate:

“On 5 November, the same two ageing men will face each other for the second time, both now completely unsteady physically and mentally – one will be 82 and the other 78 years old. ... Politically, Joe Biden is undoubtedly much more rational, experienced and knowledgeable than Donald Trump, but that does little to help the quality of American political debate. After all, for a long time now there has been no dialogue, only monologues aimed at 'abolishing' the rival option. No new figures in either party have been able to break through the barrier of the US primaries, because no one has sufficient resources.”

De Morgen (BE) /

No country for old men

It will be an open race between Biden and Trump, says De Morgen:

“Both should already be worried about the divisions in their parties and about voters staying at home or voting for third party candidates on 5 November. ... There will be quite a few such candidates on the ballot papers in several states in November. They could become kingmakers if it comes down to a few thousand votes in key states. ... These primaries prove that non-affiliated Americans can end up deciding who gets into the White House and who doesn't. Many are young people who have a problem with the age of both candidates. In view of the rapidly changing demographics, the US is basically 'no country for old men'.”

Milliyet (TR) /

Dark times ahead

As far as Milliyet is concerned, Trump has already won:

“Considering that Trump is unstoppable by any means following his victory in the Super Tuesday primaries, there's no telling where this ignorant and brash emperor will take the US empire. Many predict that, this time, Trump has not come to govern the US or – as he declared in 2016 – to make America great again, but simply wants to take revenge on the democratic intellectual elite who dragged him through the courts, and on the Europeans who have clung to the Democratic Party and Biden. ... It's not hard to predict that the US will experience a period of chaos, division and darkness in the new year.”