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Trump Gains Momentum Towards Nomination After South Carolina

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In the wake of his resounding victory in South Carolina, former President Donald J. Trump’s path to the Republican nomination has accelerated, leaving little doubt about his dominance in the party. Despite significant opposition from within the GOP, Trump’s grip on the party shows no signs of weakening as he continues to sweep through the early nominating contests.

The primary season was viewed as a crucial opportunity for Republicans to challenge Trump’s leadership within the party, with many seeing him as a divisive and potentially damaging figure. However, as the contests unfolded, it became increasingly clear that Trump’s support among Republicans remained solid, not only solidifying his position but also highlighting the deep divisions within the party.

Despite facing formidable opponents like Nikki Haley, Trump has managed to secure victory in key states and consolidate his support among party officials and voters. His unorthodox approach to politics and his controversial statements have only seemed to galvanize his base, further cementing his status as the frontrunner for the nomination.

With his recent win in South Carolina, Trump has now triumphed in all the early nominating contests, setting the stage for Super Tuesday where a large number of delegates will be up for grabs. His victory has been met with both enthusiasm and concern within the party, as some Republicans continue to express reservations about his candidacy.

Despite the challenges and criticism he has faced, Trump’s momentum appears unstoppable as he marches towards the nomination. His ability to defy conventional political norms and maintain a loyal following has left many observers astounded at his enduring popularity within the GOP.

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The dynamic between Trump and his competitors has been a central theme of the primary season, with several candidates dropping out to support his campaign while others, like Nikki Haley, continue to challenge his dominance. Despite Haley’s efforts to present herself as a viable alternative, her recent losses in key states have raised questions about the viability of her campaign.

In the face of mounting challenges and opposition, Trump remains undeterred in his quest for the nomination, showcasing a level of resilience and determination that has defined his political career. His ability to weather controversies and criticism while maintaining a strong base of support has solidified his position as a formidable candidate within the party.

As the primary season progresses, Trump’s march towards the nomination is marked by a sense of inevitability, with many Republican strategists and officials acknowledging his growing influence within the party. Despite lingering doubts and concerns, Trump’s performance in the early contests has bolstered his standing and solidified his status as the frontrunner.

Looking ahead to the remaining primaries and the general election, Trump’s path to the nomination appears clearer than ever, with his opponents struggling to gain traction against his formidable campaign. His unorthodox style and controversial rhetoric have reshaped the political landscape, forcing Republicans to confront a new reality where Trump’s brand of populism reigns supreme.

Despite the challenges and obstacles he has faced, Trump’s appeal among Republican voters remains strong, underscoring the deep divisions within the party and the enduring legacy of his presidency. As he continues his march towards the nomination, Trump’s influence within the GOP shows no signs of waning, setting the stage for a contentious and unpredictable election season.

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Chats and reflections on the present moment.

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Lydia Polgreen

Credit…Will Heath/NBC, via Getty Images

It is a rare thing in our rapidly secularizing country to be confronted with piety and devotion in popular culture. So it was a surprise, and a balm, to watch a man who prays daily and talks openly about his devout faith storm a bastion of earthly godlessness: “Saturday Night Live.”

I am referring, of course, to the comedian Ramy Youssef, who hosted the show on what he described in his opening monologue as “an incredibly spiritual weekend,” noting Ramadan, Easter and the arrival of a new Beyoncé album.

“I’m doing the Ramadan one,” he quipped, to peals of laughter, unspooling a very funny bit about how loving Muslims are. Youssef has mined his experience as a believer among the profane in gentle standup specials and a namesake sitcom. His entire monologue glowed with a welcoming warmth — Muslims, he seemed to say: We’re just like you.

In a country that is supposedly obsessed with diversity and inclusion, it is remarkable how rare it is to hear from a practicing Muslim in America.

Surveys by the Institute for Policy and Understanding, a nonpartisan research organization focused on Muslim Americans, have consistently found that Muslims are the most likely group to report religious discrimination in the United States. According to a Pew survey conducted in 2021, 78 percent of Americans said that there was either a lot or some discrimination against Muslims in our society. Muslims are no more likely to commit crimes than members of any other group, but crimes in which Muslims are suspects get outsized media coverage, research has shown.

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It is no surprise, then, that Islamophobia is perhaps the most tolerated form of religious prejudice. Right now, Senate Republicans appear to have persuaded several Senate Democrats to vote against a Muslim judicial nominee after smearing him, with no evidence at all, as an antisemite.

Many of the skits that toyed with religion on “S.N.L.” on Saturday were funny — Ozempic for Ramadan! Genius. But part of me winced through them as well, because I saw in Youssef something that other members of minority groups have had to do to “earn” their place in the safety of the mainstream: the performance of normalcy, of being nonthreatening and sweet, the requirement to prove that your community belongs in America just like everyone else’s.

I loved Youssef’s monologue, in which he bravely pleaded, “Please, free the people of Palestine. And please, free the hostages. All of the hostages.”

“I am out of ideas,” Youssef declared toward the end of his monologue. “All I have is prayers.”

To which this nonbeliever can only say: Same, Ramy. Same.

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