The Donald Trump phenomenon continues unabated as the Republican candidate continues to steamroll his way to double-digit victories in delegate-rich Super Tuesday primaries.
Polls show Trump ahead by a 2-1 margin in Massachusetts over the leading GOP candidates and Democrat Hillary Clinton with an 8-point lead over Bernie Sanders, according to the latest Suffolk University Research Center poll.
Trump and Clinton are hoping to solidify their spots as clear front-runners for their party’s nominations.
Boston College Assistant Political Science Professor David Hopkins says Trump’s strategy and success is unprecedented. He says the results have been a big surprise to political scientists.
“Trump has shown strength in many states such as New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and now he’s poised to win Massachusetts, as well,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins, who co-authored the book “Presidential Elections: Strategies and Structures of American Politics," says Trump has managed to emphasize his prominent position in the media and he’s effectively cultivated attention and maintained Republican support.
Hopkins says Trump’s message resonates with Republican voters, most of whom are attracted to his stance as outsider and a man who promises action rather than talk.
Hopkins told WGBH Morning Edition host Bob Seay it’s possible that if none of the other candidates drop out and Trump doesn’t garner enough delegates, it could result in a crisis or a brokered convention, but he says that’s an unlikely scenario.
"Most likely Trump will end up with a majority of of the delegates, and there wouldn’t be much for them to do at the convention," Hopkins said. "You may see a division within the traditional leadership of the republican party, if Trump is nominated, but some will make their peace with a Trump nomination and others will distance themselves.”
He says after this week "as the race starts to narrow down to a couple of candidates, it would be difficult to deny Trump a majority of delegates and he might be hard to stop.”
On the Democratic side, Hopkins says Sanders impact as a nonestablishment candidate is waning.
“It’s been hard for Sanders to break through in South Carolina, and harder among nonwhite component of the democratic electoral base,” Hopkins said. "It’s looks like Sanders is going to end up on the short end of the delegate count after today (Tuesday.)”
To listen to the extended interview with Hopkins, click on the audio file above.