Hillary Clinton faces "the mother of all battles" if she goes head to head with Donald Trump

As Hillary Clinton fights to secure the Democratic nomination, her toughest battle could come in the general election

Hillary Clinton, Democrats, Super Tuesday

Image: Gerald Herbert / AP/Press Association Images

As the race to win the nomination for the presidential election on both sides of the political divide in the United States rumbles on, the list of names in the running for the nominations is finally beginning to get whittled down. 

On the Republican side, Donald Trump is leading on the delegate count, with Ted Cruz trailing closely behind, but it seems that the GOP doesn't want wither of them in the driving seat and would prefer a candidate like Marco Rubio that the party knows they can work with.

On the Democratic side, there is still a race ongoing between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but the former Secretary of State holds a commanding lead that looks as though it will be difficulty to overturn. However, a big loss in Michigan, where polls once showed that she was 20 points ahead, may have had an impact on the momentum of her campaign. 

Given she lost out to Barack Obama in 2008, is this the time that Clinton can secure the nomination and go all the way to the White House? Larry Donnelly, law lecturer at NUI Galway, and Marion McKeone of the Sunday Business Post, joined Colette Fitzpatrick to discuss her chances of winning, and the issues that have hit her campaign to date.

McKeone noted that "what isn't being recognised in this race largely is the free trade issue, and I think that globalisation did not have a good effect on middle America. It's still reeling from the impact, that's the America Donald Trump is appealing to". 

Noting that has been a weak point for Clinton, and one that both Trump and Sanders have spoken about, McKeone stated that the public perception of Clinton's trustworthiness is also a cause for concern.

"There's almost this collective media portrayal of [Clinton] over the years and Republican portrayal of her that has calcified around her, and it's like the old saying, 'if you throw enough mud at the wall, it will stick'". 

While McKeone stated that she does believe that Clinton will get the nomination, the issues raised by Bernie Sanders and his grassroots movement have shown her that some of her rhetoric has not been resonating well with people who would traditionally be Democratic voters.  

"It's absolutely true that Hillary Clinton is not a natural politician," added Donnelly "she says as much. She says she's not like her husband, she's not like Barack Obama, she's quite different [...] but if you look at her track record of accomplishment, it's absolutely extraordinary by any objective measure as to the things she's done in her various leadership capacities across the board". 

Donnelly backed her to win the nomination, stating that Hillary could claim victory in a number of states including Florida, New York and California, making it very difficult for her to lose the numbers game that is the electoral college system when it comes to the presidential election in November. 

However, McKeone stated that given the fact that many Americans find her untrustworthy, and how much of a wild card Trump could be in the general election if it comes down to the two of them, "the battle that looms ahead of her will be the mother of all battles".

Turning to the Republicans, McKeone stated that they have found themselves "between a rock and a very hard place" as they head towards their convention in the summer, which could well end up being contested.

"Donald Trump, I think, will peak with getting about 40% of support from Republicans, I think the Republicans are looking at a bloodbath at their convention, and it will probably be contested or brokered [...] They are terrified and they loathe Donald Trump, and they're almost as terrified and they loathe even more Ted Cruz.

"If Marco Rubio is still in line to take the nomination, which he may be, that Hillary Clinton might have a tougher job on her hands, especially if he appointed John Kasich as his vice-president because they would then probably take Florida and Ohio".