The fourth US Republican debate – marred by name-calling and insults – provided few insights into the positions of the various candidates and sent victory into the hands of former President Donald Trump, which he did nothing to earn. 

As Trump continues to dominate the Republican party leadership, the other candidates are seemingly vying for one of two unfortunate options: a distant hope that Trump will be eliminated prior to the convention; or, in the case of Vivek Ramaswamy, that his obsequiousness will secure him a position at Trump’s side.

Current polling points to Trump capturing a 61 percent share of Republican voters’ intentions. The rest of the pack appears to have no clear pathway as long as this elephant remains in the room.

Photo Credit:  Real Clear Politics.

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To put this situation into perspective, Trump, who has been indicted by Grand Juries more times than Al Capone and Timothy McVeigh combined, stands to be the next Republican nominee for President of the US, with a lead that supersedes any Republican presidential candidate, ever.

The current record, held by the godfather of modern conservatism, Ronald Reagan, from the 1980 primaries, led to him beating his future Vice President, George HW Bush. Reagan won a 60 percent share versus Bush's 24 percent.

For Ukraine-watchers, Republican candidates Nikki Haley and Chris Christie reiterated their commitments to Ukraine’s success. Though both candidates made insightful and supportive comments, it is unlikely they will be in a position to shape US policy due to how far they are lagging in the polls. 

Super Tuesday, America's Multi-State Voting Bonanza
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Super Tuesday, America's Multi-State Voting Bonanza

Typically, the event -- the biggest single day of voting in the country's drawn out, state-by-state primary season -- has been a make-or-break moment for candidates as the race narrows.

Ramaswamy, predictably, made low-brow comments about US former Ambassador to the UN, Haley, and challenged her if she even knew the names of the regions of Ukraine that needed to be defended. Christie interjected to defend Haley’s intellect and her record, before Haley responded: “Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea.”

The rest of the debate (or debacle) was unmemorable, save for over-the-top proposals more geared towards trying to generate press attention to attract Republican primary voters, rather than addressing the nation’s needs.

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Discussions of sending the US military to defend Taiwan, Israel, or the US border, while half the candidates oppose aiding Ukraine (whom the US has pledged security to) was an absurdity. This latest debate exemplified how far from Reagan the Republican Party has departed.

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