Dump Trump for Pence an option?
THE desertion of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump by a succession of lawmakers and governors from his party, who had previously endorsed his run, has raised the question of whether he would be dumped even though the election is around the corner.
The deserters over the last few days include John Thune, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, and 22 others, according to the Guardian newspaper.
But being ditched by John McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for United States president and Arizona senator, must have rattled Mr Trump most, the Washington Post pointed out.
Shortly after Mr McCain released his statement on Saturday, Mr Trump made a surprise appearance outside Trump Tower in New York City and greeted his supporters by shaking his fist in the air.
Mr McCain had issued a statement declaring it impossible to support Mr Trump, after watching the latter boast about making sexual advances towards women without their consent in a 2005 video leaked on Friday.
Some Republicans formally called on Mr Trump to step aside and allow his running mate, Indiana governor Mike Pence, to become the party's standard bearer.
Meanwhile, Mr Trump's poll numbers have also plunged since his lacklustre performance in the first presidential debate last month.
All of these made his showdown last night in the second debate with his Democratic counterpart Hillary Clinton a do-or-die moment.
The debate, at Washington University in St Louis and conducted in the town hall style, may be the last best chance for the billionaire to make his case to millions of Americans, said the Times magazine.
He might resort to dangerous tactics, such as raising the extramarital affairs of Mrs Clinton's husband, the former president Bill Clinton, during the debate, to mitigate his leaked lewd remarks.
Mr Trump might again shoot his own foot, but with many voters still remaining uncommitted, no pundit could rule out yet the flashy and loud-mouthed fighter.