Clinton 1728
Sanders 1055
 Needed   2383
Trump 736
Cruz 463
Rubio 171
Kasich 143
Needed 1237

News from the Votemaster

Wisconsin Votes Today

Both parties are holding their primary elections in Wisconsin today. It is an open primary, so any registered voter can ask for either a Democratic ballot or a Republican ballot—provided that the voter has a valid photo ID card. This will be the first election in Wisconsin in which voter ID is required and many voters don't have ID or even know about the law. The election results could greatly affect the nomination contests.

On the Republican side, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is polling about 10 points ahead of Donald Trump. If Cruz wins most of the delegates, it could be a serious dent in Trump's hopes for the nomination. If Trump triumphs, he is likely to be unstoppable.

On the Democratic side, polls show it to be close, but Wisconsin is a fairly white state, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has generally done well in white states. He has also done well in open-primary states. If he can win this one, he can stay alive, but he has to win it big time to start reducing Hillary Clinton's lead of over 250 delegates. The wild-card here is the Voter ID law, which is more likely to affect the young voters who tend to support Sanders. Student IDs and out-of-state drivers' licences, which are all that many college students have, are not satisfactory, in most cases. If Sanders loses by a point or two, and thousands of students were denied the right to vote, it will not be pretty. (V)

Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to One-Person-One-Vote Rule

Under current law and practice, reapportionment of the House is done every 10 years based on the census count of people in each state. Every person is counted, including children, legal immigrants not eligible to vote, illegal immigrants, felons, and everyone else. In other words, every person, voter or not, is counted. A case from Texas challenged that and said that only eligible voters should be counted. The Court unanimously rejected that view and said the current practice is fine with them.

This case, Evenwel vs. Abbott, is tremendously important. If the Court had adopted the position of the plaintiffs, states with large numbers of noncitizen immigrants (which are mostly blue states) would have lost many House seats and electoral votes. In this partisan era, it is surprising that the decision was unanimous but the Constitution and the law is so clear the Court didn't have a choice. If the Founding Fathers had meant "voters" they would have said that. They certainly knew there were children in every state so by using the phrasing:

Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed

in the Constitution, they clearly didn't mean "voters." In fact, the Constitution explicitly states that slaves are to be counted, with each slave being 3/5 of a person. Slaves could not vote. So it is hard to argue that the Founders meant "voters" when they explicitly said slaves were to be counted, albeit for 3/5. (V)

Can Delegates Be Bought?

Buying votes in an election is illegal, but the voting that will take place at the Republican National Convention is not a federal, state, or local election. There is no law prohibiting, say, a billionaire, from offering a cash payment to a delegate to vote a certain way. Are there any restrictions? Yes. The Federal Election Commission has ruled that delegates may not accept funds from corporations, unions, foreign nationals, or federal contractors. Accepting funds from candidates is nowhere explicitly forbidden.

This year we are moving into uncharted waters. Most of the delegates to both conventions are private citizens interested in politics. They have to pay all their expenses themselves. The California Republican Party has estimated that each delegate will have to spend between $3,000 and $6,000 on convention expenses. And employed delegates will have to take time off from work. Getting someone to compensate them for their trouble is fine with the Party.

It is important to know that about 300 delegates to the Republican National Convention will be unbound on the first ballot for a variety of reasons. If Donald Trump comes into the convention a handful of delegates short of the 1,237 required to win, surely the Great Negotiator will be tempted to have a discussion with some of them to ask what it might take to convince them that he was worth their vote. This could be a convention like no other. (V)

Why A Dark Horse Carries Some Risks

If none of the three Republicans currently running for the presidential nomination can muster 1,237 votes after several ballots, the convention could turn to someone else, the proverbial "dark horse." Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is one of the most likely horses. However, that choice (or the choice of anyone other than the three current candidates) carries some risk with it. All the candidates currently slugging it out have been thoroughly vetted. Ryan hasn't. Yes, he was the vice presidential nominee in 2012, but the media had only 2 months to check him out and Veeps never get the attention a presidential candidate gets. Ryan's nomination would set off a feeding frenzy among journalists to find "dirt" on him. And if someone found something, there would be little time for Ryan to rebound.

A second issue is how the supporters of Trump, Cruz, and Kasich would respond to having someone who didn't even run be nominated. Many of them might decide that the Party was ignoring the voters and stay home on Election Day. (V)

Trump Wants Kasich Out of the Race

As we noted yesterday, Donald Trump has said that since Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) mathematically has no chance to get enough delegates to win the nomination, even if he wins every single delegate as yet unchosen, he should exit the race. But as with so many things, be careful what you wish for, you might get it. It is far from clear that Kasich hurts Trump. Some experts think Kasich hurts Trump by winning delegates Trump might have otherwise won. But the opposite case can also be made. Some of the remaining states are winner take all. With Cruz and Kasich splitting the anti-Trump vote, Trump would have a plurality of the votes and get all the delegates in those states. In a head-to-head contest with Cruz, it is possible Cruz could win the winner-take-all states. (V)

Don't Forget the Veep

With all the ink and pixels that have been spent on talk of a brokered convention, one interesting angle that has largely been overlooked is the #2 slot on the GOP ticket. Customarily, the presidential candidate-to-be chooses his preferred Veep, and the convention rubber stamps the selection. And that is probably what would happen this year, in the event of a first-ballot or second-ballot nomination. The longer the process goes, however, the less influence the nominee is likely to have over his running mate. The delegates are free agents on this question, even on the first ballot, and are likely to get more and more bold about imposing their own choice, rather than deferring to the nominee, as the convention lingers on.

The possibilities here are really quite endless. They could drag up a ghost of elections past—interested in another go, Sarah Palin? They could bring one of the candidates whose bodies litter the 2016 trail back to life—did you know the VP gets a nice salary and an expense account and can take whole weeks off, Sen. Rubio? They could pair two people who loathe each other, something we haven't really seen since Kennedy/Johnson in 1960. How about Cruz/Ryan? Or Ryan/Cruz? It's just another reason to make sure you have a good supply of popcorn on hand by the end of July. (Z)

Trump's Children Have Donated to the Democrats

Donald Trump's three oldest children have campaigned for him, but only one of them, Donald Trump, Jr., is registered as a Republican. The others are independents. Furthermore, Trump's daughter Ivanka, one of his closest advisors, has donated significant sums to Democrats, including to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) among others. She has also donated to Republican candidates. (V)

Sanders Raises More Money than Clinton in March

In March, Bernie Sanders took in a staggering $44 million to Hillary Clinton's $30 million. Sanders takes great pride in getting all his money in small donations, but Clinton has now passed one million donors, most of whom gave less than $100. Of course, Clinton also has SuperPACs on her side, which Sanders has vehemently rejected. (V)

Clinton Grabs a Bit of Sanders' Thunder

California and New York both adopted bills on Monday that mandate a $15/hour minimum wage for most workers. While this would seem to be a Sanders kind of moment, it was actually Hillary Clinton who got all the headlines. The two governors who signed the bills—Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and Jerry Brown (D-CA)—are both Clinton supporters and, photo op-wise, Clinton was on stage with Cuomo at a large rally held immediately after he signed the New York bill. Sanders, by contrast, could only communicate his communications from a distance (specifically, Wisconsin).

Short-term, then, this was a win for Clinton. And it may prove to be an even bigger win long-term, as an illustration that "pragmatic" progressives can still achieve important goals. Certainly, Clinton worked to portray it that way (albeit without a direct attack on Sanders), declaring that Cuomo's accomplishment in securing passage of the bill demonstrated that, "feelings have to be matched with politics." (Z)

Sanders and Clinton will Debate in New York, After All

Aided by a little mediation from the DNC, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have found common ground on the next Democratic candidates' debate. It will take place in Brooklyn on April 14, and will be broadcast by CNN at 9:00 p.m. EST.

The Sanders campaign's statement on the agreement illustrates the nastier turn the Democratic campaign has taken, as well as the ill-will engendered by the debate planning:

Fortunately, we were able to move a major New York City rally scheduled for April 14 to the night before. We hope the debate will be worth the inconvenience for thousands of New Yorkers who were planning to attend our rally on Thursday but will have to change their schedules to accommodate Secretary Clinton's jam-packed, high-dollar, coast-to-coast schedule of fundraisers all over the country.

The Clinton campaign responded in kind, albeit a tad bit more gently:

We had thought the Sanders campaign would have accepted our offer for a Brooklyn debate on April 14 in a New York minute, but it ended up taking a few extra days for them to agree. We are glad they did.

We can only assume that the debate itself will be equally testy, though of course the two Democratic candidates are rank amateurs in that area as compared to the GOP debaters. (Z)

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---The Votemaster
Apr04 List of Republicans in Order of Likelihood of Getting Nomination
Apr04 Priebus Predicts It Will Be Trump, Cruz, or Kasich
Apr04 Is The Donald's Goose Cooked?
Apr04 Over 100 Delegates Will Desert Trump on the Second Ballot
Apr04 Hillary Clinton Runs Her First Ad in New York
Apr04 Sanders Picks Up Two Delegates in Nevada
Apr04 Sanders' Early Mistakes Come Back to Haunt Him
Apr04 Cruz Turns on Kasich
Apr04 Trump Could Help the Democrats in the House
Apr03 Trump's 1990 Interview in Playboy is Prophetic
Apr03 Trump Follows a Bad Week with a Bad Weekend
Apr03 A Trump Loss Tuesday Will Hurt Him More than a Clinton Loss Will Hurt Her
Apr03 Cruz Will Hold a Town Hall Meeting with Megyn Kelly as Moderator
Apr03 Tennessee Chooses Anti-Trump Delegates to the Convention
Apr03 Clinton, Sanders Bickering About Next Debate
Apr03 Voter Suppression in Arizona Worked Short-Term, Maybe Not Long-Term
Apr03 Two Senators Flip-Flop on Meeting with Garland
Apr03 Americans Are Really Angry--at the Other Party
Apr03 Rules Committee Will Be the Star of the GOP Convention
Apr02 The Great White Whale of Politics May Show Up This Year
Apr02 North Dakota Doesn't Vote Today
Apr02 Republican Pollster: Trump Would Be a Disaster
Apr02 Trump Flips on Abortion, Again
Apr02 Five Reasons the Ted Cruz Sex Scandal Story Won't Vanish
Apr02 The Economy Added 215,000 Jobs in March
Apr02 Clinton, Sanders, and Fossil Fuels
Apr01 Five Ways the Republican Race Could End
Apr01 50 Trump Delegates Could be in Jeopardy
Apr01 A First Look at the Electoral College
Apr01 What's Going on in Wisconsin?
Apr01 GOP's Information Campaign Is Underway
Apr01 Fundraising Picture More Complicated Than it Seems
Apr01 Corporations Are Getting Nervous about Being Associated with the GOP Convention
Apr01 Race for Top GOP Job Heats Up
Mar31 Sanders Opens Up Lead over Clinton in Wisconsin
Mar31 Cruz Leads Trump in Wisconsin
Mar31 Trump Calls for Punishing Women Who Have Abortions
Mar31 GOP Rules Committee Members Want to Scrap Rule That Helps Trump
Mar31 It's Almost Vice President Hunting Season
Mar31 Wisconsin's Voter ID Law is a Sham
Mar31 Conservative Talk Radio Hosts Are in a Tight Spot
Mar31 Democrats Are Beginning to Dare to Dream of a House Majority
Mar31 Frank Not Enthralled with Sanders
Mar31 Sanders Ballot Controversy Much Ado about Nothing
Mar30 Clinton Supporters More Enthusiastic than Sanders Supporters
Mar30 Another Schism Threatens the Republican Party
Mar30 Rubio Not Releasing His Delegates
Mar30 The Truth About Trump's Lies
Mar30 Democrats Go After Trump's Campaign Manager
Mar30 Trump's Path To the White House Runs Through the Rust Belt