News from the Votemaster
• Great Night for the Democratic Establishment
• Clinton and Trump Have Big Leads in Maryland
• Married Women Don't Like Trump
• Neither Party Really Wants the White Working Class
• Democrats Are Winning the Battle of Garland
• Bribing Delegates is a Felony in Ohio
• Ryan Tells Republican Officials To Attend Their Own Convention
Donald Trump cruised to a big victory in his home state, exceeding even the most optimistic polls. Here are the numbers:
This puts Trump right back on track after a rough few weeks. It gives him momentum heading into the string of Mid-Atlantic contests that are coming up, and at the same time suggests he will perform well in those contests, since the demographics of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, etc. are similar to those of the Empire State. This has Republican insiders talking about (or lamenting) the "real number" of delegates Trump needs to take the nomination. There are hundreds of delegates who will be unbound on even the first ballot. While Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has done a good job of wrangling a lot of those people, he certainly hasn't wrangled all of them. If Trump can get to 1,200 delegates—a number that is approaching inevitability at this point—he would need less than 10% of the free agents to flock to his banner. It's very doable. When Trump's victory was called, the Empire State Building lit up in red, possibly to indicate that the GOP has a bloodbath on its hands.
Meanwhile, the two "establishment" candidates took a pasting on Tuesday. Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) showed us, once again, that he simply doesn't interest a lot of Republicans. He won exactly one contest—NY-12, a very liberal district in Queens—by a razor-thin 0.4% margin. His other three delegates came as a result of keeping Trump under 50% in NY-10, NY-20, and NY-24. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz learned the hard way that one of New York's values is that they don't like Ted Cruz. Not only did he take zero delegates, there wasn't a single district in which he was even competitive. His best result was in heavily Latino NY-15, where he got 24.5% of the vote, just a wee bit behind Trump's 62.2%. To add insult to injury, Cruz was officially eliminated from being able to win the Republican nomination in primary season. To add even more insult, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) took to Twitter to needle the Texas Senator for being a whiner and not a leader.
And finally, the icing on Reince Priebus' bad news cake came in the form of a pair of polls released on Tuesday. A Gallup Poll reveals that 63% of Republicans think that the campaign is having a negative impact on the Party's image, compared to only 24% of Democrats who feel that way. And a CNN exit poll produced a very similar result: 60% of Republicans say the primaries have divided the Party, while only 36% say the primaries have energized it. The Democratic respondents said exactly the opposite: 67% for energized and 29% for divided. So, not only does it look like Priebus & Co. will be stuck with their least favorite nominee, but they will also have a party whose members are feeling demoralized facing off against a party whose members are not. It is not a good time to be RNC Chair. (Z)
While the Republican pooh-bahs were getting kicked in the teeth on Tuesday, their Democratic counterparts were having a fine time, as Hillary Clinton won a comfortable victory over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Here are the numbers:
Though Sanders had promised a win, the results were entirely predictable, and were in line with the polls (which gave Clinton anywhere from a 10- to 17-point advantage). Clinton took the black vote by a 2-to-1 margin (though Sanders did well in Harlem), did almost as well with Latinos (60%), and crushed Sanders among moderates and older voters. Sanders claimed most of his regular constituencies—white men, young people, progressives—but did not benefit from his usual independent "bump" because New York has a closed primary. As a result, he gave back about half of the 70 delegates he gained during his "hot streak" that began on March 22.
The one bit of good news for Sanders is that he won most of New York's 62 counties. He was schlonged, as they say in New York, in New York City and its suburbs, but he won upstate and in the western part of the state. This follows the usual pattern of his winning in low-population rural areas where most people are Republicans and the few Democrats left are quite liberal.
Why wasn't Sanders able to win statewide, or at least make the race competitive, given his pronunciations and his momentum? Politico's Gabriel Debenedetti has taken a stab at that question, and his answer is essentially that Sanders has not run a very good campaign for the last few weeks. He blew the now-infamous New York Daily News interview and also took a decidedly negative turn in his rhetoric—squabbling over the Democratic debates, and attacking Clinton's qualifications to be president after misconstruing a Washington Post headline. Given that the heart of Sanders' appeal is his optimism, the negativity surely did not play well. And on top of that, of course, he lost two critical days of campaigning when he traveled to the Vatican to deliver a speech.
In any event, the upshot is that Sanders has reached the de facto end of the road, at least in terms of competing for the Democratic nomination. Clinton now has a lead of 275 pledged delegates and is virtually certain to pass 300 by next Wednesday. This number will probably be reduced somewhat in May, but will take another big jump forward when California and New Jersey vote on June 7. Commentators from across the spectrum agree on this point. The very liberal Huffington Post's headline declared "Little Path Left For Bernie Sanders After New York." The more centrist Vanity Fair says "Time Is Running Out for Bernie Sanders." Right-wing Fox News opines "It's Over for the Vermont Senator."
Publicly, Sanders is not giving up the fight. He has already moved on to campaigning in Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, his manager Jeff Weaver continues to argue that they expect to flip a large number of superdelegates who are currently committed to Clinton. This, however, is fantasy. The superdelegates are, by definition, members of the establishment. They are not going to throw an establishment candidate over the side of the boat in favor of an outsider insurgent, particularly when the establishment candidate has gotten millions more votes.
Sanders may well continue his campaign right up to the convention, and that's a good choice, if his purpose is to make sure that the Party does not conveniently forget about the issues to which he has drawn attention. But if he really thinks he is still a candidate for president, then he's just beating a dead donkey. (Z)
Now that New Yorkers have had their say, attention will move to the states that vote next Tuesday, one of which is Maryland. A new PPP poll shows Hillary Clinton crushing Bernie Sanders there by a margin of 58% to 33%. Of the five states that vote next week, Maryland has the second largest number of Democratic delegates at stake (95), after Pennsylvania (189).
Donald Trump is also doing well in Maryland. According to a new PPP poll he is at 43%, with John Kasich at 29% and Ted Cruz last at 24%. (V)
Donald Trump loves to point out how much women love him, but a new Purple Strategies poll shows that 70% of married women—a key Republican constituency—don't like him at all. They are not wild about Hillary Clinton, either, with 58% turning thumbs down on her. In a head-to-head matchup of Clinton vs. Trump, among married women, she wins 48% to 36% with the rest holding their noses. General election polls this early don't mean a lot, but there is so much evidence now that Trump is going to fare very badly with women, that if he ends up with the nomination, he is going to be a huge underdog. Hillary Clinton knows all this very well and trying to get married women to warm up to her is going to be a major part of her campaign. (V)
While white working-class voters are a constantly shrinking demographic, they are still important enough to court. On the Republican side, Donald Trump is railing against "the system" and on the Democratic side Bernie Sanders is doing the same thing. But neither party is really enthusiastic about these voters. Many Republicans are coalescing around Ted Cruz in order to stop Trump but few leaders feel any empathy toward blue-collar workers; they just want their votes. Republican policies are still those of the donor class. Sanders' policies, such as a $15/hour minimum wage, would help blue-collar workers, but his core support is really from young, well-educated liberals. Hillary Clinton is not popular with unions, in part due to the NAFTA agreement pushed by her husband, which has shipped many jobs to Mexico. Thus neither party really is focused on this group, important as it may be. From an economic point of view, blue-collar workers ought to be Democrats (as they were during FDR's administration), but they are repelled by the Democratic Party's views on abortion, same-sex marriage, bathroom usage by transgender people, and similar social issues. Prioritizing social issues over economic ones is not unique to the white working class. Many successful professionals and business leaders are Democrats because they like the Democrats' views on these issues and the environment, even though the Democrats want to raise their taxes. (V)
When President Obama nominated Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia, the Senate Republicans refused to even hold a hearing, let alone a confirmation vote. Initial public opinion was divided, with 43% wanting the Senate to vote and 42% wanting the Senate to wait until next year. Since then, public opinion has shifted radically, and in the Democrats' favor. Now 52% want a vote now and only 30% say wait. Most of the change has come from Republicans who now favor a vote.
There could be two reasons for the switch. Some voters may now feel that the Senate is shirking its duty to advise and consent. However, some Republicans may fear that Hillary Clinton is going to be the next President and think she will pick a younger and more liberal nominee, so better to accept Garland than take a chance. Also worth noting is that although public opinion now strongly favors a Senate vote, this does not mean that people's vote for President depends on this issue when there are so many other issues out there. Still, it could be a factor with a small number of voters and in a close election that could matter. (V)
If Donald Trump comes into the Republican National Convention a handful of votes shy of the 1,237 needed to win on the first ballot, he may be tempted to make some of the unbound delegates an offer they can't refuse. However, he could run up against Sec. 3599.01 of the Ohio Revised Code. The first clause of which says no person shall:
(1) Give, lend, offer, or procure or promise to give, lend, offer, or procure any money, office, position, place or employment, influence, or any other valuable consideration to or for a delegate, elector, or other person
Subsequent clauses deal with intimidation and doing favors for third parties (e.g., the delegate's spouse). Doing one of these bad things is a fourth-degree felony. There is no fine or jail term associated with breaking the law, but the guilty party will forfeit the nomination or office. However, Ohio has nothing to say about federal offices, so the law is moot. Besides, it would be hard to enforce it if nothing is in writing and when asked about it, all the parties claimed to know nothing.
This issue is not just academic. Yesterday Trump's Iowa co-chair, Tana Goertz, accused Cruz of "stealing, lying, and bribing people to become delegates." She didn't specify where this activity was taking place, but if it was outside of Ohio, then the Ohio courts wouldn't have jurisdiction over it anyway.
The Ohio law is about bribing delegates. It doesn't address hiring reporters and editors as "consultants," so the fact that Donald Trump paid Breitbart News editor Sebastian Gorka $8,000 last year for "policy consulting" probably would be legal, even in Ohio. Breitbart claims that Gorka isn't a real editor; it's just an honorary title. However, that doesn't explain why Trump hired Gorka or what he did for that money. (V)
If you are an elected politician, it shouldn't be necessary for your leader to instruct you to attend your own convention. That is the high point of the four year cycle (except for inauguration day if your side wins). Yet we are now being treated to the spectacle of Speaker Paul Ryan, the highest elected Republican in the country, instructing Republican officials to attend the Republican National Convention. The problem is that a number of them, especially Republican senators in blue states like Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) have said they may be too busy campaigning to come (English translation: I don't want to be within a country mile of Donald Trump). These vulnerable senators are scared to death that the Democrats will tar the entire Republican ticket with Trumpism and want to be able to run as quasi-independents. (V)Email a link to a friend or share:
Apr19 Indiana Could Be Crucial
Apr19 The Republican Party Isn't Fair--but Not for the Reasons Trump Gives
Apr19 McConnell Is Increasingly Optimistic that the Convention Will Go To a Second Ballot
Apr19 Shakeup for Team Trump
Apr19 What if Facebook Decides They Don't Like Trump?
Apr19 Trump Is Costing the Democrats Money
Apr19 Bernie Sanders Is Following a Well-Trodden Path
Apr18 Republicans Don't Want a White Knight
Apr18 Chairman of the GOP Rules Committee Blasts Priebus
Apr18 The Plot Thickens In Colorado
Apr18 Republican Delegates Feel the Power
Apr18 Trump's Path to the Nomination
Apr18 Trump and Sanders Have More in Common than Many People Think
Apr18 Clinton is Warming to a $15 Minimum Wage
Apr18 Clinton Winning States that Best Represent the Democratic Party
Apr18 California Independents May Be Unable to Vote in Primaries
Apr17 Cruz Sweeps Wyoming
Apr17 Trump Threatens the Republican National Committee
Apr17 Can the GOP Survive 2016?
Apr17 Priebus Prefers to Face Clinton
Apr17 Only Three Publications Have Endorsed Donald Trump
Apr17 Trump May Win the West Virginia Primary but Get Few Delegates
Apr17 Hillary Clinton Gets the Most Negative Media Coverage
Apr17 Clinton Repudiates Clinton
Apr17 Sanders Supporters Throw Money at Clinton
Apr16 Democratic Debate Postmortem
Apr16 Republican National Committee to Debate the Convention Rulebook
Apr16 Trump Campaigns on New York Values
Apr16 Rove Dumps on Trump
Apr16 Nearly Half of All super-PAC Money Comes from 50 Families
Apr16 Nearly Half of All Super-PAC Money Comes from 50 Families
Apr16 The GOP Convention Could End in Chaos
Apr16 Sanders' Trip to Rome Was a Quickie
Apr16 Sanders Releases His 2014 Tax Returns
Apr15 Clinton, Sanders Spar in New York
Apr15 Trump Has a Big Lead in Pennsylvania
Apr15 Sam Wang: Trump Is Still the Favorite for the GOP Nomination
Apr15 One-Third of Republican Voters Are Open to an Independent Run by Trump
Apr15 New York Post Endorses Trump
Apr15 Senators Won't Support Cruz Even When He Asks Directly
Apr15 Trump Could Lose 100 Delegates This Weekend
Apr15 From Brooklyn to Vatican in 12 Hours
Apr15 Democrats Will Sue Arizona Today over Voting Rights
Apr15 Kirk Goes Full RINO To Save His Neck
Apr14 Cruz Likely To Stop Trump on the Second Ballot
Apr14 The Conservative Media Giants Are Badly Split
Apr14 Trump Lashes Out at Reince Priebus
Apr14 Cruz Is Outmaneuvering Trump in California
Apr14 Lewandowski Likely to Avoid Prosecution