Clinton 1915
Sanders 1233
 Needed   2383
Trump 846
Cruz 559
Rubio 171
Kasich 149
Needed 1237

News from the Votemaster

Trump Might Have a Money Problem in the General Election

If Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for President, he will quickly discover that tweeting gets you only so far. Hillary Clinton has a well-oiled machine, the Democratic National Committee will go all out for her, and big Democratic donors will instantly whip out their checkbooks. In a Trump-Clinton match, it is likely that some of the big players on Wall Street would prefer the caution and predictability of Clinton to the loose cannon of RINO Trump and pony up for her. She will be running ads 24/7 showing Trump speaking and insulting just about everyone except white Christian men. Without something like a billion dollars of his own to spend, he will be outgunned on TV.

One major Republican donor, Anthony Scaramucci, is worried that Trump may have a money problem. Some of the big donors have been burned before (guess where that $100 million that Jeb Bush raised for naught came from?) Others hate Hillary Clinton enough that they may chance it, but still others may be concerned that Trump will implement policies that they strongly oppose, such as barring immigrants and canceling trade agreements. Trump certainly doesn't have a billion dollars in loose change and most of his assets are tied up in difficult-to-sell real estate. The Republican National Committee is running away from him as fast as it can and will spend every penny it can get its hands on trying to salvage its Senate majority.

Trump has run such an unconventional campaign that he might keep at it and forego television advertising for tweetery. The trouble is that his tweets will reach younger voters—most of whom despise him—but miss the older white men he has to get to the polls. It would be quite an experiment, and if successful, will change American politics forever. If he crashes and burns, an awful lot of experts are going to be saying: "I told you so" on Nov. 9. (V)

Sanders Is Forcing Clinton to Spend All Her Money on the Primaries

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has achieved something the Republicans have been unable to do: Force Hillary Clinton to spend all her money on the primaries. Sanders has an infinitely deep well of money that just keeps gushing in and Clinton has to spend everything she has to match him. Their campaigns have raised almost exactly the same amount of money. Hers has brought in $187 million and his has raised $186 million, although she also has $76 million in SuperPAC money that he doesn't have. But since Sanders has vowed to continue the fight until the convention, she will have to continue to counter him in the five states that vote next week, and then in expensive New Jersey and California in June. While she may not be completely broke by July, she'll essentially have to start all over again for the general election.

Nevertheless, there are enough wealthy Democrats around who are panicked at the thought of Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as President that she might well be able to pull it off. If anybody can raise a billion dollars in four months, it is Hillary Clinton. Still, this is far from the scenario she had planned for and many senior Democrats are starting to tell Sanders that his quest is hopeless at this point and all he is doing is helping the Republicans. He is likely to ignore them and keep spending at a high clip. (V)

Trump Way Ahead in California

California votes on June 7, the final day in the Republican primary race. It now appears that Donald Trump will come close to the magic number of 1,237, and whether he makes it or not could all come down to California. A new poll shows Trump with 41% in the Golden State, far ahead of Ted Cruz, who has 23% and Gov. John Kasich, who is at 21%. California has 172 delegates up for grabs, but it isn't a single contest. There is a battle for the 13 at-large statewide delegates and separate battles in each of California's 53 congressional districts, so the statewide poll doesn't mean that much. Even if he is way behind statewide, Cruz could pick off a number of conservative districts in Orange County and the Central Valley. (V)

Trump to RNC: It Was All an Act

Team Trump's top honchos met with prominent members of the GOP establishment, and assured them that The Donald was just "projecting an image" in primary season, and that he will now "evolve" in a way that will make him more salable in the general election. "You'll start to see more depth of the person, the real person," declared Trump's new campaign manager Paul Manafort, "You'll see a real different guy."

The Republican pooh-bahs were reportedly skeptical, as well they should be. And thus far, Donald 2.0 is looking an awful lot like Donald 1.0. At literally the same time that the top secret meeting was underway, the candidate himself was announcing that he did not approve of replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. Later, he declared his opposition to North Carolina's anti-LGBT bill. So, "continuing to offend minority voters"—check. And "still pissing off the base"—check.

Perhaps, by June or July, Manafort will actually get The Donald to rein it in. Certainly, the post-primary pivot is a time-honored tradition in American presidential politics. However, it really does not appear to be in the billionaire's temperament to stop shooting from the hip. Further, it's impossible to think of an example of a candidate who successfully pivoted that far that fast, particularly in an age when everything is captured on film (or on Twitter). Probably wisest to just stick with Trump 1.0 and hope for the best. (Z)

RNC Rejects Robert's Rules of Order

At a contentious meeting of the Republican National Committee yesterday in Florida, the members voted down a proposal from Solomon Yue of Oregon to switch the convention rules from the traditional House of Representatives rules to Robert's Rules of Order. Robert's give far more power to the delegates and less to the chairman, expected to be Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). The vote bitterly divided the RNC, pitting a small group who want a more democratic convention against Reince Priebus and the party machine, all of whom want Ryan to have near-dictatorial powers to squelch actual debate and delegate initiatives. A key issue at stake is whether new candidates, knights, or horses of whatever color or shade, can be nominated later in the process if the convention is deadlocked and who would control that process. Under the House rules, the chairman has all the power. Some delegates felt that any changes in the rules this late in the game, even good ones, would bring out cries of the RNC rigging the system, so better the devil known than the devil unknown. (V)

Trump Is Affecting the Electorate

We're still in primary season, and Donald Trump is already having a noticeable effect on voters. He is, first of all, motivating Latinos to get to the polls to vote against him. A new poll shows that nearly half of Latino voters are more enthusiastic to vote in 2016 than they were in 2012, with 41% of the newly-enthused voters citing The Donald as the primary reason.

At the same time, he is dividing the Republican electorate, which saw a particularly high-profile divorce (of sorts) on Thursday. The "Friends of Abe"—a high-profile group of 1,500 Hollywood conservatives that included Kelsey Grammer, Jon Voight, and Jerry Bruckheimer as members—is shutting down. No official reason was given, but the off-the-record whispers are that club members clashed so violently on Trump's candidacy that there was no path forward. So, there went one of the GOP's easiest ways to organize a $200,000-a-plate fundraiser. (Z)

Republican Veepstakes Begin

While It is far from clear who will be the Republican presidential nominee, people are starting to think about the vice presidential race and how it might affect the choice of the presidential nominee. Everyone in the game is thinking not only about the players but also about the timing. In 1976, Ronald Reagan announced his Veep choice, then-senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania, a liberal, before the convention in the hopes of making the Pennsylvania delegates happy enough to vote for him in his battle against President Jerry Ford. It backfired. Conservatives were so angered by this move that they dug in their heels against Reagan.

Another downside of making an early choice is that the Veep slot might be needed as a bargaining chip at, or just before, a (potentially) contested convention. Marco Rubio has 173 delegates and John Kasich has about 200. Either of those could be somebody's Veep in return for their delegates.

Donald Trump, Inc. is under new management. Some might call it adult supervision. Experienced Republican operative Paul Manafort has taken over the show and suddenly Trump is acting—for him—more presidential. For example, yesterday he said that he would choose a Veep who was an experienced politician. With 18 years in Congress and two terms as governor of Ohio, they don't come much more experienced than Kasich. Trump also noted that by picking a seasoned politician rather than a business leader, he wouldn't have to vet the candidate for past scandals since that has already been done. Normally the vetting process takes six weeks or more. Another advantage that Trump would get from picking a well-known Republican politician would be having that person serve as a bridge to the mainstream of the Republican Party. And of course, he might even help governing, should it come to that. Think: Bush/Cheney 2000. (V)

Surprise: Not All Voters Are Angry

We have heard so much about angry grumpy old white men and angry young people of all races that one might get the impression the entire country is furious and wants radical change. A new poll for the Progressive Policy Institute shows that a fifth of the voters are swing voters and they are not angry. They don't identify with either party and most call themselves moderates. They are mostly concerned about the economy, which they see as fair to poor. They don't want to expand the role of government, as Bernie Sanders does, but they also don't see any need to "Make America great again," which Donald Trump thinks is important. They are more focused on growth than fairness and are willing to help corporations create more jobs. Republicans can score with this group if they can paint the Democrats as focusing on protecting yesterday's jobs rather than tomorrow's. They don't think the economy is completely broken or rigged and want to see incremental improvements in training, education, retirement benefits, infrastructure, and regulations. This incremental, rather than radical approach, fits in well with what Hillary Clinton is selling. A key question is whether they will vote. They don't have a great track record. Only 55% voted in one of the last two elections. (V)

New York Didn't Change Anything

A lot of media outlets have a fetish about "Todayism." Whatever happened today is the wave of the future. It is rare to read a media report saying: "While the election/event that happened today is interesting, it really isn't very important." It's always the opposite. Up until the Wisconsin primary, the pundits were all saying that Donald Trump is in like Flynn. Then he lost Wisconsin and Trump was dead meat. Then Trump won New York and it's deja vu all over again (sorry, Yogi) with Trump as the presumptive nominee. Same story on the Democratic side. Before New York, Bernie Sanders had won six of the previous contests and tied the other one. Bernie had momentum. Bernie was on a roll. Post New York, it's Bernie has no chance.

None of this makes much sense. Cruz's victory in Wisconsin was a bit surprising, but didn't change the dynamics of the Republican race at all. Everyone knew that April was loaded with states in the Northeast where Trump was the heavy favorite. One slight upset didn't change that. On the Democratic side, same story. Sanders does well in small, red states where there aren't a lot of Democrats so his victories in states like Idaho, Utah, and Alaska were not surprising. Where he had a lot of trouble is in states with many nonwhite voters, like New York. So he really didn't have any momentum going into New York, he just had a run of favorable states. Clinton is likely to win all five East Coast states next week and the press will then begin braying that she has momentum—until May 3, when Indiana votes, possibly giving rise to stories about how Sanders stopped her "momentum." His "momentum" will keep going until he hits states with many minority voters again. True momentum is rare in politics and this year the calendar gives a false impression as similar states have bunched their primaries to give an illusion that really has no basis. The Christian Science Monitor has a nice article about why New York didn't change anything. (V)

Clinton-Warren 2016?

Hillary Clinton's campaign chair, John Podesta, spoke the the Boston Globe on Thursday, and said Team Clinton would give serious consideration to a two-woman ticket. The "dream" pairing that this immediately has everyone talking about is Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Warren is one of the few Democratic women who is already nationally known, and her progressive credentials would help shore up the campaign's left flank.

WaPo's Chris Cillizza has considered the possibility, and he says he's not buying it. His argument has two prongs: (1) Clinton and Warren aren't terribly friendly with each other and don't see eye-to-eye on policy, and (2) Warren fills a need that does not likely need to be filled; if Donald Trump is the candidate the votes of women should be no issue, and a Sanders-supporter "Party Unity My Ass" revolt does not appear imminent. The conclusion is that Clinton will not choose Warren unless something changes that makes the pick absolutely necessary.

Cillizza is likely right, though his second argument is stronger than the first. There are likely to be more pressing needs, constituency-wise, than the ones Warren fills. Like, for example, the Midwest or the Latino vote. The candidates' personal relationship and/or political views are vastly less relevant; in the big leagues, those things are easily overlooked. Eisenhower and Nixon disliked each other, while for JFK and LBJ it was more like pure loathing. Once the election is over, the Veep can always be sent on a tour of eastern Europe, or assigned to attend ribbon-cutting ceremonies at museums, or given some other job far from the locus of power.

Cillizza's colleague James Hohmann has also weighed in on Clinton/Warren '16, citing both pros and cons:

  • Warren would motivate Sanders' supporters to vote like no other
  • If Clinton wants to pick another woman, she doesn't have a lot of serious choices other than Warren
  • Warren appears to want the job and would be a vicious attack dog, the Veep's traditional role
  • The gender gap with two women on the ticket would rival the Grand Canyon

  • Warren is the only female Democratic senator who has refused to endorse Clinton
  • The Republican governor of Massachusetts would appoint Warren's initial replacement
  • Picking a Harvard professor would allow the Republicans to paint the Democrats as "out of touch with America"
  • Warren hasn't really been well tested as a candidate and could say things that are true but play badly

All in all, it seems unlikely that Warren will get the nod. (Z & V)

Emily's List Is on the Air for Donna Edwards

While the presidential primary in Maryland next Tuesday is the biggest news in the Old Line state, there is also a bitterly fought Democratic primary going on for the seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). Maryland is so blue that whoever wins the primary is certain to become a United States senator in January. The main candidates are Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD). Van Hollen is white, a member of the House leadership, and as establishment as they come. Edwards is black and an insurgent, much in the style of Bernie Sanders. Emily's List has already poured $2.4 million into ads for Edwards and is going to pour another $500,000 into more ads for her in the final week. The most recent poll of the Senate race puts Van Hollen, a close ally of Hillary Clinton, ahead of Edwards 52% to 36%. This poll and previous ones show a very sharp racial divide. Basically, white people support Van Hollen and black people support Edwards. (V)

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---The Votemaster
Apr21 Trump Might Just Make It
Apr21 Trump Triumphed Across the Board in New York
Apr21 Who's Voting For Trump?
Apr21 Clinton Beat Sanders in Many Demographic Groups, but Not All
Apr21 Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Redistricting
Apr21 Southern Democrats Feeling Berned by Sanders
Apr21 Kos Has Had It With Bernie Fans
Apr21 Kasich Says GOP Doesn't Like Ideas
Apr21 Trump's Plane Is Not Registered
Apr21 May Hearing Set for Release of Trump University Lawsuit Documents
Apr21 Laughing at Ted Cruz
Apr20 Lousy Night for the Republican Establishment
Apr20 Great Night for the Democratic Establishment
Apr20 Clinton and Trump Have Big Leads in Maryland
Apr20 Married Women Don't Like Trump
Apr20 Neither Party Really Wants the White Working Class
Apr20 Democrats Are Winning the Battle of Garland
Apr20 Bribing Delegates is a Felony in Ohio
Apr20 Ryan Tells Republican Officials To Attend Their Own Convention
Apr19 New York Primary Is Today
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