Clinton 2159
Sanders 1370
 Needed   2383
Trump 955
Cruz 562
Rubio 171
Kasich 153
Needed 1237

News from the Votemaster

Trump Goes Five-for-Five on "Super Tuesday Four"

Donald Trump had his best night of the campaign on Tuesday, taking all five states and nearly all of the delegates up for grabs. Here are the numbers (percent of votes reported in parentheses):

Republican Results
Pennsylvania (99%) 56.7% 17 21.6% 0 19.4% 0
Maryland (99%) 54.5% 38 11.7% 0 23.0% 0
Connecticut (99%) 57.7% 28 11.7% 0 28.5% 0
Delaware (100%) 60.8% 16 15.9% 0 20.4% 0
Rhode Island (100%) 63.8% 11 10.4% 3 24.4% 5
Total   110   3   5

Trump was, in a word, dominant. He won nearly all demographic groups, and he won every single county in each of the five states. In his victory speech, he declared that "it's over" and labeled himself the "presumptive nominee." He also spent much of the speech getting started on his anti-Clinton attacks, calling her "crooked Hillary," and declaring that her only qualification for office is "the woman card," but also that "women hate her."

As good a night as it was, Trump is getting ahead of himself. The various projections—which put him in the neighborhood of 1,237, but not necessarily over it—all presumed that he would do very well in the Mid-Atlantic. He outperformed those projections, but not in a way that is game-changing. Going into Tuesday, Trump needed 58% of the remaining delegates, now he needs 50%. However, he's also about to hit a run of not-Trump-friendly winner-take-all states, including Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, where he's not likely to increase his delegate total. And the projections already have him winning New Jersey and splitting West Virginia. This being the case, Tuesday's results really didn't change the analysis at all. If he can pick up enough delegates in Indiana and California, he'll get to the threshold. If he can't, he won't. And because of the difficulties in polling Indiana (restrictive laws) and California (size), we won't know for sure until the voters in those states head to the polls.

Indeed, to the extent that Tuesday was significant, it was in underscoring how non-viable Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) are. Cruz's evening was nothing short of humiliating; he didn't break 20% in any state, and he laid claim to at most three pledged delegates (according to the Green Papers). His case for the nomination was that he could broaden his appeal beyond evangelicals, unlike a Mike Huckabee or a Rick Santorum. It is now clear that he cannot; the only state where he took a significant portion of the non-evangelical vote was Wisconsin, and that was due to massive #NeverTrump organizing. Cruz can presumably have a long career as a U.S. Senator if he wants to, but it's simply inconceivable that he will ever be elected President of the United States.

For Kasich, the news wasn't any better. His case for the nomination was electability, that he could consolidate the moderate vote based on his track record and his competence. But outside of his home state, Kasich hasn't been remotely competitive. Not in Michigan, not in Pennsylvania, not in Wisconsin, not in Iowa, not in New York. If he can't get the voters in the rust belt excited, then how can he possibly get anyone excited?

And that may be the biggest victory of the evening for Trump. Not the delegates he picked up, but the massive pile of evidence that the GOP really doesn't have any other viable option to whom they can turn. (Z)

Clinton Effectively Puts Sanders Away

Hillary Clinton also had a (predictably) strong night on Tuesday, winning four of five states, with only Rhode Island going to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Here are the numbers:

Democratic Results
Pennsylvania (99%) 55.6% 91 43.6% 59
Maryland (99%) 63.0% 53 33% 24
Connecticut (99%) 51.7% 27 46.5% 24
Delaware (100%) 59.8% 12 39.2% 9
Rhode Island (100%) 43.3% 11 55.0% 13
Total   194   129

Clinton's performance on Tuesday was not quite as overwhelming as Donald Trump's; she won four of five states and a much smaller percentage of the available delegates. However, she actually did more to improve her chances at the nomination than The Donald did, and she knows it. Her victory speech was a hybrid, carefully tailored to her general election needs. About half of it sounded like a convention speech, celebrating a list of Democratic Party All-Stars—FDR, JFK, Barack Obama. And the other half was focused on Sanders and his supporters, complimenting the Vermont Senator and embracing many of his policy positions.

Sanders, then, has achieved what he originally set out to do: He has made sure that progressive issues are going to be reflected in the Democratic campaign and platform. As to being the nominee, well, the math just isn't there. In the last week, he's given back all of the ground he picked up during his seven-state run of victories (and then some). There are many ways to parse the math, but we'll go with this one: Sanders could take 60% of all remaining delegates (781) and flip 40% of Clinton's superdelegates (208) and he would still be short of the number needed for nomination (2,349).

After the results were in, Sanders' staff said they are going to "examine" their campaign, whatever that might mean. There is a good case to be made that now is the time for him to throw in the towel: He's at the height of his influence, and the gesture would make him seem like a team player while also allowing him to maximize the number of concessions he gets from Clinton and from the Party. If he keeps going, it may make it look like this is about him, and not about the issues, and that could turn voters/party insiders off. He's not very likely to take this advice, of course, unless he's just really sick of airplanes and rallies and newspaper interviews. But he really should think about it. (Z)

Democratic Senate Primaries Go the Establishment's Way

DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz had a good night on Tuesday. Not only did her good friend Hillary perform very well, but both of the key Senate primaries went her way.

In Maryland, a primary that turned quite nasty and was noticeably split along racial lines, was decided in favor of Rep. Chris Van Hollen. He defeated Rep. Donna Edwards easily, taking 53% of the vote to her 39%. Van Hollen's opponent will be Kathy Szeliga, who is currently serving in Maryland's House of Delegates. The Old Line State is deep blue, so Szeliga is going to lose even more decisively than Edwards did.

In Pennsylvania, the DNC's handpicked candidate—Katie McGinty—won a surprisingly easy victory over former representative and retired three-star admiral Joe Sestak, 44% to 33%. Sestak was a little too maverick for the establishment's taste, and already lost in 2010 to the Republican candidate, Sen. Pat Toomey, who is now running for re-election. McGinty will run a sharper campaign, and will be doing so in a presidential year, where coattails will be available. She still has fairly low name recognition, so her support has a chance to grow in a way that Sestak's did not, though voters may not be thrilled with her total lack of experience in elective office. The DSCC will definitely pull out all the stops to help, since Pennsylvania just became one of their top three or four pickup opportunities. (Z)

Trump Rejects the Idea of Being Presidential

Donald Trump's newly hired chief strategist, Paul Manafort, has been going around telling people that Trump's antics are just an act and he will soon starting acting presidential. Trump apparently didn't get the memo and just demoted Manafort, giving power back to his previous campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Another sticking point was money. According to inside sources who talked to Politico, Manafort wanted Trump to spend serious money running television commercials in upcoming states, as all candidates do. Trump balked, saying: "I can get on every show I want for free and you're telling me not to do that and that I should pay for my advertising?" Manafort clearly understands something Trump doesn't: While Trump can get on political talk shows easily, not everyone watches political talk shows, and normal advertising is aimed at viewers who don't watch those shows.

Nevertheless, Manafort is having an effect. Trump is now willing to read prepared speeches from a TelePrompter, hire Manafort-approved staffers, and do some advertising in California. In the past month, Trump has hired the former campaign managers of Ben Carson, Chris Christie, and Scott Walker in addition to Manafort. With so many big shots running one campaign, there were bound to be conflicts, and they are already starting to appear. (V)

The Issues Favor the Democrats

The country moved to the right in the 1980s but it is moving the other way now and that spells trouble for the Republicans not only this year, but in years to come. In the 1980s, the issues on the front burner were taxes, welfare reform, crime, and wasteful government spending. This gave Republicans the upper hand and led to the elections of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

According to political analyst Stuart Rothenberg, now the wind is blowing in the other direction. The issues now dominating the discussion include inequality and Wall Street, on which most voters agree with the Democrats. On immigration and trade, the Democrats are united but the Republicans are divided. In addition, many fewer Americans are religious than 30 or 40 years ago, which also hurts the Republicans.

Finally, each year the country is getting more diverse and the percentage of voters who are old, white, Christian men—the Republican Party's base—is getting smaller by the year. This doesn't mean the Republican Party is about to become irrelevant, but it is clearly swimming upstream. (V)

Is Clinton Thinking about Her Running Mate the Right Way?

In the next 3 months, lots of ink and pixels are going to be devoted to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)'s chances about being Hillary Clinton's Veep, not to mention those of Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Sec. Julian Castro of HUD. At The Week, Paul Waldman argues that all these writers, and probably Clinton herself, are framing the question wrong. The right question is: "Would you vote for a candidate you don't like because you like the Veep?" If the answer is "no," then you realize that the Veep doesn't make a lot of difference. Can you imagine many of Bernie Sanders' supporters voting for Donald Trump if he got Elizabeth Warren to be his running mate? Maybe if the Veep's home state is close or his ethnic group is very important, it might matter a little, but probably not a large amount. That said, the main criterion for picking a running mate probably shouldn't be his or her appeal to some geographic or demographic group. The right criteria have to do with how useful the person will be to Clinton if she wins. A Veep who doesn't help much with winning the election and is useless once in office is not a good choice (yes, Dan Quayle, we are looking at you). So what are good things to look for in a running mate? Here is Waldman's list:

The right experience. This means experience in the federal government. If the President assigns the Veep a major project involving multiple agencies, someone who doesn't know how the government actually works and where the levers of power are, won't get the job done. Dick Cheney and Joe Biden both served their Presidents well because they knew how things worked.

Stature. If the Veep goes overseas to represent the President, someone who is wet behind the years and who everyone knows was placed on the ticket in order to get 2% more votes from his demographic group won't get any respect and won't be an effective representative. Julian Castro is an example of someone who would never even be considered if his name were Julian Murphy.

Personal rapport. Clinton says this is not important but that is clearly wrong. The most important thing a Vice President can have is the President's ear. If everyone knows that the President doesn't like the Vice President, no one will believe it when the Veep is claiming to speak for the President. When Biden says: "Obama wants such and such," no one doubts him for a second.

Political skills. When on assignment for the President, the Veep is going to encounter high-ranking people who don't like what they are being told to do. It is the Veep's job to either cajole, charm, or browbeat that person into doing what the President wants, and this may require the same kind of skills the President needs.

The piece concludes with admonition that picking someone for an imagined help with winning the election is shortsighted and she would be better off picking someone who will help her succeed once in office. While he doesn't mention it, this applies to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and any other presidential candidate. (V)

Trump University Case Will Go to Trial

A New York judge, Cynthia Kern, ruled yesterday that the $40 million civil suit alleging fraud against the now-defunct Trump University will go to trial. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has claimed that the organization used bait-and-switch tactics to lure students into paying up to $35,000 for a worthless series of seminars. Donald Trump claimed that he had hand picked the instructors, all experts on real estate. It now appears that not only did he not hand pick the instructors, but only one of them even met Trump.

The trial date has not been set yet, but the judge said she wanted it to take place expeditiously. In the worst case for Trump, he could be called to testify in the fall, during the general election campaign. A similar case might go to trial in California in August. Having two trials go on during the campaign is not going to look good for Trump, so he will strive mightily to have them postponed until after the election. (V)

Sanders Is Sending Supporters a Photo of Clinton at Trump's Wedding

Although Bernie Sanders promised to run a campaign based on the issues ($15 minimum wage, breaking up the banks, etc.) he is now sending his supporters a photo of a smiling Hillary Clinton standing next to Donald Trump at one of his weddings. This is more traditional negative campaigning than it is a position on a issue. Sanders' campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said that he was simply responding to the Clinton side, which was implying that a vote for Sanders is a vote for Trump. Sanders said it would be helpful if Clinton would adopt some of his positions, but she responded that in 2008, when she clearly saw that she had lost, she embraced her opponent wholeheartedly.

Clinton has to walk a fine line here. She would like Sanders to give up so she can get on with the business of dissing Trump, but since he won't, she has to keep pushing back against him while at the same time not offending his supporters so much that they will stay home on election day. (V)

Clinton Wants a Cabinet that Looks Like America

In an interview Monday, Hillary Clinton said that she wants a cabinet that looks like America. When asked if that meant 50% of it would be female, she agreed. The cabinet consists of the heads of the 15 executive departments and the Vice President. Currently four of them are women. Clinton would double that. Does she mean it or is she just politicking? Probably both. Clinton has supported women's rights her whole life but is also undoubtedly aware that 75% of Republicans, 76% of independents, and 74% of Democrats say women are as qualified as men for political leadership. Nevertheless, if she were to make this promise central to her campaign, it could probably help her get more women to vote for her, especially if she faces Donald Trump in the general election, who has repeatedly dissed women. (V)

Email a link to a friend or share:

---The Votemaster
Apr26 Five States Vote Today
Apr26 Tuesday Also Has Senate Drama
Apr26 Kasich-Cruz Truce Lasted One Day
Apr26 Cruz Is Already Working on the Unbound Delegates
Apr26 Trump Hires Another Heavyweight
Apr26 Meet the New Trump, Same as the Old Trump
Apr26 Bad News for Candidate Trump
Apr26 Federal Judge Upholds NC Voter ID Law
Apr26 Oppo Research Is Now Open Source
Apr25 Kasich and Cruz Are Teaming Up
Apr25 Republican Contest Gets Uglier and Uglier
Apr25 Trump and Clinton Have Big Leads in Pennsylvania
Apr25 Trump and Clinton Have Big Leads in Rhode Island
Apr25 Clinton Campaigning Vigorously on Gun Control in Connecticut
Apr25 The Problems with Sanders' Superdelegate Strategy
Apr25 Will the Contests Committee Trump the Rules Committee?
Apr25 Libertarian Bid for a Failed Republican?
Apr25 Betting Has Started on the Veep Slot
Apr25 Rubio Doesn't Want to Be Vice President
Apr25 Members of Congress Are Glorified Telemarketers
Apr25 What Could Sanders Demand of Clinton to Get His Support?
Apr25 Kasich and Cruz Are Teaming Up
Apr25 Republican Contest Gets Uglier and Uglier
Apr25 Trump and Clinton Have Big Leads in Pennsylvania
Apr25 Trump and Clinton Have Big Leads in Rhode Island
Apr25 Clinton Campaigning Vigorously on Gun Control in Connecticut
Apr25 The Problems with Sanders' Superdelegate Strategy
Apr25 Will the Contests Committee Trump the Rules Committee?
Apr25 Libertarian Bid for a Failed Republican?
Apr25 Betting Has Started on the Veep Slot
Apr25 Rubio Doesn't Want to Be Vice President
Apr25 Members of Congress Are Glorified Telemarketers
Apr24 Trump Just Hired a Lobbyist To Run His Campaign
Apr24 Trump's Argument That the System Is Rigged Is Working
Apr24 Anti-Trump Groups Collide with Cruz and Kasich
Apr24 Donald Trump: LGBT Champion
Apr24 Trump Sinks in Maine
Apr24 Koch Says Clinton May Be Preferable to Republican
Apr24 Is Hillary Clinton Dishonest?
Apr24 Sanders: I Am Losing Because Poor People Don't Vote
Apr24 Clinton Is Beginning to Look for a Running Mate
Apr23 Trump Still Doesn't Understand How the Game is Played
Apr23 Indiana Could Be Cruz's Last Stand
Apr23 Fisking the Fundraising Reports
Apr23 RNC Is Scaling Back Down-ballot Commitments
Apr23 Trump Has a Huge Lead in California
Apr23 Trump Has 378 Companies Registered in Delaware
Apr23 Politics in the 21st Century
Apr23 Sanders Has His Own Personal Holy Grail
Apr23 So Much for Little Marco