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

News from the Votemaster

GOP Has Split into Ryan and Trump Wings

De facto, the Republican Party has split into at least two wings, one run by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and one run by Donald Trump. Both of them say they are against being governed by Washington, but at most one of them believes it. The fight between the two wings is likely to continue beyond this election. If Trump is the nominee and loses in November, no doubt some other ambitious Republican will pick up where he left off. Actually, one can make a case that there is a third wing as well, the conservative movement wing, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

The difference among the wings is stark. Trump has no philosophy at all. Ryan has a somewhat conservative philosophy that he has honed over the years in Congress. Cruz has adopted the tea party philosophy that government is bad and should be destroyed. The confrontation has been building all year and is going to be very clear during the fall. In reality, Ryan and Cruz want Trump to fail so they each have a shot at running in 2020. If Trump becomes president, that will be hard to do. If Trump loses and the ever-unpopular Cruz (and last man standing in 2016) becomes the 2020 nominee, the Republicans may be staring at 8 years of Hillary Clinton as President, not a pleasant thought for them.

One of Ryan's goals for the coming years is to reduce the power of the President. He claims there is a fourth branch of government—unelected bureaucrats—who write rules and regulations that actually run the country. He wants to severely rein them in. Of perhaps more immediate concern to Ryan is maintaining his majority in the House. With Trump at the top of the ticket, it is conceivable that he could lose it. (V)

Republicans Have a Big Latino Problem

A poll from Latino Decisions, a firm that specializes in polling Latinos in English and Spanish, has presented strong evidence that the Republican Party has a very serious problem with Latinos. Basically, they hate the Party. On the question about whether the GOP cares about Latinos, 14% said yes. For the Democrats it was 53%. On whether they have a favorable/unfavorable view of various politicians, the scores were: Barack Obama 74%/22%, Hillary Clinton 62%/32%, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 61%/24%, Donald Trump 9%/87%, Ted Cruz 36%/52%.

Mitt Romney got 27% of the Latino vote in 2012. The 2013 autopsy report commissioned by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus concluded that the Party needed 40% of the Latino vote to win the White House. Donald Trump's 9% is not going to cut it, although Cruz's 36% comes close.

On the issues, 41% said that immigration is the top issue, 24% said the economy is #1, and 16% said education is tops. With so many Latinos being concerned with immigration and Trump threatening to deport 11 million people, most of them Latinos, he is not going to do well with this increasingly important group. (V)

The GOP Is Losing Millennials, Too

Much of the narrative in 2016 has centered on how candidate Trump will serve to alienate young voters from the GOP. Certainly, he will, but as WaPo's Catherine Rampell notes, the problem goes much, much deeper than that. Opinion polls, not to mention the success of Bernie Sanders, make clear that the biggest planks in the Republican platform run contrary to the values and worldview of most millennial voters.

On social issues, for example, Republicans are anti-gay, anti-abortion, and anti-immigrant. Millennials, as a group, strongly favor marriage equality, choice, and a liberal immigration policy. On healthcare, the GOP wants to get rid of Obamacare, while the youngsters believe healthcare is a basic human right. On economic issues, the under-30 set feels more warmly about socialism than it does about capitalism, while having little interest in tax policy. Paul Ryan, et al., feel rather differently. And on the environment, members of the red team are global warming skeptics, while millennials feel it's one of the key issues of our time. Reince Priebus & Co. are already worried about losing the minority vote, perhaps it's time for a youth vote autopsy, as well. (Z)

Model Shows That Trump Will Win the Nomination

A computer simulation model from Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium shows that if Donald Trump wins Indiana this coming Tuesday, he has a 98% chance of getting the nomination. If he loses Indiana, his chances drop to 97%. Here are the simulation results.

Sam Wang graphs

The model takes into account that most of the remaining states allocate delegates proportionally, so it doesn't matter much if Trump gets 53% or 47% there. New Jersey is winner take all, but Trump is a shoo-in there, given that he won New York and Pennsylvania by large margins. Most of the uncertainty in the graphs is due to the outcomes of individual congressional districts in California. (V)

Republican Women Want Trump To Pick a Woman as Running Mate

Republican women in Congress are urging Donald Trump to choose a woman for the #2 slot, should he be the nominee. Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) was one of the first to point out to him that he has a problem with women and putting one on the ticket might help erase his image as a misogynist. Now that Ted Cruz has picked a female running mate, the pressure on Trump will only increase. A big problem, however, is finding one who is willing to undertake a project that is widely expected to be a disaster. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)'s name has been mentioned, but she is currently fighting a tough battle for reelection. Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM) is often mentioned, but she has been very critical of Trump on immigration. Trump has said that he wants someone with Washington experience, which further limits the pool of possible candidates. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is very conservative and has plenty of experience, so she is a possibility.

The problem with Blackburn and all House members is that all of them are up for reelection in 2016. Would a House member give up a safe seat for a quixotic run? Most probably wouldn't. That means if Trump wants a woman with Washington experience, he is limited to female Republican senators who are not up for reelection in 2016. The complete list consists of Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV). Ernst was seated in January 2015. Fischer was seated in January 2013. Neither has much experience. Capito was seated in the Senate in 2015, although she served seven terms in the House before that. She is a moderate. Collins, also a moderate, hasn't even committed to voting for Trump if he is the nominee. Thus the chances of an experienced senator as Trump's running mate who is currently in Congress are not high. How about an unknown Republican governor nobody has ever heard of? Been there, done that, didn't work so great. (V)

Democratic Veeps Are Nearly Always Senators

Since 1940, all Democratic vice presidential candidates have been senators except two. In 1972, George McGovern picked then-senator Thomas Eagleton but had to trade him in for Sargent Shriver after it was revealed that Eagleton had undergone electroshock treatments. In 1984, then-representative Geraldine Ferraro was Walter Mondale's running mate. All the others from 1940 onwards were senators. Although it is probably just a coincidence, 1972 and 1984 were the biggest Democratic defeats in decades. So, Hillary Clinton had better start checking out senators.

Picking a senator has special value to the presidential candidate. Governors tend to be pragmatic problem solvers. Senators have to vote on a large range of hot-button topics, so by picking a senator, the candidate sends a clear message to the public. For example, if Hillary Clinton wants to make it clear to Bernie Sanders supporters that she is a progressive, choices like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) would do just fine. If she wants to make a pitch to moderates, then Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) or Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) would fill the bill. One major consideration, however, is holding the Senate seat. The governors of Massachusetts and Ohio are Republicans whereas the governors of Oregon and Virginia are Democrats. (V)

Politico's Panel of Insiders Think Clinton Will Crush Trump

Politico has assembled a panel of political operatives who are well informed and plugged in and asked them who would win a Clinton-Trump matchup. Nearly 90% said Clinton would win their state, including 76% of the Republicans. In Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Republican operatives were especially downbeat. An Ohio Republican said Trump would do well in Appalachia and the Mahoning Valley but be killed in the rest of the state, and take Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) down with him. A Florida Republican said: "He couldn't find enough xenophobic, angry white Floridians to beat Hillary in Florida if he tried." Another Florida Republican predicted Clinton would win over 30 states. A New Hampshire Republican said Hillary would win his state in a rout. A North Carolina Republican said not only would Clinton turn North Carolina blue, she would put Roy Cooper (D) in the governor's mansion and quite possibly help Deborah Ross defeat Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC).

The Democrats on the panel were positively giddy at the prospect of a Clinton-Trump race. A Nevada Democrat said that Trump would win some cow counties but be crushed in Las Vegas and Reno. A New Hampshire Democrat is expecting a near-historic blowout. A Colorado Democrat said that for every white male Clinton loses, she'll pick up three suburban Republican women. (V)

Closed Primaries Are Not Going to Cost Sanders the Nomination

Slowly, but surely, it is beginning to sink in with Bernie Sanders' supporters that he is not going to be the nominee. And as part of that process, a fair number of them seem to be entering the third stage of grief: Bargaining. Following denial and anger, bargaining is characterized by the search for explanations as to how things might have gone differently, "if only... ." The bargaining explanation du jour is that Sanders was cheated out of the nomination by closed primaries, and if only independents had been allowed to vote for him in all 50 states, he'd be winning right now. The problem with this notion is that it's not remotely true.

The theory doesn't even stand up to back-of-the-envelope level scrutiny. To start, there are only half a dozen states where the Democratic primaries were closed. Further, given the blue team's proportional allocation, thousands—or even tens of thousands—of additional votes would only have flipped a few delegates, and not an entire state (in contrast to what could happen on the Republican side, with multiple WTA primaries). And we don't have to limit ourselves to back-of-the-envelope analysis, of course. Using the data we have as well as a few statistical models, it's possible to gauge with a fairly high level of accuracy exactly how many delegates would have flipped if the rules were different. Distinguished political scientist Alan Abramowitz has done just that, and his conclusion is that the closed primaries have cost the Vermont Senator about 41 delegates. That's less than 20% of Clinton's pledged delegate lead, much less the superdelegates. So, it may be time for those who are feeling the Bern to move on to stage four of the grieving process: Depression. (Z)

Sanders Drops DNC Lawsuit

The issue has largely receded into the mist, as other news pushed it into the back of everyone's minds. Nonetheless, Bernie Sanders' campaign has dropped the lawsuit that it filed back in December after staffers improperly accessed Clinton campaign data and then had their access to Sanders data temporarily cut off by the DNC.

At this point, the story is primarily of interest because it is yet another sign of a campaign that is getting close to throwing in the towel. Earlier this week, Sanders terminated multiple hundreds of staffers, while he and his wife both acknowledged that their path forward was "very narrow." Even Jeff Merkley, Sanders' lone senatorial endorser, is suggesting the time to pack it in will soon be upon us. The Vermont Senator will make it to California on June 7, but all signs point to June 8 being the end of the line. (Z)

Trump + Garland = Trouble for Endangered GOP Senators

At least, that is the argument of TPM's Josh Marshall. He observes, quite correctly, that the Republican senators who are facing tough re-election contests are going to be working overtime to distance themselves from Donald Trump and from the national party, essentially running as semi-independents. This is certainly a viable strategy; several GOP senators saved themselves by running as semi-independents in 1964, for example.

The problem in 2016, however, is the high-profile Merrick Garland obstruction, which the various Democratic challengers are already using to make hay. It is awfully hard for a GOP senator to argue that they are not taking orders from the national party when they are, quite obviously, taking orders from the national party. A candidate can't have it both ways, and if they try, they are going to get a reminder or twenty from their opponents. So, it's not a good time to be Rob Portman or Kelly Ayotte. (Z)

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---The Votemaster
Apr29 The General Election Has Already Started
Apr29 Trump Has Defined Gender as a Major General Election Issue
Apr29 Get Your Official Hillary Clinton Woman Card
Apr29 Indianapolis Star Slams Trump
Apr29 Bobby Knight Campaigns for Trump
Apr29 Large Majority of Americans Have an Unfavorable View of the Republican Party
Apr29 Trump Has Insulted 210 People, Places, and Things
Apr29 Journalist Who Profiled Melania Trump is Subjected to Abuse
Apr29 Energy Could Determine Control of the Senate
Apr28 Trump Is Very Close To a Majority
Apr28 In Hail Mary Play, Cruz Picks Fiorina for Veep Slot
Apr28 Trump Likely To Get More Primary Votes Than Any Republican in History
Apr28 Trump's Speech Does Not Impress Experts
Apr28 Latinos Registering in Record Numbers
Apr28 It's California or Bust for Sanders
Apr28 Democrats Want to Win While Republicans Want to Send 'em A Message
Apr28 Putin Has Chosen His Horse
Apr28 Clinton May Get Some Help With Doobie-ous Sanders Supporters
Apr27 Trump Goes Five-for-Five on Super Tuesday Four
Apr27 Clinton Effectively Puts Sanders Away
Apr27 Democratic Senate Primaries Go the Establishment's Way
Apr27 Trump Rejects the Idea of Being Presidential
Apr27 The Issues Favor the Democrats
Apr27 Is Clinton Thinking about Her Running Mate the Right Way?
Apr27 Trump University Case Will Go to Trial
Apr27 Sanders Is Sending Supporters a Photo of Clinton at Trump's Wedding
Apr27 Clinton Wants a Cabinet that Looks Like America
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