Clinton 2313
Sanders 1546
 Needed   2383
Trump 1239
Cruz 559
Rubio 165
Kasich 161
Needed 1237

Another California Poll Puts Clinton and Sanders in a Tie

The Field Poll, the gold standard for polling in California, just published its final pre-election poll of the California Democratic primary. Here are the results:

Rank Candidate Pct.
1 Hillary Clinton 45%
2 Bernie Sanders 43%

Other recent polls in California have yielded similar results, although a few have shown Clinton with a much bigger lead. A lot depends on turnout. Sanders has an overwhelming lead among voters under 30 but Clinton leads by 2 to 1 among voters over 65. In addition, Clinton leads by 9 points among registered Democrats whereas independents support Sanders 2 to 1. Small differences in turnout among these groups could make a big difference in the results. Field also asked about the general election. There Clinton beats Trump by 19 points and Sanders beats Trump by 29 points. The primary election is Tuesday. (V)

Ryan Now Supports Trump

After several weeks of dithering, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) finally said he will vote for Donald Trump. Up until now, the Speaker said he was not ready to endorse Trump. Apparently he is still not ready, because his statement didn't actually endorse Trump. Ryan also made it clear that the Republican agenda is that of the House Republican caucus, not that of Trump. It will be interesting to see what is in the official Republican platform approved by the convention: Ryan's agenda or Trump's agenda.

It is possible that Ryan's "non-endorsement" will help Trump raise much-needed money. So far, a number of the big Republican donors have been sitting on the sidelines. With Ryan's approval, they may now get out their checkbooks. (V)

McConnell Worries About Trump's Possible "Goldwater Effect"

Unlike Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was not reluctant when it came to endorsing Donald Trump. And yet, curiously, he is apparently worried about the long-term damage that The Donald might do to the Republican Party. In particular, he's concerned about the risk of a 21st century "Goldwater Effect."

Barry Goldwater, of course, was the GOP's candidate for president in 1964. At the time, many voters suspected that he was a crazy racist. The racist part of that turns out to have been untrue, but the perception was nonetheless enough to hasten a process that was already underway: the movement of black voters away from the Republican Party. Until 1964, blacks saw the the Republicans as the party that freed the slaves and the Democrats as the party of the slave owners. McConnell is thinking the same thing will happen with Latinos in 2016. Actually, most Latinos are already Democrats, so what he's mostly worried about is future plans to bring them into the GOP tent. Nonetheless, the basic point is the same, and it's true that Trump is creating a dilemma for the minority of Latinos who are already Republicans. (Z)

Hillary Clinton Viciously Attacks Trump on Foreign Policy

Hillary Clinton launched a ferocious attack on Donald Trump in a speech in San Diego yesterday, saying that he is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires immense responsibility of its occupant. She pointed out that the president gets to make life-or-death decisions, saying: "Imagine him deciding whether to send your spouses or children into battle." She called him thin-skinned and quick to anger and rhetorically asked if we want his finger anywhere near the nuclear button. She repeatedly pointed out that in November, Americans will be electing a new commander-in-chief and said that Trump doesn't know the first thing about Iran or its nuclear program. She pointed out that nobody loses their life if a golf course deal blows up, but it doesn't work like that in world affairs. It is clear that foreign affairs—and Trump's temperament—are going to be a major part of Clinton's fall campaign. Note that she is going after his temperament, not his lack of knowledge. The latter can be "repaired" by picking Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) as his running mate and Condoleezza Rice as his secretary of state. His temperament and thin skin can't be repaired.

Trump responded to her speech by tweeting: "Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton! Reading poorly from the teleprompter. She doesn't even look presidential!" He didn't answer any of the points raised by her speech. He just said she didn't "look presidential!" It is likely that much of the campaign will be like this. Clinton will reel off a long list of detailed policy points and Trump will respond with something about her looks. (V)

What's Behind the Trump Phenomenon?

Most analysis of 2016, with its twists and turns, has focused on class. The idea is that Donald Trump is appealing to working-class voters who feel screwed by trade agreements, shipping of jobs overseas, etc. Now, a new study by political scientist Philip Klinkner throws that theory into question. He argues that dissatisfaction with the economy and with economic opportunity only correlate lightly with support for The Donald. A much better predictor: attitudes about race.

More specifically, Klinkner found that the most accurate predictor of Trump support was these two questions: (1) Are you white? and (2) Do you believe Barack Obama is a Muslim? A "yes" to both questions meant a 94% chance that the person was a Trump supporter. Other excellent predictors were the respondent's level of resentment toward blacks, and whether or not they felt "violent" was a good descriptor for Muslims. Now, there is a fair bit of economic competition underlying most racism, but the study certainly suggests that good old-fashioned demagoguery should be first on the list of reasons people support Donald Trump, with economic populism second. (Z)

New York Attorney General Says Trump University was "Straight Up Fraud"

Trump University has been in the news of late, and yesterday New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has made a clear and unambiguous statement about it, saying: "It's fraud. This is straight up fraud." Schneiderman explained on MSNBC's Morning Joe program that the law is clear and it protects the gullible as well as the sophisticated. He also repeatedly said that the case was not political, noting that he sued Trump in 2013, long before anyone thought he was going to run for President. He also said: "Thousands of people were bilked out of millions of dollars" and his priority is to get their money back. Also an issue is that in New York you can't just call something a "university" without going through an accreditation procedure, which Trump University never did.

But that is not the end of the news on Trump U. today. On Tuesday, when the news broke, Hillary Clinton released an ad calling Trump a con man. Trump responded with an ad in which happy students said they were pleased with the education they got. So it is a tie? Not quite. The Associated Press is reporting that several of the former students in the Trump ad have business ties to Trump. One of the students, Casey Hoban, is the CEO of a company that sells "protein-infused water" that is available for sale at Trump's golf courses, restaurants, and resorts. Hoban also donated $25,000 to the Trump Family Foundation. Another former student who praised Trump University, Michelle Gunn, has a teenage son who wrote a book that Trump has helped publicize. A third student in the ad, Kent Moyer, has a security business protecting the wealthy and famous. He's not necessarily in business with Trump, unlike the other two. What he does have in common with Hoban and Gunn, however, is that he's also not in the real estate business, which is what Trump U. was supposed to be teaching. It is estimated that about 40,000 students attended the "university," and The Donald struggled to find three who were impartial and/or learned something about the real estate business. (V)

Primaries May Not Have Prepared Trump for General Election

Donald Trump had something of a meltdown when he was confronted about his donations—or lack thereof—to veterans' charities. He lashed out at the media for daring to ask such questions, calling them "disgusting." He has also not coped well with criticism from Hillary Clinton (as noted above), and is likely to begin getting peppered with uncomfortable questions on a variety of subjects, such as Trump University.

Slate's Jamelle Bouie argues that Trump is not well suited, temperamentally, to such scrutiny and that the primary process did a bad job of helping him learn to deal with it gracefully. He observes that Trump's opponents (and the media, for that matter) were largely hands-off during the primaries, beyond the occasional remark about his being not Republican enough, or being ill-mannered, or having small body parts. They did not generally hit him on issues of substance, whereas Hillary Clinton and her surrogates will be more than happy to do so. Bouie's conclusion: "Trump has all the markings of a paper tiger, and there's a good chance he'll be torn apart like one, too." (Z)

Ohio Purges Voter Rolls

State and local governments are required to maintain lists of voters in their jurisdiction. And as they do so, they are subject to two potentially contradictory rules: it is not legal to remove voters for inactivity, but the lists must be kept up-to-date as people die, move away, etc.

Ohio, a state that has already tried to reduce polling hours and implement voter ID laws, has just undertaken an extensive purge of its voter rolls, eliminating well over 100,000 people. These individuals will now need to re-register should they wish to vote in November. The state's Republican leadership, including Gov. John Kasich, argue that this is merely keeping things up-to-date. Democratic activists suspect otherwise, a position that is strengthened by the fact that most of the purges have been in solidly Democratic counties. This one's already headed to court; if Ohio is sustained by the judge that hears the case, expect to see this tactic deployed in other GOP-controlled swing states. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun02 Sanders Close to Clinton in California
Jun02 Trump University Documents Released
Jun02 Trump Has A Few Other Lawsuits as Well
Jun02 Obama Beginning to Wade into the Contest
Jun02 I Can Watch It on TV
Jun02 Clinton to Attack Trump in National Security Speech Today
Jun02 Dynamic Scoring about To Become a Political Football
Jun02 Class and Gender Are the Big Divides This Year
Jun02 How Should Clinton Deal With the E-Mail Scandal?
Jun01 Computer Model Predicts Near-Certain Clinton Win
Jun01 Charlie Cook: General Election Is Not as Close as It Looks
Jun01 California Poll: Clinton 13 Points Ahead of Sanders
Jun01 Jerry Brown Endorses Clinton
Jun01 Libertarians Off To a Good Start
Jun01 Sessions to GOP: Adapt To Trump or Die
Jun01 Trump's Donation to Veterans: $5.6 Million
Jun01 Things Still Quite Ugly on the GOP Side of the Contest
Jun01 Kristol May Have His Horse
May31 Weld Could Help the Libertarian Party Raise Money
May31 Can Trump Win?
May31 Ryan Still Not Endorsing Trump
May31 McConnell Has Advice For Trump
May31 Never Trump Folks Not Giving Up Yet
May31 What Do the PUMAs Think of the Bernie-or-Bust Crowd?
May31 Trump Should Be Careful about Bringing Up Old Sex Scandals
May31 Sanders is Now Openly Mocking Trump
May31 Clinton to Hit California Hard
May30 Libertarian Party Nominates Johnson and Weld
May30 Hillary Clinton Doesn't Know How to Handle Trump
May30 Daisy Ad's Creators Have Some Suggestions for an Updated Version
May30 Arnold Schwarzenegger Declines to Back Trump
May30 Rubio Speaks Up
May30 With Sanders Out, Clinton's Numbers Will Rise
May30 Cue the Clinton E-Mail Conspiracy Theories
May29 Judge Orders Release of Trump University Documents
May29 Trump's Veeps
May29 Bob Dole Speaks Out
May29 Trump's Delusions of Competence
May29 Bernie Sanders Lashes Out at DNC, Gets Smacked Down
May29 McAuliffe Launches PR Offense To Defuse Probe
May29 Libertarians Sense An Opportunity
May29 Weld Is Not Received Warmly at the Libertarian Party Convention
May28 Trump Won't Debate Sanders after All
May28 Clinton Leading Trump among Middle-Income Rust-Belt Voters
May28 Cruz Vows to Fight Trump on the Platform
May28 What Trump's Energy Speech Tells Us
May28 Trump's Managerial Style Is Becoming a Problem
May28 Trump Collecting Poisonous Endorsements
May28 Clinton Broadens Her Money Network
May28 There Is a Lot of Bad Political Analysis Right Now