Clinton 2755
Sanders 1852
 Needed   2383
Trump 1536
Cruz 559
Rubio 165
Kasich 161
Needed 1237
TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Tuesday Is Super for Clinton
      •  Boxer Will Be Succeeded By a Democrat
      •  Ryan Calls Trump a Racist but Still Supports Him
      •  Democrats Use Trump To Hit Downballot Republicans
      •  Cruz Still Uncertain about Supporting Trump
      •  Gary Who?

Tuesday is Super for Clinton

Although Hillary Clinton actually made history on Monday night, when she crossed the 2,383-delegate threshold, it's Tuesday that is going to get all the attention. Thanks to a strong performance, a bit better than expected, she effectively put the Democratic nomination out of reach for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT):

Democratic Results
California (94% reporting) 56.0% 257 43.1% 188
New Jersey (98%) 63.3% 73 36.7% 47
Montana (86%) 44.5% 10 51.1% 11
New Mexico (100%) 51.5% 17 48.5% 14
South Dakota (100%) 51.0% 10 49.0% 10
North Dakota (100%) 25.6% 5 64.2% 13
Total   372   283

The California results were very slow in coming on Tuesday night, but once the votes were counted, it was a rout. A narrative had sprung up that California was an important test of Clinton's viability; if so, she passed with flying colors, and her case for the nomination is rock solid. She has the most popular votes by a margin of about 3.7 million (this does not include caucus states, but since the caucus states are small and caucus turnout is low, they would not affect the total very much). She has the most pledged delegates by a margin of about 400. She has the most superdelegates by a margin of more than 500. She has won 16 of the 20 largest states. Thanks to her surprise win in South Dakota on Tuesday, she has won states in every region of the country: Far West, Southwest, South, Mid-Atlantic, New England, and the Midwest.

Despite the writing being on the wall (and the floor, and the ceiling), Bernie Sanders delivered an address in Santa Monica on Tuesday night that was largely defiant. He insisted that he would be continuing the fight all the way to Philadelphia, and said that he was looking forward to a Wednesday rally in Washington, D.C., the last entry on the primary calendar. Noticeably, however, he is no longer talking about how he expects to be the nominee.

It's hard to know what Sanders' exact plans are, and whether or not he is laying the groundwork for a graceful exit from the race. The DNC is still trying to handle him with kid gloves, and is not yet calling Hillary Clinton the presumptive nominee. This delicate dance can't last much longer, however. The DNC needs to turn its focus to Donald Trump and the general election. Similarly, Barack Obama wants to endorse Clinton and wants to begin campaigning. He has scheduled a meeting with Sanders on Thursday to discuss the situation. If the entire Democratic establishment, up to and including the President, begins treating Clinton as the presumptive nominee, Sanders is going to look a little silly if he sticks his head in the sand and denies reality.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the contest, the opponent-less Trump was victorious in all five states where Republicans went to the polls on Tuesday:

Republican Results
California (54% reporting) 76.5% 166 8.4% 0 11.2% 0
New Jersey (99%) 80.6% 51 6.1% 0 13.3% 0
Montana (86%) 73.9% 27 9.1% 0 6.9% 0
New Mexico (99%) 70.7% 24 13.3% 0 7.5% 0
South Dakota (100%) 67.1% 29 17.0% 0 15.0% 0
Total   297   0   0

The numbers don't tell us too much; they are pretty standard for a candidate who is unopposed. To the extent that anything interesting happened on the GOP side on Tuesday, it was Trump's victory speech. He read from a TelePrompTer, and he was fairly calm and measured. In other words, he behaved exactly as the GOP establishment wants him to act. So much so, in fact, that RNC Chair Reince Priebus took to Twitter to praise The Donald's "great victory speech." We've seen this kind of brief glimpse of Trump 2.0 before, but can he keep it up for four months? Or four hours, for that matter? We will believe it when we see it.

The good people of Washington, D.C. will vote next week, thus bringing an official end to primary season. Given that nearly all the voters there are either black or are political insiders, they are going to give victories to Clinton and to the unopposed Trump, affirming what we already know: It's Donald v. Hillary in 2016. (Z)

Boxer Will Be Succeeded By A Democrat

Only three states—California, Washington, and Louisiana—have "jungle primaries," where the top two finishers in preliminary voting advance, regardless of party affiliation. On Tuesday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) were the top two in the race to succeed Sen. Barbara Boxer (D). Consequently, for the first time in a century, the Golden State will have a U.S. Senate race that features Democrat v. Democrat.

Harris took 40% of the vote to 17% for Sanchez. So, Harris is going to be California's next Senator, right? Not so fast. The 43% of the voters who chose someone other than Harris or Sanchez are going to have to pick one of the duo. And since most of those 43% are Republicans or independents, they are likely to favor the much more moderate Sanchez over the very progressive Harris. This is going to be one of the most intense and expensive Senate races of the campaign season, even if we already know it's going to end with a Democrat winning. (Z)

Ryan Calls Trump a Racist But Still Supports Him

On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell attacked Donald Trump for saying that federal judge Gonzalo Curiel was a Mexican and couldn't give him a fair trial in the Trump University fraud case that Curiel is overseeing. But McConnell specifically refused to call Trump a racist. Over on the other side of the Capitol, the leader feels a bit differently. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) yesterday said:

Claiming a person can't do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment. I think that should be absolutely disavowed. It's absolutely unacceptable. But do I believe that Hillary Clinton is the answer? No, I do not.

So Ryan thinks Trump is a racist, but that doesn't disqualify him. In reality, Ryan has probably already given up on the presidential race and cares only about what is going to happen downballot if a large chunk of the electorate comes to despise Trump and votes a straight Democratic ticket. Then Speaker Ryan could become former Speaker Ryan. That possibility keeps him up at night.

It's no secret that Ryan wants to be president. If Trump wins in November, Ryan can't run until 2024. If Clinton wins, Ryan can run in 2020. So, don't pay too much attention to what Ryan says. Instead, watch what he does. Does he actually help Trump in any concrete way, for example, raising money for him or campaigning for him in Wisconsin or elsewhere? There is a pretty good chance that Ryan spends the next five months trying to help Republican members of the House or wannabee Republican members of the House and doesn't actually do anything to help Trump. (V)

Democrats Use Trump To Hit Downballot Republicans

In a coordinated series of attacks, Democrats are excoriating Donald Trump for his attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel and are demanding that other Republicans either stand behind Trump's comments or denounce him as a racist. Most Republican candidates for federal or state office would prefer doing neither. Probably the most popular option among other Republican candidates is hiding under the table and praying that it blows over quickly. Second choice is to try to have it both ways, like Ryan. In other words, to distance themselves personally from what Trump said but continue to support him. The Democrats are going to make that as difficult as possible. For example, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito of the New York City Council commented on Trump's remarks by saying: "It's gross, it's vile, and it is not normal behavior for anyone, let alone someone running to be the president of the United States." Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who is running for the seat of Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), accused Kirk of being complicit in Trump's campaign of hate and division. Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) said: "We're not going to let Speaker Ryan and House Republicans spend every day criticizing Trump with one hand and endorsing him with the other." Other Democrats were on the same page. In short, the Democrats are going to spend the next five months calling Republicans hypocrites for simultaneously attacking everything Trump says but supporting him anyway. (V)

Cruz Still Uncertain about Supporting Trump

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said yesterday that he hasn't decided whether or not to support Donald Trump. Cruz, of course, is trying to determine whether supporting Trump is good or bad for his 2020 run. On the one hand, supporting Trump means his primary opponents in 2020 can't accuse him of being disloyal to the Republican Party. On the other hand, that support will alienate conservatives who will form the basis of his 2020 campaign. He certainly doesn't want Trump to win because then running in 2020 would be nearly impossible. If Hillary Clinton wins, Cruz will quietly cheer as he begins attacking her for ruining the country as he prepares his 2020 campaign against her. (V)

Gary Who?

Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson is doing his utmost to get to 15% in the national polling so he will be invited to the presidential debates in the fall. A new Morning Consult poll puts him at 10%. That's the good news. The bad news is that only 31% of the voters could identify him as a politician and only 18% knew he was running for president. Only 17% knew he was a former governor. He clearly has a lot of work to do.

More evidence that people don't have a clue who he is or why anybody is asking about him comes from the responses when the question is phrased differently. When the pollster asked about "independent Gary Johnson" he got 10% of liberals and 10% of conservatives. But when they asked about "Libertarian Gary Johnson," 14% of liberals and 8% of conservatives approved of him. Considering that the Libertarians are far to the right of Republicans on most issues (e.g., they want to abolish the income tax, get the government out of managing the economy, abolish public schools, repeal environmental laws, and eliminate Social Security), it is clear that liberals have no idea what a Libertarian is. On a handful of minor issues (e.g., legalization of all recreational drugs), Libertarians are to the left of the Democrats. If Johnson's actual views become better known, he may hurt Trump, but if Democrats think that a Libertarian is sort of like a Liberal, he could become an equal opportunity spoiler. (V)

Email a link to a friend or share:

---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun07 Clinton Clinches Democratic Nomination
Jun07 Sanders is Getting the Full-Court Press
Jun07 California, Here We Come
Jun07 Clinton Will Take an Early Lead in California Tonight
Jun07 Obama May Endorse Clinton This Week
Jun07 Maybe Trump Isn't So Rich After All
Jun07 Trump Overrules His Not so Smart Staff
Jun07 Voters Think Trump Is More Honest Than Clinton
Jun07 The Gipper Would Not Vote for The Donald
Jun06 Clinton Wins the Puerto Rico Primary
Jun06 Trump Failed to Keep Promise to Donate Some Trump U. Profits to Charity
Jun06 Trump Doubles Down on Judges
Jun06 What Hillary Clinton Could Learn from Donald Trump
Jun06 Do Trump's and Clinton's Unfavorables Really Matter?
Jun06 What If Sanders Wins California?
Jun06 McConnell Attacks Trump on Judge But Won't Call Trump a Racist
Jun06 Independent Bid Surely Dead Now, Right?
Jun05 Clinton Wins Democratic Caucus in the Virgin Islands
Jun05 Puerto Rico Holds Its Democratic Primary Today
Jun05 Is Cleveland Ready for the Republican National Convention?
Jun05 Harry Reid Looking at Filling Warren's Seat If She Is Elected Veep
Jun05 2017: A Bad Time to Be Vice President
Jun05 Trump is Like...Zachary Taylor?
Jun05 Trump's African American Speaks Out
Jun05 Republicans Are Asking Lobbyists To Help Write Their Platform
Jun05 Sanders' Voters and White Entitlement
Jun04 Clinton Ahead of Sanders in New California Poll
Jun04 Scholars Say Trump Could Threaten Rule of Law
Jun04 Not All Trump Supporters Are Blue-Collar Men
Jun04 There Is No Trump 2.0
Jun04 Foreign Policy Experience Doesn't Move the Voters
Jun04 Clinton and Trump Both Hate the Media, but in Different Ways
Jun03 Another California Poll Puts Clinton and Sanders in a Tie
Jun03 Ryan Now Supports Trump
Jun03 McConnell Worries About Trump's Possible Goldwater Effect
Jun03 Hillary Clinton Viciously Attacks Trump on Foreign Policy
Jun03 What's Behind the Trump Phenomenon?
Jun03 New York Attorney General Says Trump University was Straight Up Fraud
Jun03 Primaries May Not Have Prepared Trump for General Election
Jun03 Ohio Purges Voter Rolls
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