Clinton 2811
Sanders 1879
 Needed   2383
Trump 1542
Cruz 559
Rubio 165
Kasich 161
Needed 1237
TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Trump Hires Top Staffers
      •  Trump Appeals to Conservative Christian Leaders
      •  Trump Discovers Data
      •  Clinton Rolls Out Data Initiative
      •  Benghazi Report Tells Us Nothing New
      •  Sanders Seems to Have Misplayed His Hand
      •  Pocahontas Is Back
      •  Lewandowski Loses Million-Dollar Book Deal
      •  Colorado Senate Seat Safe for Democrats

Trump Hires Top Staffers

Donald Trump is starting to run a more professional campaign. Yesterday, he announced the hiring of three new top staff members. Michael Abboud, formerly in the communications department of the RNC, will be his new communications coordinator. Alan Cobb will become the new director of coalitions. His task will be to coordinate the various groups that support Trump, or that might support Trump in the future. Jason Miller, who used to work for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), will become the senior communications adviser. Miller is the first former Cruz staffer to sign on with Trump. Noteworthy, however, is that Cruz himself has not jumped aboard the Trump bandwagon. There is no word from the Texas Senator about whether he will eventually join up, but there is a pretty good chance he will never endorse The Donald, because conservatives detest Trump. Supporting him would hurt Cruz in 2020, when he is likely to run for president again, no matter who wins this year (V)

Trump Appeals to Conservative Christian Leaders

Very uncharacteristically, Donald Trump didn't tweet anything Monday about the Supreme Court ruling striking down Texas' abortion laws. Maybe he is learning to carefully think through controversial issues before saying something that he later regrets. However, the campaign did refer to an earlier statement in which Trump promised to appoint only pro-life justices to the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, Trump continued his silence about the ruling, preferring to blast CNN for its negative coverage of his campaign. He also attacked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) as racist.

Needless to say, Hillary Clinton and Warren were all over the media Monday and Tuesday praising the Supreme Court (yes, you, Justice Kennedy) for its wise ruling. Why has Trump been silent? Most likely, Trump's de facto campaign manager, Paul Manafort, understands that evangelical voters are stuck. They have no place to go except vote for Trump, so he doesn't have to make nice to them. Coming out and attacking the court decision would serve only to antagonize moderate voters, so better to just be quiet and hope the whole matter blows over quickly. (V)

Trump Discovers Data

Despite the fact that all professional politicians know how important data is in modern campaigns, Donald Trump has consistently rejected the idea of collecting and using data about voters, characterizing such efforts as a waste of money. Now he (or more likely, Paul Manafort) is having second thoughts. The campaign has brought on a company called Revv, which did digital work for the #NeverTrump movement earlier this year. The campaign is also working with another company, Cambridge Analytica, which specializes in microtargeting individual voters. The firm worked for Ted Cruz during the primaries.

Trump's new-found willingness to (1) use data and (2) hire companies he swore never to hire because they had previously worked against him has Manafort's fingerprints all over it. Part of the reason is that the campaign is broke and a big part of the data operation is to target individual donors to raise badly needed cash. (V)

Clinton Rolls Out Data Initiative

Hillary Clinton is also interested in data, but in a different way from Trump, who is just starting to take baby steps into the digital world. Clinton has a massive data operation capable of microtargeting nearly all voters. Now she has announced that she supports net neutrality, taking the same position on this controversial subject as President Obama. What net neutrality means is that Internet providers should be prevented from making deals with big companies to make their Websites load rapidly, to the detriment of small operations (99% of the Websites in the world) that are not able to pay the providers big fees.

In addition, Clinton wants to make broadband Internet available to every household by 2020, somewhat akin to FDR's Depression-era plan to make electricity available to every household. Since most urban households already have broadband, she's largely referring to rural-dwellers, most of whom are currently limited to shaky quality, expensive satellite services if they want "fast" Internet service (that's not so fast). Rural-dwellers are overwhelmingly Republican, by something like a 2-to-1 ratio, so Clinton's initiative is a fairly obvious ploy to curry favor with GOP voters who may be on the fence due to Donald Trump. (V)

Benghazi Report Tells Us Nothing New

As we noted yesterday, the GOP's final report on Benghazi was released on Tuesday, all 800 pages of it. The report had no smoking gun, and did not reveal anything substantive that we did not know two years ago. The headlines in various media outlets illustrate that the report simply affirmed whatever each outlet already believed:

NYT: House Benghazi Report Finds No New Evidence of Wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton

WaPo: House Republicans issue report on Benghazi attacks but find no new evidence of wrongdoing by Clinton

CNN: Benghazi report—Conservatives blast Hillary Clinton

Fox News: Benghazi Report Reveals Hillary's 'Capacity for Lying'

Breitbart: CONFIRMED—Obama Skipped Intel Briefing After Americans Killed in Benghazi

WSJ: GOP-Written House Benghazi Report Faults Obama Administration

Slate, meanwhile, has an interesting statistic. If Congress had spent as much time investigating each death in the Iraq War as they spent investigating each of the four deaths in Benghazi, the inquiry would have taken...4,500 years. They suggest that this may just indicate that the loss of American lives was not the primary concern of Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and his committee. (Z)

Sanders Seems to Have Misplayed His Hand

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sat for a remarkable interview with MSNBC on Tuesday, one that the WaPo's Chris Cillizza describes as "remarkably condescending" toward Hillary Clinton. In it, the Vermont Senator suggested that Clinton still has some work to do in order to earn his endorsement, and also argued that he is the only one who really understands how to rescue America's middle class. Cillizza's conclusion:

The Clinton team has been willing to allow Sanders his extended time in the limelight mostly because (a) they don't think it hurts her in any measurable way for the fall campaign, and (b) they don't want to anger his backers unnecessarily. But, Sanders's condescension toward and dismissiveness of Clinton in the Mitchell interview was striking. It's hard for me to imagine Clinton, her allies and the broader Democratic Party remain as accepting of Sanders's continued candidacy if he keeps up anything like that sort of rhetoric.

Meanwhile, Slate's always prescient Jamelle Bouie believes that Sanders has already effectively blown his chance. He observes that the Senator has essentially disappeared from the headlines, and that Elizabeth Warren has now re-asserted her leadership of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Now that the great majority of Sanders' supporters have decided to fall in line behind Clinton (between 80% and 85%, depending on whose numbers you look at), his endorsement carries much less value than it once did. There will be a couple of planks that he wants in the Democratic platform ($15/hour minimum wage; new Glass-Steagall Act), but those are fairly mainstream positions. His chance to push the Party even further left appears to have passed. (Z)

Pocahontas Is Back

Donald Trump is continuing to mock Elizabeth Warren's claim to be 5% Native American while being unable to prove it. Warren is originally from Oklahoma, a state with many Native Americans, so the claim is certainly plausible. For Republicans who were hoping for a softer tone during the general election, Trump is not going there. Television host Joe Scarborough, a former GOP congressman, commented about this, saying:

Your opponent is talking about working-class Americans, and fighting hard to bring working-class Americans back into the mainstream of American economic life, and you are talking about whether someone is 1/32 Native American and suggesting DNA testing. This is so bizarre.

Trump responded to this with, "I do what I do." He also noted that he won the primaries in a landslide. (V)

Lewandowski Loses Million-Dollar Book Deal

Donald Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was sent packing last week. However, he landed on his feet, securing a commentator's job with CNN, and also receiving an offer of a book contract from HarperCollins, complete with a $1.2 million advance. But now the offer has been yanked, because Lewandowski won't share the non-disclosure agreement he signed with The Donald.

Unlike Trump, Lewandowski is not fabulously wealthy. That $1.2 million is a lot of money to him. And for him to turn his back on such a princely sum suggests exactly how...stringent the NDA must be. It also gives us a sense of how frank and worthwhile his analysis for CNN will be (Hint: roughly equal in value to the vice presidency, as measured in buckets of a certain liquid). Heck, it's not impossible that Lewandowski is still on the Trump payroll. CNN might be wise to just think of the money they committed to paying him (low six figures) as a write-off. (Z)

Colorado Senate Seat Safe for Democrats

The Republicans are playing defense this year when it comes to the Senate. At least six seats are very vulnerable, and another six or so could conceivably be in play depending on how things break. The Party had hopes of offsetting some of their losses by taking a seat in Nevada, and possibly one in Colorado. Now, they can cross Colorado off the list.

Support for Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) is definitely lukewarm in the Centennial State, and he could be vulnerable to a serious challenger. Instead, following a bruising multi-way primary fight among GOP contenders, he will face Darryl Glenn. The good news for the Republicans is that Glenn is black, charismatic, and is a 21-year veteran of the air force. Those are all selling points. The bad news is that he has limited political experience (city councilman, county commissioner), has raised less than $50,000 (compared to nearly $10 million for Bennet), and is a far-right tea partier and "unapologetic Christian constitutional conservative" who unabashedly supports Donald Trump. This will not play well in purple-to-blue Colorado, where moderates and independents stayed away from The Donald in droves during primary season. The RSCC and the RNC have both already made it very clear that Glenn is on his own (Translation: We can't afford to waste money on lost causes). So, Bennet will have another six years to try and improve his favorability ratings. (Z)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Jun28 SCOTUS Strikes Down Anti-Abortion Laws
Jun28 Clinton and Warren Campaign Together
Jun28 Should Clinton Choose Elizabeth Warren?
Jun28 Oh, Those Bernie Supporters
Jun28 AFL-CIO Will Oppose Trump
Jun28 Almost No One Wants to Speak at the GOP Convention
Jun28 Trump's Failed Baja Condo Project Left Buyers Angry
Jun28 Dueling Benghazi Reports Coming Tuesday
Jun27 Support for Trump is Cratering
Jun27 Trump's Donor List is Grim
Jun27 Trump's Economic Plan Would Explode National Debt
Jun27 Rubio Faces a Wealthy Challenger on the Right
Jun27 O'Malley Is Back
Jun27 McConnell Won't Say If Trump Is Fit To Be President
Jun27 Sanders Will Continue the Platform Fight
Jun27 SCOTUS Abortion Ruling Coming on Monday
Jun27 Obama, Clinton Embrace LGBT Community
Jun27 One No Trump
Jun26 About Those Donald Trump-Brexit Parallels
Jun26 What is Trump Doing in Scotland?
Jun26 Clinton Super PAC Will Spend Over $10 Million in Pennsylvania
Jun26 Republicans Alarmed by Trump's Lack of Money
Jun26 Clinton up Double Digits on Trump Again
Jun26 George Will Leaves the GOP
Jun26 Dobson Justifies Support for Trump
Jun26 Lewandowski's Head Rolled Due to Attacks on Federal Judge
Jun26 Israel Could Take Center Stage at DNC
Jun25 Striking Parallels between Brexit and U.S. Politics
Jun25 Dump Trump Probably Doesn't Have the Votes on RNC Rules Committee
Jun25 Sanders Sorta, Kinda, for Clinton
Jun25 Sanders Getting Much of What He Wants
Jun25 Clinton Picks Up Two High-Profile Republicans
Jun25 Republican Insiders: It's Kaine
Jun25 Polling the Veepstakes
Jun25 Potential Clinton Donors Are Afraid of Scaring Trump
Jun25 Clinton Happy To Let Trump Dominate the News
Jun25 Duckworth Dodges a Bullet
Jun25 Striking Parallels between Brexit and U.S. Politics
Jun25 Dump Trump Doesn't Have the Votes on RNC Rules Committee
Jun25 Sanders Sorta, Kinda, for Clinton
Jun25 Sanders Getting Much of What He Wants
Jun25 Clinton Picks Up Two High-Profile Republicans
Jun25 Republican Insiders: It's Kaine
Jun25 Polling the Veepstakes
Jun25 Potential Clinton Donors Are Afraid of Scaring Trump
Jun25 Clinton Happy To Let Trump Dominate the News
Jun25 Duckworth Dodges a Bullet
Jun24 The Supreme Court Just Injected Itself into the Election
Jun24 Trump Donates $50 Million To His Campaign
Jun24 Corey Lewandowski Joins CNN as Political Commentator