Clinton 1231
Sanders 574
 Needed   2383
Trump 460
Cruz 370
Rubio 163
Kasich 63
Needed 1237
New polls:  
Dem pickups:  
GOP pickups:  

News from the Votemaster

Saturday's Winner: People Hoping for a Brokered GOP Convention

Republicans caucused in Washington, D.C. and split their delegates almost evenly between Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH). In Wyoming a little less than half the delegates were awarded in a multistep process, but Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was the winner here. That could change when the remaining delegates are awarded in May. Here are the numbers:

Republican Results
Washington, D.C. 13.8% 0 12.4% 0 37.3% 10 35.5% 9
Wyoming 7.2% 1 66.3% 9 19.5% 1 0.0% 0

The most notable development of the night was not the success that Rubio and Cruz had, but the success that Donald Trump did not have. He was a distant third place in both of Saturday's contests, and he came in last in terms of the number of delegates he added to his total.

Certainly, the two results can be explained away as outliers. Wyoming is very, very conservative, and so is Ted Cruz's kind of state. The majority of Republicans in D.C. are "in the business," and so are likely to favor an establishment candidate. Undoubtedly, this is what the Donald is telling himself.

That said, it's been a bad couple of weeks for Trump, between Klan endorsements, and underwhelming debate performances, and violence at rallies. Being the frontrunner for months and months is not easy, and it's possible that the bloom is slightly off the rose. A Carson-style collapse is unlikely, but even a fairly small loss of support could cost him Ohio. And without Ohio, he would need to take more than 60% of the remaining delegates to claim a majority. That's a very tall order. So, a brokered GOP convention is getting a little more likely every day. (Z)

Kasich Did Not Reciprocate Rubio's Peace Offering

On Friday, a spokesman for the campaign of Marco Rubio made an amazing statement. He said that Rubio's supporters in Ohio should vote for Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) in an attempt to deny Ohio's 66 winner-take-all delegates to Donald Trump. Rubio was no doubt hoping that Kasich would be magnanimous and tell his Florida supporters to vote for Rubio, in order to deny Trump Florida's 99 winner-take-all delegates. Nope. Kasich quickly shot the idea down.

So, what happened? Is Kasich mean, or what? No, Kasich wants Rubio out of the race so he can be the sole Republican left who is acceptable to the GOP establishment. Kasich's goal is to win Ohio and have Rubio be crushed in Florida and then drop out. The main problem with this strategy is that the most likely winner in Florida is Donald Trump, who will continue his march to 1,237 delegates. Kasich would prefer that Cruz wins Florida, but he didn't tell his supporters there to vote for Cruz. (V)

Seventeen Year Old Voters Can Vote in Ohio Tuesday

In about 20 states, 17-year-olds who will be 18 by election day may vote in presidential primaries, even though they are 17 at the time of voting. Ohio's Secretary of State, Jon Husted (R), didn't like that idea, so he instructed all of Ohio's counties not to allow 17-year-olds to vote on Tuesday. Nine of the teenagers didn't take this well and they and their parents went to court to overturn Husted's ruling. The court agreed with them and ordered Husted to allow all 17-year-olds who will be legal voters on Nov. 8, to be given ballots on Tuesday. Husted is not going to appeal the ruling since there is not enough time left before Tuesday and an appeal could cause chaos at the polls. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was especially pleased with the ruling since his greatest strength is among young voters and the 17-year-olds could help him win Ohio. (V)

Cruz Scours the Map Looking for Delegates

While most media operations are focusing on the winner-take-all primaries in Florida (99 delegates) and Ohio (66 delegates) on Tuesday, Ted Cruz is ignoring them. He clearly thinks Trump will win Florida and either Kasich or Trump will win Ohio so he is bypassing those states to concentrate on the other three states that vote Tuesday: North Carolina, Missouri, and Illinois. Together, these states have 193 delegates, more than Florida and Ohio combined.

North Carolina is prime hunting ground for Cruz. Its 72 delegates are split in direct proportion to the vote, so if he can get 40% of the vote, he gets 29 delegates. Independents can also vote in the Republican primary in North Carolina if they so choose. Missouri is also important for Cruz since about a third of the voters are evangelicals. The state gives 12 delegates to the statewide winner, but also five delegates to the winners of each of its eight congressional districts. Some of the districts might well be winnable for him and he is campaigning hard there. Ironically, his best chance is in St. Louis, where almost no Republicans live. If only 100 Republicans vote in a St. Louis-based district and Cruz can get 51 of them, he gets five delegates.

Illinois is more complicated. There 15 delegates go to the statewide winner, but the other 54 will go to the winner in each of the state's 18 congressional districts. As in Missouri, there are few Republicans in Chicago, so it may be relatively easy to win a few districts.

In short, the battle is now about collecting delegates, in small batches, wherever they are to be found. (V)

Clinton Wins in the Northern Mariana Islands

For the first time ever, people in the Northern Mariana Islands got to vote in caucuses. Hillary Clinton won 54% of the vote and got 4 delegates; Bernie Sanders took 34% and 2 delegates. (V)

Rubio May Not Back Trump in General Election

In the last debate, Marco Rubio said he would support the Republican nominee, even if it is Donald Trump. Now, following an eruption of violence at a Trump rally in Chicago, Rubio is not sure. He criticized Trump's using people's anger to get their votes. Trump has yet to denounce the violence that has repeatedly occurred at his rallies, blaming the incidents on Sanders' supporters. The most recent incidence of violence at a Trump rally was in St. Louis, where 32 people were arrested. (V)

Boehner Endorses Kasich

In the least-surprising development of the campaign, the most prominent former Congressman from Ohio endorsed the other most prominent former Congressman from Ohio, when John Boehner formally announced his support for John Kasich.

The real question is why the endorsement took as long as it did. Apparently, the issue was not indecisiveness, but instead that Boehner was hiding out after having been run out of Washington on a rail. The former Speaker is not terribly popular with some segments of the GOP base, but his words likely still carry some weight with the type of Ohio Republicans who are currently deciding between Kasich and Marco Rubio. And with the race in the Buckeye State tightening, the Governor can use every bit of help he can get. (Z)

Thanks, Obama: Trump Edition

Maybe President Obama is responsible for the rise of Donald Trump after all. That's the argument (or at least part of it) in this very interesting piece by the New York Times' Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns, though the specific Obama-related cause they identify isn't the one you think.

Their narrative begins with the 2011 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, where Obama spoke (as is customary) and the Donald was in attendance. Apparently, Trump was the belle of the ball until Obama began speaking. The dinner has something of a roast-like quality, with the president being lampooned by a professional comedian (such as Stephen Colbert's famous 2006 takedown of George W. Bush), and then delivering a few bon mots himself. In 2011, Obama chose Trump as the target for many of his barbs (the address is here). Trump was clearly unhappy and left the gathering "with maximum efficiency."

According to Haberman and Burns, Trump was a man on a mission from that point forward. He cozied up to Republican politicians, hosted fundraisers, gave speeches at conservative events, and wrote five- and six-figure checks. GOP pooh-bahs were happy to have his money along with the media attention he could command. And by the time they realized what his game really was, he was leading in the polls and it was too late to do anything but blame Obama. (Z)

Cruz Gets a Delegate in Guam

Guam's Republican Party met yesterday and elected six delegates to the Republican National Convention. Five of them are uncommitted, but Gov. Eddie Calvo is for Ted Cruz. Last summer, Cruz sent Calvo a large cake on his birthday. Apparently the trick worked. (V)

Donna Edwards Takes the Lead in Maryland Senatorial Primary

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) has pulled ahead of Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) in the Senate race to fill the seat left vacant by the retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). A new poll from the University of Baltimore has 34% supporting Edwards and 28% supporting Van Hollen. When the eight minor candidates were eliminated, Edwards' lead jumped to 10%. Previous polls had Van Hollen in the lead. Edwards, who is black, is the favorite of progressive Democrats whereas Van Hollen, who is white, is the establishment choice. (V)

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---The Votemaster
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