News from the Votemaster
• How Trump Will Attack Clinton
• Will Sanders Become Nader?
• The 2016 Electorate Will Be the Most Diverse Ever
• Federal Judge Hears Challenge to Wisconsin Voter ID Law
• Six People Who Won't Be Trump's Veep
• Rubio Not Happy with WaPo Article
• Cruz 2020 Is Now Underway
The last two Democratic primaries of May will be held today, in Kentucky and Oregon. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is likely to win both of them. Hillary Clinton's remarks about putting coal companies and coal miners out of business will not play well in Kentucky, which depends heavily on coal (although it will play very well in Colorado and New Hampshire, which are swing states, while Kentucky is not). Oregon is a very liberal state similar to Washington, and Sanders won Washington easily (though one thing working against him in Oregon is that it's a closed primary, while Washington was open). A total of 116 delegates are up for grabs today, but as usual, they will be divided proportionally. If Sanders manages to get 2/3 of the vote, he will net about 39 delegates, denting Clinton's lead of 283 pledged delegates, but not enough. After tomorrow, the only contests before the big June 7 event when six states vote, are the Virgin Islands on June 4 and Puerto Rico on June 5. (V)
The New York Times has a piece on how Donald Trump might attack Hillary Clinton in the general election and why many of the attacks might fail. These include the following:Bill Clinton's affairs. Trump will go after Hillary for "enabling" Bill's affairs, protecting him and trying to blame the women. While no other politician would dare go there, with Trump it is possible he could say or insinuate that if she were better in bed he wouldn't have strayed. This line of attack, however, puts Trump's own philandering in the spotlight, including his very public affair with Marla Maples while he was married to wife #1, Ivana Trump. Also, women may be very upset at the idea of blaming the wife for the husband's misdeeds.
Bill Clinton's impeachment. Trump could say that after Bill's behavior with Monica Lewinsky, Hillary should no longer have any role in the White House. The problem here is that as the scandal unfolded in real time, Hillary's popularity went up, not down, and again, Trump is no paragon of virtue and making the campaign about dalliances could hurt him more than it hurts Hillary. After all, he strayed and she didn't.
The cattle futures. In the 1970s, Hillary managed to turn a $1,000 investment into $100,000. He could try to imply that she is crooked. On the other hand, his four bankruptcies and the lawsuits facing Trump University would put his business practices in the spotlight and using an argument like "I used the law to cheat my investors in a way that was technically legal" is not likely to put him in a good light.
Clinton's e-mails. Trump could argue that she decided to use a private e-mail server because she was trying to hide something. This could deflect her attacks that his refusal to release his tax returns is due to his hiding something. On the other hand, there is no evidence that her server put national security at risk and if the FBI issues a 500-page report soon saying that what she did violated State Dept. policy but wasn't illegal and didn't endanger national security, this line of attack is likely to be dead.
Benghazi. Trump will claim she was asleep at the wheel when the 3:00 a.m. phone call came in and this resulted in the deaths of four Americans. Of course, she was grilled for 11 hours by a hostile Republican panel and beat them at their own game. She is well rehearsed in this area and if he pursues it, she will be able to show how little he knows about foreign policy.
Now, Trump is a master at pulling surprises, so rather than talk about these subjects, all of which are predictable, he could bring up something not on anyone's radar. Maybe at her third-grade school picnic she spilled milk on the teacher and refused to apologize because she said it was someone else's fault. Or maybe she once put only one quarter into the newspaper dispenser, but took two papers. And where exactly was she when Kennedy was shot, again? (V)
In 2000, 92,000 people voted for Ralph Nader in Florida. If 1% of them had voted for Al Gore instead, his 537-vote loss would have become a 383-vote victory and Gore would have become President. Many Democrats have never forgiven Nader. If Bernie Sanders wants to have any lasting influence on the Democratic Party, he must at all costs avoid becoming Nader, the sequel. A PPP poll with and without Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson shows that the inclusion of these minor-party candidates take about 2% off Clinton's margin of victory over Trump. If Sanders storms off after the convention and his supporters largely vote for Stein or Johnson, it could tip a close election to Trump.
Sanders really doesn't want that, of course. The Nader supporters thought that they would force the Democrats to the left in 2004, for fear of losing them again. In fact, the reverse happened. The Democrats came to regard the left as flaky and unreliable and nominated a Vietnam veteran in 2004. If Sanders' supporters go off and sulk and Trump wins, the Democrats are likely to move to the right again in 2020. This means that Sanders has to operate very carefully if he wants to influence the Party.
Jesse Jackson faced the same situation in 1988, when he came into the convention with 38% of the pledged delegates. He told his delegates that they should be in it for the long haul, but strongly support the current nominee, Michael Dukakis, in 1988. Sanders could ask for some platform planks he thinks are important and he could ask for a veto over some personnel choices, but if he gets what he wants, his all-out support in the fall would have a bigger effect in the long term than taking his marbles and going home in a pout. (V)
In 2000, George W. Bush faced an electorate that was 81% white, 10% black, and 7% Latino—and lost the popular vote. The 2016 electorate is going to be much more diverse than that. White will represent around 69% of the total, according to Pew Research, with Latinos and black voters tied for second place at 12% each and Asian-Americans at 4%. This change is going to hurt the Republicans up and down the line, as minorities tend to vote Democratic. In 2012, Barack Obama got 71% of the Latino vote and Hillary Clinton could get even more this time, given Donald Trump's many derogatory comments about Mexicans. Getting the minorities to actually vote is something of a challenge, but the handwriting is on the wall: If they turn out in large numbers, Clinton will win and the Democrats will capture the Senate. (V)
After the Supreme Court struck down major portions of the Voting Rights Act, many states with Republican-controlled legislatures adopted much more restrictive voting laws, generally requiring state-issued ID to vote and/or reducing the availability of polling places. The official explanations given for these moves were to (a) combat fraud and (b) save taxpayer money. The real reason was to reduce Democratic turnout.
Predictably, this has resulted in lawsuits in several of the affected states. The latest to go forward, in Wisconsin, got underway on Monday with Obama appointee James Peterson as judge. True to form for a Democratic appointee, his questions and his general demeanor suggested that he is going to strike the Wisconsin law down. We will know for sure after two more weeks of testimony, and however much time it takes him to prepare his ruling. Republican appointees, meanwhile, have affirmed the new voter laws in several states, including South Carolina and Texas. There can be no doubt that this is eventually going to end up on SCOTUS' docket again. The only questions are whether that will happen in time for this year's election, and if it does, whether the eight-person court can actually reach a binding (i.e., not 4-4) ruling. (Z)
Speculation on who will be Donald Trump's running mate will continue until he makes an announcement. Chris Cillizza is taking the opposite tack and made a list of people who will almost certainly not be Trump's Veep, as follows:
- Ted Cruz: He and Trump dislike each other and Cruz would be better off in 2020 not being a losing Veep now
- Marco Rubio: Rubio couldn't even win his home state in the primary, so of what use is he to Trump?
- Nikki Haley: She is young enough (44) to wait until 2020 and challenge Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Cruz
- John Thune: The SD senator looked hard at running in 2012 and decided he would rather rise up in the Senate
- Joe Scarborough: The "Morning Joe" host opposes one of Trump's key ideas: banning Muslims from the U.S.
Also off the list, of his own volition, is Gov. John Kasich (R-OH). On Monday, he sat for his first major interview since dropping out of the presidential race, and declared that he was unwilling to be #2 to a candidate with whom he is "fundamentally incompatible." This still leaves Sarah Palin, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), Rudy Giuliani, Rick Perry, Gov. Mary Fallin (R-OK), and many more, though. (V)
The Washington Post article linked above had only been up for a few hours when it caught the attention of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who did not like what he saw. He also did not care for a companion piece that said the Florida Senator hates his job (definitely true) and has essentially checked out until his time is up in January (very possible). Given his unhappiness, Rubio decided to take a page from Donald Trump's playbook, using Twitter to lambaste the newspaper. Given the late hour of the tweets (near midnight, EST) and their rambling quality, one might be tempted to guess that the Senator had been imbibing.
Meanwhile, we also cannot help noticing how many of the defeated candidates (at least, on the Republican side) have worked valiantly to keep their names in the headlines in various ways. That includes Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his would-be VP Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chris Christie, and Rubio. Among candidates who regularly qualified for the main stage at the GOP debates, only Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) seems to have gone away. Escaping the exhausting work of running for office must be a relief, in many ways, but the loss of attention appears to be very difficult for the candidates to handle. (Z)
Speaking of candidates who yearn to remain in the limelight, Ted Cruz released a five-minute ad/short film on Sunday entitled "No Regrets." It is ostensibly a thank you to his campaign staff and volunteers, though it is mostly self-congratulatory. It also makes the curious assertion that the Texas Senator was not defeated, only his campaign was. We will have to get out our Ouija boards and share the good news with Adlai Stevenson, Thomas Dewey, Alf Landon, Al Smith, William Jennings Bryan, and all the others who have apparently been incorrectly labeled as losers all this time.
The clip ends with a shot of Cruz's campaign bus, followed by a title card that says "To Be Continued." Surely there is no other way to read that other than that we have just seen the first campaign ad of the 2020 cycle. He'd better hurry and grab his domains, though—tedcruz2020.com and cruz2020.com have already been taken. (Z)Email a link to a friend or share:
May16 The Battle to Stop Trump Is Still Raging
May16 Trump's Playboy Past May Come Back to Haunt Him
May16 Priebus: People Just Don't Care About Trump Controversies
May16 Possible Backdoor into Trump's Finances
May16 We Might Have Trump/Palin 2016
May16 Would Trump Be Good for Israel?
May16 Another Georgia Poll Shows a Tight Race
May16 Is Clinton Trapped Between a Sanders Rock and a Trump Hard Place?
May15 How Does Donald Trump Treat Women?
May15 Appalachia is the Key for Trump
May15 Trump-Putin Mural Goes Viral
May15 Adelson Throws His Weight Behind Trump
May15 Cruz May Rewrite GOP Rulebook at Convention
May15 Surprise! Clinton Already Has a Trump Tax Ad
May15 Nevada Democratic Convention Gets Contentious
May14 Trump Says that His Tax Returns Are None of Your Business
May14 Nine House Committee Chairs Endorse Trump
May14 Democrats May Have a Messy Contested Convention
May14 The GOP Convention Could Still Be Messy, Too
May14 Democrats Hold a Registration Edge in Key Swing States
May14 Sanders Won in the North and Clinton Won in the South
May14 Sanders in Some Hot Water with the FEC
May14 Third Party Republican Candidate Not Going to Happen
May13 Trump Meets with Ryan, Other GOP Leaders in Washington
May13 Trump Would Consider Cutting Social Security
May13 Trump's Tariffs Would Be Catastrophic for the Poor
May13 Kochs Make Their First Big Move of 2016
May13 Final Democratic Debate Looking Unlikely
May13 Another Win for Bernie Sanders
May13 Biden Already Had His Running Mate Picked Out
May13 Obama Wants Election Day to Be a Holiday
May13 Beware of Professors Bearing Prediction Models
May12 Trump Won't Release Tax Returns Before the Election
May12 Trump Rejects the Use of Big Data
May12 Ryan Is Caught in a Trap
May12 Gingrich Reportedly Favorite in GOP Veep Sweepstakes
May12 Time Looks to Be Growing Short for Sanders
May12 Florida Senate Race Turns Ugly
May12 Cruz Will Run For Re-Election in 2018
May12 Liberal Democrats Becoming Less Friendly to Israel
May12 The Decline and Fall of the Evangelicals?
May11 West Virginia and Nebraska Vote; Nothing Has Changed
May11 Clinton Moves Towards Sanders on Health Care
May11 Cruz Declines to Support Trump
May11 Armageddon May Be Upon Us
May11 Maybe the Republicans Need a Better Voting System
May11 Democrats Are Using Trump to Hurt Republicans with Latino Voters
May11 Biden Says He Expects Clinton to Become President
May11 App May Help Some Democrats Survive a Trump Victory