Clinton 2291
Sanders 1528
 Needed   2383
Trump 1160
Cruz 566
Rubio 166
Kasich 159
Needed 1237
TODAY'S HEADLINES (click to jump there; use your browser's "Back" button to return here)
      •  Trump and Sanders win Oregon; Clinton Takes Kentucky
      •  Donald Trump Is Not Bringing in New Voters
      •  Reminder: It's a Bad Time to Be a Pollster
      •  Bush Slams Trump for Taco Tweet
      •  Clinton's Dilemma
      •  Democrats Squabbling over Nevada
      •  Koch Brothers Are Rethinking Their Role in Politics

Trump and Sanders win Oregon; Clinton Takes Kentucky

The three remaining major party candidates all scored exactly one victory on Tuesday night; here are the numbers:

Republican Results
Oregon (73%) 66.9% 17 16.7% 3 16.5% 3

Democratic Results
Kentucky (99%) 46.8% 27 46.3% 27
Oregon (73%) 45.6% 24 54.4% 28

The story of the night is Hillary Clinton's victory in Kentucky. The Bluegrass State was Hillary-friendly in some ways (Southern, fairly moderate) but not so friendly in others (only 8.2% black voters, lots of coal miners). She won by a razor-thin margin (less than 2,000 votes, if the tally holds). This matters not a whit from a delegate perspective, but it matters a lot from a narrative perspective, since it will stop Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). from running off a long victory streak leading into the big June 7 contests. Meanwhile, Clinton also won in terms of the big picture, since another night has passed without Sanders threatening her delegate lead in any meaningful way.

The Oregon results are not terribly interesting. Trump did relatively poorly for someone who is technically unopposed, but that's not surprising because Oregon is not fertile ground for his brand of economic populism. Sanders won comfortably, which was to be expected in very liberal, very white (89.3%) Oregon, but he didn't do as well as in Washington because Oregon does not have an open primary.

The only thing left in May is the Washington GOP caucus on the 24th. Then, Democrats will vote in the Virgin Islands on June 4 and Puerto Rico on June 5. On June 7, the last delegates will be awarded, when half a dozen states conduct their business. So, the strangest primary season in recent memory is finally (mercifully?) nearing its end. (Z)

Donald Trump Is Not Bringing in New Voters

An analysis of GOP primary voters shows that, contrary to what Donald Trump is claiming, he is not bringing new voters to the polls. What he is doing is having stalwart Republicans who always vote for the Republican nominee in the general election now vote in the primaries for the first time. For example, turnout in the Iowa caucuses jumped 50% compared to 2012, but 80% of the caucus-goers had voted in three of the past four elections. In Florida, GOP primary turnout was up 40%, but 94% of Republican primary voters voted in 2012 or 2014. These aren't new voters.

If Trump were bringing in millions of new voters, that could change the electoral map considerably. Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin, as well as some other Rust Belt states might go Republican. However, if all that is happening is that people who always vote Republican in the general election are now voting in the Republican primaries for the first time, this development has little effect on the general election and the 2016 map might look a lot like the 2012 map.

Politico's analysis also refuted another of Trump's central claims: He has attracted flocks of Democrats. He hasn't. Furthermore, analysis of past elections show that primary turnout is not a good predictor of general election turnout, mostly because primary turnout is much lower than general election turnout. In 2012, Obama got 66 million votes. So far, Trump has gotten 11 million votes. In other words, a lot of voters skip the primaries but do show up for the general election. (V)

Reminder: It's a Bad Time to Be a Pollster

We have noted, many times, that polling has become a difficult business. Cell phones are the primary culprit, since they make it harder to run a robo-poll (it is illegal to have a computer call a cell phone), they make it easier for people to screen calls (and thus ignore the pollsters), and they make it more difficult to target the right voters (since someone with, say, a 310 cell phone number—Los Angeles—may or may not actually live in/near the 310 area code). Consequently, there have been some very embarrassing errors in the last few years, both at home and abroad.

As the New York Times' Nate Cohn points out, the Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton matchup polls we've been seeing in the last week, which generally have Clinton ahead by a closer-than-expected margin, present some additional issues. One of those is the "Trump effect," which describes the now well-established tendency for The Donald to do better in online polls than in phone polls. Since nobody wants to invest in phone polls this early, most of the Trump-Clinton polls are online, and they may be exaggerating his support. Another factor that may be skewing the results is that the GOP race is over, but the Democratic race is not. Many #NeverTrump Republicans are grudgingly coming around to their candidate, and so are likely to express support for him in polls. Sanders Democrats are not there yet, and so are much more likely to choose "none of the above" when given the option of choosing Clinton or Trump. In other words, there is good reason to expect that the majority of "undecideds" are really future Clinton voters.

It's an interesting analysis, and an excellent reminder: Don't put too much stock into polls until, at very least, the conventions have both been over for at least a week or two (that is, some time in mid-August). (Z)

Bush Slams Trump for Taco Tweet

Jeb Bush, like most of the other failed GOP candidates, apparently does not want to slip back into obscurity. Some of his former competitors have held onto the spotlight by going nuts on twitter [Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)], others have "run" for vice president (Carly Fiorina), and still others have begun their next presidential campaign [Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-TX)]. Bush's preferred technique is to take regular potshots at Donald Trump. The latest of these, a somewhat delayed response to Trump's Cinco de Mayo photograph of himself eating a taco bowl, was to denounce The Donald as a racist, and to say that the photograph was no better than if Trump had tried to celebrate African-American culture by tweeting a photo of himself eating a watermelon.

Bush is almost certainly correct that Trump is a racist, but he's seized upon a particularly bad example and a particularly bad analogy for illustrating that. There is a vast quantity of racist anti-black iconography that makes use of watermelon-eating as a means of demeaning African Americans and their culture. There is also a vast quantity of racist anti-Mexican iconography, but it does not make use of tacos (or taco bowls). It is entirely appropriate to commemorate Mexican (or Latino) culture by enjoying one of their native dishes (or an American adaptation of those dishes), just as it would be apropos to honor Japanese culture by eating sushi, or Italian culture by eating lasagna, or Jewish culture by eating kreplach. So, once again, Bush shows that he almost gets it, but he doesn't actually get it. (Z)

Clinton's Dilemma

Hillary Clinton has to decide soon if she will veer left to pick up Democratic voters who now support Bernie Sanders or move to the right to gather in Republicans who can't stand Donald Trump. It is hard to do both at the same time. Either one is doable. Moving to the left merely requires adopting some of Sanders' positions, such as reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act. This shouldn't be hard for her as in reality, her positions aren't so far from his. She too supports more regulation of the financial industry, for example. It's just that she wants it to be broader than Glass-Steagall was.

Moving to the right would be getting back to her roots. In 1964 she was a Goldwater girl, ardently supporting the Arizona senator. When she entered Wellesley College in 1965, she joined the Young Republicans, but by 1968, she was working for Sen. Eugene McCarthy, who was challenging President Lyndon Johnson over the Vietnam War. Since then she has also switched sides on numerous issues, which her opponents see as untrustworthiness. (V)

Democrats Squabbling over Nevada

This weekend's Democratic state convention in Nevada turned a bit ugly, as unhappy Bernie Sanders supporters (Hillary Clinton came out slightly ahead) hurled some nasty words and, occasionally, some nasty fists at their opponents. This has since led to some heavy-duty finger-pointing and posturing on both sides.

On one side, of course, is Sanders. While he lamented any violence that may have broken out, he also blamed the Democratic establishment for not doing their jobs and allowing the proceedings to descend into chaos. On the other side are the titans of the Party, including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL). They demanded an apology from Sanders on Monday, and then blasted him when they did not get it on Tuesday. Reid, for example, declared, "Bernie should say something—not have some silly statement. Bernie is better than that."

At the moment, it's not looking good for the blue team's chances to come together after their bitterly contested primary season. With that said, the same point was being made about the GOP just two weeks ago, and look at the healing effect that having an actual nominee has had. So, who knows? (Z)

Koch Brothers Are Rethinking Their Role in Politics

In February 2016, a group of key executives of the Koch brothers' Freedom Partners network showed up in Kansas to meet Charles and David Koch and get the go-ahead signal to spend the already allocated $150 million on ads in the primaries, mostly to take out Donald Trump. There was no go-ahead signal. There still hasn't been. According to insiders, the two billionaire brothers are rethinking their political activities. After spending boatloads of money in 2012 and 2014, they have gotten almost no return on their investment. Worse yet, half the country thinks of them as enemies of democracy and this is beginning to affect their corporate image and business. Historically, they didn't fund election candidates. What they did was fund think tanks and other long-term projects designed to promote their libertarian views, rather than working to elect candidates.

The Republicans' choice of Donald Trump complicates their decision-making process. While they are basically libertarians, he is anything but. In fact, they can't figure out what he is at all. Furthermore, even if they spend a lot of money on his behalf, it is unlikely to sway him much if he becomes President. If the Kochs do pull back from spending on the 2016 elections, it will require Republicans to do a lot of scrambling to fill the hole created by their absence. (V)

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---The Votemaster and Zenger
May17 Oregon and Kentucky Democrats Vote Today
May17 How Trump Will Attack Clinton
May17 Will Sanders Become Nader?
May17 The 2016 Electorate Will Be the Most Diverse Ever
May17 Federal Judge Hears Challenge to Wisconsin Voter ID Law
May17 Six People Who Won't Be Trump's Veep
May17 Rubio Not Happy with WaPo Article
May17 Cruz 2020 Is Now Underway
May16 State Republican Leaders Try to Crush Anti-Trump Activists
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?