March, 2016

Cruz Says Kasich Won’t Even Make Ballot at Convention

Ted Cruz said that “if there were a contested Republican convention, an obscure rule adopted at the 2012 GOP convention would block John Kasich from competing in a floor fight for the GOP presidential nomination,” Politico reports.

“The rule, drafted and imposed by forces loyal to Mitt Romney, requires that any candidate eligible for the nomination win a majority of delegates from at least eight states or U.S. territories. Kasich is unlikely to approach that threshold ahead of the convention.”

Said Cruz “It’s against the rules for Kasich to be on the ballot. Only two candidates meet that threshold.”

2016 Election Coverage Shatters Cable News Records

Politico: “The 2016 election is proving to be a powerful force for Fox News, CNN and MSNBC, and all three of them are major beneficiaries of the chaos, drama and uncertainty that has surrounded the Republican and (to a lesser extent) Democratic campaigns.”

“To be certain, the nonstop onslaught of primary debates and town halls helped boost the ratings of the channels, but they were not necessarily the root cause of the ratings surge.”

Trump Threatens to Press Charges Against Reporter

Donald Trump threatened to press charges against reporter Michelle Fields, posting a photo that he claims shows the reporter grabbed him after a press conference, The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “Victory press conference was over. Why is she allowed to grab me and shout questions? Can I press charges?”

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged today with simple battery for grabbing the same reporter several weeks ago.

Trump Causes Headache for Conservative Talk Radio

New York Times: “Long a powerful and potent agitator of right-wing politics, conservative radio hosts are one of the few forces that can sway the opinions of the Trump electorate. And with Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz now tearing each other — and the party — apart, the biggest names in the field are delicately navigating how to address Mr. Trump’s latest provocations without alienating listeners.”

“Conservative talk radio is just as divided and conflicted on Mr. Trump as the Republican electorate. Some advocate, some criticize. And some try to stay neutral — but that is no longer easy.”

Supreme Court Deadlock Gives Unions Victory

“A tie vote from the Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a win to labor unions in a high-profile dispute over their ability to collect fees,” the AP reports.

“The justices divided 4-4 in a case that considered whether public employees represented by a union can be required to pay ‘fair share’ fees covering collective bargaining costs even if they are not members. The split vote leaves in place an appeals court ruling that upheld the practice.”

“The result is an unlikely victory for organized labor after it seemed almost certain the high court would rule 5-4 to overturn a regime in place nearly 40 years. The court is operating with only eight justices after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, who had been expected to rule against the unions.”

The GOP Race Turns to Wisconsin

First Read: “The Badger State is almost taking on a role like New Hampshire: Because it’s the only state voting in an otherwise empty stretch, it’s less about delegate math than it is about momentum on both sides. It feels like we’re coming out of halftime and the next scoring opportunity offers the team that seizes it a chance to reset. For Republicans, the #NeverTrump movement has to prove it’s got the juice to slow the frontrunner’s momentum, because they’re going to have a much harder time stopping him if they don’t change this narrative fast. Meanwhile, Trump hopes to make plays in areas like Green Bay and Paul Ryan’s hometown of Janesville to flex his muscles with traditional and non-traditional GOP base voters alike.”

“By the way, watch for the complex rules of GOP delegate allocation to influence how the campaigns operate. While 18 of the state’s 42 delegates will be awarded to the statewide winner, the majority – 24 delegates – will be allocated to the winners in specific congressional districts. That means that candidates are likely to hammer away at the areas of the state where they feel they have best chance of racking up a CD win. And, of course, keep an eye out today too for Gov. Scott Walker’s ‘formal decision’ in the GOP primary.”

Will Cruz and Kasich Break the Pledge?

Rick Klein: “Before there’s any teamwork, maybe there can be agreement about the rules of the game. John Kasich’s campaign’s efforts to work with Ted Cruz forces to block Donald Trump – first reported by CNN – look to be stalled over a lack of trust, not to mention the fact that Cruz needs Kasich less than he needs him to just get out of the race.”

“But there’s a powerful point that it’s not too late for Kasich and Cruz to make in unison: that they won’t support Trump as the nominee. Yes, this would be violating the pledge, a pledge that was re-confirmed by all the candidates at the latest Fox GOP debate. Yet both Cruz and Kasich are edging toward that reversal anyway. What’s the downside in making that formal, if that’s what they both believe? It wouldn’t be a partnership, but it would create a major and unprecedented moment for two candidates who need to shake the race up, and fast.”