House Speaker Paul Ryan “downplayed any conflict between his detailed policy proposals and those pushed by Donald Trump on Wednesday, hours after the front-runner sewed up five more states and marched ever closer to locking up his party’s nomination,” Politico reports.
Archives for April 2016
Sen. Ted Cruz, “desperate to alter the course of a presidential primary fight in which Donald Trump is closing in on victory, will announce that Carly Fiorina will be his running mate if he wins the Republican nomination,” the New York Times reports.
“The move, a day after Mr. Trump scored unexpectedly wide victory margins in sweeping five East Coast states, amounts to the grandest diversionary ploy a presidential candidate can stage — or at least the grandest one available to a candidate trailing by more than 400 delegates who failed to win more than 25 percent of the vote in any state on Tuesday.”
Nathan Gonzales: “As Democratic chances of taking back the House improve with the success of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, party strategists are trying to figure out exactly how and where it’s going to happen. It’s not too difficult to see Democrats gaining 10, or even 20, seats in November, but gaining the 30 required for a majority is more difficult and will require Democrats winning a large swath of seats where Republicans are currently heavy favorites.”
“In order to win the majority, Democrats likely need to win a clear majority of a batch of 16 seats, which includes pricey plays, scenario seats, late bloomers, and slippery targets.”
A federal judge sentenced former House Speaker Dennis Hastert to 15 months in prison for evading banking rules in what prosecutors said was a bid to hide sexual misconduct allegations from decades ago, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Said U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin: “The defendant was a serial child molester.”
“The sentence of 15 months, plus two years of supervised released, was beyond the up to six months in prison that was suggested in the plea agreement he reached with federal prosecutors last year.”
William Galston: “The minute-to-minute coverage of the 2016 presidential primaries threatens to obscure the larger story: While Sen. Bernie Sanders is pressing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to move further and faster down the progressive road, Donald Trump is waging and winning the third major revolution in the Republican Party since World War II.”
“Mr. Trump’s candidacy has showed that the cadre of genuine social conservatives is smaller than long assumed, that grass-roots Republican support for large military commitments in the Middle East has withered, and that the business community is politically homeless.”
“So it has come to this: A mercantilist isolationist is the odds-on favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination.”
The Atlantic: “On both sides, the leading candidates have established clear patterns of support—and have faced largely intractable pockets of resistance. For the most part, demography has trumped geography, with the big exception that in the Democratic race challenger Bernie Sanders has run much better against front-runner Hillary Clinton among several groups of voters outside of the South than in Dixie, including whites, the middle-aged, and those who describe themselves as very liberal.”
“The lights are going out across the Republican Party tonight… It’s like Trump has built a lab to blow a general election, even against Hillary Clinton.”
— GOP strategist Mike Murphy, quoted by Politico.
Wall Street Journal: “Some 58% of Republican voters in Pennsylvania said the primary process had divided the party, exit polls showed. A far smaller share, 40%, said the primaries had energized the party.”
“Moreover, one-quarter of Republican primary voters in Maryland and Connecticut, and nearly that share in Pennsylvania, said they wouldn’t vote for Mr. Trump in a general election. That signaled a problem for Mr. Trump in one of his top tasks, should be become the nominee: unifying his own party.”
First Read: “Here’s something else that might give GOP consultants the night sweats: In battleground Pennsylvania, 69% of Democratic primary voters said their race was energizing their party, versus 58% of Republicans who said their nominating contest was dividing theirs.”
“Chaka Fattah, a fixture in Philadelphia politics for three decades, was ousted from the Second Congressional District seat by State Rep. Dwight Evans in Tuesday’s Democratic primary,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
“Fattah’s fall came 20 days before the start of his federal criminal trial, an impending peril he tried to downplay as he campaigned for a 12th term.”
“Donald Trump, fresh from his latest series of primary wins, will deliver a rare policy speech Wednesday aimed at calming some Republicans’ fears about his ability to deal with global crises,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Mr. Trump’s speech, to be delivered in Washington, D.C., is part of an effort to present the GOP front-runner as a leader ready to become commander-in-chief, following months of raucous rallies and incendiary statements about his competitors, ethnic groups and sometimes other countries.”
Bernie Sanders said that “he plans to head to the Democratic National Convention to continue fighting for a progressive party platform this July,” CBS News reports
“But he didn’t say in his carefully crafted statement that he’s still fighting for the Democratic nomination.”
“I’m going to be taking a lot of what Bernie Sanders says and using it… he’s got a lot of good material.”
— Donald Trump, quoted by Bloomberg.
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that more than half of American voters believe that the system the political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is “rigged” and more than two-thirds want to see the process changed.
“The results echo complaints from Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders that the system is stacked against them in favor of candidates with close ties to their parties – a critique that has triggered a nationwide debate over whether the process is fair.”
Dan Balz: “But there is more at work than just counting numbers. When Trump broke the 60 percent barrier in the popular vote in New York, it forced many Republicans to take notice and begin to acknowledge, if grudgingly, that he seemed more likely than before to prevail. That feeling could gather force on the basis of his powerful showing Tuesday night, when in state after state he rolled up huge margins.”
“Beyond his victories, there was evidence in the exit polls to suggest that the will among rank-and-file Republicans to stop a Trump nomination, even if he falls a bit short of 1,237 at the end of the primary race, might not be as strong as Cruz, Kasich and the GOP establishment would like to see.”
Donald Trump “is essentially two key states from the nomination,” according to Nate Cohn.
“By sweeping five states on Tuesday, he pulled only a few hundred Republican delegates short of the 1,237 he needs to win without a contested convention.”
“He has long been favored in the polls in two of the remaining primary states, New Jersey and West Virginia. That leaves Indiana and California as the crucial prizes that would put Mr. Trump over the top — and while he was once thought to be vulnerable in both states, polls have shown him with a modest lead.”
Nate Silver: It’s Trump’s nomination to lose
National Review: “The Indiana governor may not have been abducted, but he’s certainly missing in action on the central question facing the Republican party: Are you with Trump, or against him?”
“Pence is hardly alone on the sidelines, of course. But the crowd of wet-fingered politicians trying to determine which way the wind is blowing doesn’t matter. Pence does. If Donald Trump loses the May 3 Indiana primary, it is all but certain he will fall short of the 1,237 delegates necessary to win the nomination on the first ballot. Indiana is now the Gates of Vienna for stopping the Trumpian takeover of the GOP.”
“In the wake of her victories in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware, some of Hillary Clinton’s top operatives are ready for Bernie Sanders to call it quits. But Clinton’s own refusal to give up in 2008, even after she had no real path forward, remains an obstacle to ramping up that pressure,” Politico reports.
“Indeed, some veterans of Clinton’s 2008 campaign are urging empathy and space for Sanders, emphasizing that the decision to slog on is not about having a viable path forward — it’s about feeling that you’ve gone as far as you can go.”
Politico: “The frugal Manhattan mogul has begun opening his wallet for the air war, spending more than $900,000 on TV and radio ads. He’s working the inside game, wooing Gov. Mike Pence one-on-one in what multiple Indiana insiders said appears to have been a successful effort to keep the governor on the endorsement sidelines. And Trump’s new campaign strategist Paul Manafort has been telling Republican officials, multiple people told POLITICO, that Trump is in the midst of doubling the ground team there, with plans to balloon his in-state operation to 40 people.”
“The sudden infusion of operatives, cash and attention is a sign of Indiana’s fulcrum position in the Republican primary fight. Trump can’t win the nomination there. But it’s where he could lose it.”