April, 2016

Exit Polls Show Bitterly Divided GOP

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.”

Indicted Lawmaker Loses Primary Race

“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.”

Trump Set to Give Foreign Policy Speech

“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.”

Most Americans Think Nominating System Is Rigged

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.”

Why It Will Be Hard to Deny Trump Nomination

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.”

Trump Just Two States Away from Victory

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

Where Is Mike Pence?

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.”

Clinton Refused to Quit In 2008 Too

“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.”

Trump Steps Up Efforts In Indiana

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.”

GOP Voters Strongly Back Trump Ban on Muslims

Byron York: “What was once furious Republican opposition to Donald Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. has turned to virtual silence in the face of widespread GOP voter approval.”

“Exit polls from the nation’s biggest Republican primaries show impressive majority support for Trump’s proposal. In the latest example, in Pennsylvania Tuesday, 69 percent of GOP voters said they support ‘temporarily banning Muslims who are not U.S. citizens from entering the U.S.’ In New York last week, the number was 68 percent.”

Van Hollen Wins Senate Nomination In Maryland

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), “a seven-term congressman who has risen rapidly through the ranks of the Democratic leadership in Washington, won the party’s nomination for Maryland’s open Senate seat Tuesday,” the Baltimore Sun reports.

“The son of a Baltimore family, Van Hollen ran as a pragmatic deal maker in a time of polarized politics. Though he was supported by many establishment figures — and raised significantly more money than any other candidate — he faced tough opposition from Rep. Donna F. Edwards, who represents a neighboring congressional district in the Washington suburbs.”