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Wake Up To Politics - April 19, 2016

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
0 Days Until the New York Primary
203 Days Until Election Day 2016I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at wakeuptopolitics@gmail.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom.    2016 Central

  • New York Primary: Trump, Clinton Need to Take Back Momentum Despite leading in delegates for the respective parties’ presidential nomination, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton have faced a string of losses recently to challengers Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders. With the presidential race now stationed in their shared delegate-rich home state, Trump and Clinton are hoping to take back the momentum in the presidential race Tuesday as New Yorkers head to the polls.
  • Trump and Clinton are both expected to win, but it will be the margin that really matters. For Clinton, it is crucial that she deliver a decisive blow to Sanders (who also hails from New York), to destroy his chances of catching her in the pledged delegate count for good. But if Clinton’s lead is only single-digits, Sanders will claim victory by virtue of her stature in New York, and the momentum of the race could stay in his favor. According to the RealClearPolitics average, Clinton’s polling lead is about 12% against Sanders (53.1% to 41.4%).
  • On the Democratic side, all primaries are proportional, meaning a candidate’s percentage of the vote in New York roughly equals the percentage of New York’s 247 delegates they will receive. But it is much more complicated on the Republican side, which offers 95 delegates Tuesday.
  • If Trump manages to not only win, but also exceed 50% in the statewide vote, all 95 Republican delegates will automatically go to him. However, if he wins with only a plurality, just 14 delegates are automatically awarded to him, with the remaining divided by congressional district (three are awarded for each congressional district a candidate wins). If the contest becomes a district-by-district delegate race, Cruz could manage to grab delegates from Trump by winning in upstate New York near Syracuse. The number of delegates Cruz squeaks by with Tuesday could dictate whether he can clinch the needed 1,237 delegates on the first ballot. According to RealClearPolitics, Trump’s polling average is 53%, to Kasich’s 23% and Cruz’s 18%, in New York.
  • The results of the New York primary will dictate the future of both nomination contests: either Tuesday will be the night Donald Trump and/or Hillary Clinton ran away with their presidential nominations…or it won’t be, leaving the future of the race wide open for weeks to come.
  • Polls close at 9pm Eastern Time; according to the Associated Press, upstate counties (where the bulk of the Republican electorate is located) usually report first, followed by New York City (which accounts for about half of the Democratic vote). About 90% of the statewide vote should be counted by 11pm.
  • Closed Primary Woes A key dynamic to watch in New York: the state holds a closed primary, meaning voting in a party’s primary is closed to registered members of the party. Bernie Sanders has won almost exclusively in open primaries, and the prohibition on Independents crossing over to support him could be the difference between a win and loss for Sanders. More from the Washington Post here.
  • “New York Values” A New York Times interactive attempts to decide who is the “true New Yorker”: Chappaqua resident and former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Brooklyn native Bernie Sanders, or Queens-born Manhattan real estate developer Donald Trump. New York attributes taken into account include accent (Sanders win), residency (Trump), “Hamilton” viewing (Clinton), eating patterns (Sanders), and transportation (Clinton).
  • Up Next The rest of the Northeast follows New York’s lead next Tuesday, with Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island voting on April 26.

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule President Barack Obama leaves Tuesday for a seven-day foreign trip, departing the White House for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at 3:20pm Eastern Time. Air Force One will refuel in Ramstein, Germany during the flight, before arriving in Riyadh on Wednesday.
  • This trip – Obama’s 46th foreign tour as President, according to CBS – will take him to Riyadh for the Gulf Cooperation Council summit, to London for meetings with the Queen and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and finally to Hannover, Germany to attend the Hannover Messe Trade Fair with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Capitol Hill News

  • Senate Schedule The upper chamber will meet at 10am, and will begin the day’s session with morning business (an hour of 10-minute speeches).
  • At 12pm, the Senate will vote on passage of legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA). The bill will fund FAA programs through Fiscal Year 2017; currently, the agency is set to run out of funding on July 15. A cloture vote was held on the bill Monday, which advanced in a 89-5 vote.
  • From 12:30pm to 2:15pm, the chamber will recess for weekly caucus meetings, before returning to take up the Energy Policy Modernization Act, a bipartisan energy bill co-sponsored by Energy and Natural Resources Committee chair Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and ranking member Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
  • The bill, the Senate’s first comprehensive energy legislation in nearly a decade, was first considered by the Senate last year, but held up by Democratic Sens. Bill Nelson (FL) and Debbie Stabenow (MI) to attempt to force a separate aid package for Flint, Michigan to be considered alongside it (the aid package remains blocked by Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah).
  • According to POPVOX, the energy bill is “aimed at updating the nation’s power grid and oil and gas transportation systems,” and will “require electric grid operators to perform major upgrades,” “permanently authorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund,” “define hydropower as renewable resource and streamline permits for new hydropower projects,” and reverse the “phase-out of fossil fuel use in federal buildings by 2030.
  • The Senate will hold a voice vote on 28 amendments to the measure en bloc, and then hold two hours of debate before voting on eight amendments. The last eight will be voted in via roll call, and will require 60 votes for approval.
  • After the amendments are dispensed with, a cloture vote and final vote on passage will be held.
  • House Schedule The lower chamber will meet at 10am, turning to legislative business at 12pm, and then begin voting at 2pm.
  • The chamber votes on seven measures Tuesday. Three are focused on the IRS: a resolution calling for the IRS to provide printed copies of its official income tax guide to taxpayers, a resolution prohibiting IRS funds from being used to target U.S. citizens for exercising First Amendment rights, and a bill prohibiting the IRS from rehiring an employee fired for misconduct.
  • The remaining four are focused on small business: a bill to create standards for the size of small-business agricultural producers, another to increase opportunities for small business in government contracts, another to “bring consistency to the range of the anticipated value of federal procurement contracts that must be reserved exclusively for small business” (according to POPVOX), and another to expand the duties of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization.

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question Who is the only U.S. President to have served as a U.S. Senator from New York?
  • Email me at trivia@wakeuptopolitics.com to answer the question: send along your best guess, or look it up and find the answer out for sure. Correct respondents will be featured in tomorrow’s edition of Wake Up To Politics. Also: send your ideas for future trivia questions to the same email address.
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light