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Wake Up To Politics - May 4, 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 2016
188 Days Until Election Day 2016
82 Days Until the Republican National Convention
75 Days Until the Democratic National ConventionI'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!!!
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2016 Central

  • Indiana Primary: Cruz Suspends Campaign, Trump Now Likely Nominee; Sanders Scores Upset over Clinton Hoosier State voters effectively ended the 2016 primary cycle on Tuesday, forcing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz out of the race to crown business mogul Donald Trump as the likely Republican nominee, while also handing an upset victory to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, although it is unlikely to disrupt Hillary Clinton’s march to the Democratic nomination.
  • Indiana was the perfect state for Ted Cruz: heavily evangelical. Backed by the governor. One-on-one contest with Trump. As he said Tuesday night, Cruz “left it all on the field in Indiana,” accusing Trump and Hillary Clinton of being “two sides of the same coin,” using Trump’s opposition to anti-transgender laws against him, and – on the last day of the Hoosier campaign – going on a tirade against Trump, calling him a “pathological liar,” “utterly amoral,” “a narcissist,” and more.
  • But none of it matters. Almost immediately after the polls closed in Indiana, Trump was declared the projected winner. The millionaire obliterated Cruz, taking 53.3% of the state to the senator’s 36.6%. Ohio Gov. John Kasich who, according to a deal with Cruz, did not campaign in the state, won 7.6%.  Trump notched at least 51 delegates from the state, pushing him slightly over 1,000 total delegates, and exactly 200 away from the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
  • As votes were still being counted, Cruz finally saw the writing on the wall, after months of waging a losing battle. “From the beginning I’ve said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory. Tonight, I’m sorry to say, it appears that path has been foreclosed,” Cruz announced to supporters in Indianapolis on Tuesday night. “The voters chose another path, and so with a heavy hart, but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.”
  • With that, Donald Trump moved from Republican frontrunner to the party’s likely nominee. Trump was magnanimous in victory on Tuesday, calling Cruz “one hell of a competitor” with “an amazing future”. “So I want to congratulate Ted,” Trump continued. “I know how tough it is.” But soon, Trump looked past the primary and to his general election fight, likely with Hillary Clinton. “She will not be a good president, she will be a poor president,” Trump told the friends and family (and TV cameras) gathered for his speech at Trump Towers.
  • But he also appeared intent on gaining the support of the Republican establishment – “We have to bring unity,” he said – a process which began Tuesday with a tweet from Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman Reince Priebus. “@realDonaldTrump will be presumptive @GOP nominee, we all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton #NeverClinton,” Priebus wrote.
  • Priebus’ tweet came despite the fact that Trump still has an opponent in the GOP primary: Gov. Kasich. For his part, the Ohioan’s campaign released a statement signaling plans to stay the course: “Governor Kasich will continue to campaign and offer the voters a clear choice for our country,” Kasich chief strategist John Weaver said. Kasich – who now stands at fourth place among delegates in a two-man race – has no mathematical chance at being nominated on the first round of convention balloting, still holds out hope that a contested convention can be forced, although it seems increasingly clear that 1,237 delegates is within Trump’s grasp.
  • While the Republicans prepared to coalesce behind a likely nominee, the results in Indiana’s Democratic primary did nothing to bring an end to that nomination battle. After almost all public polling showed Hillary Clinton in the lead, Bernie Sanders came from behind to defeat her, winning 52.5% of the vote to Clinton’s 47.5%.
  • Sanders’ victory may bring momentum back on his side, allowing him continue campaigning and potentially notch wins in upcoming states (such as West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oregon), but the writing is on the wall on the Democratic side as well. Sanders barely beat Clinton among delegates, taking 43 of the state’s pledged to her 37 delegates. When superdelegates are factored, in Clinton leads Sanders among the delegates allocated so far.
  • In total, Hillary Clinton has 1,700 delegates on her side and Bernie Sanders has 1,410, meaning Sanders needs 973 more delegates to reach the threshold of 2,383. The problem? The remaining 13 Democratic contests offer only 933 delegates combined: so Sanders could win every single one of those pledged delegates, and still lose the nomination. With his efforts to court superdelegates failing so far, Sanders seems as unlikely to clinch the Democratic nomination as Ted Cruz was to clinch the Republican nod.
  • Yet, Sanders pushed back on the notion that his fight had ended. “The Clinton campaign thinks this campaign is over. They’re wrong. Maybe it’s over for the insiders and the party establishment, but the voters in Indiana had a different idea,” Sanders said in a Tuesday night statement. “The campaign wasn’t over for them. It isn’t over for the voters in West Virginia. It isn’t over for Democrats in Oregon, New Jersey and Kentucky. It isn’t over for voters in California and all the other states with contests still to come.”
  • Sanders’ victory means Clinton can’t look ahead to the general election yet, at risk of seeming presumptuous and offending Sanders supporters who she will need to defeat Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Trump has already begun gearing up for the election’s next phase: announcing the start of his vice presidential vetting process on Tuesday, with Priebus’ tweet a sign that Trump can begin working with the RNC to raise general election funds.
  • But despite her continued opposition by Bernie Sanders, the Clinton campaign did allow itself a moment of Trump-bashing on Tuesday. “Throughout this campaign, Donald Trump has demonstrated that he’s too divisive and lacks the temperament to lead our nation and the free world. With so much at stake, Donald Trump is simply too big of a risk,” Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said in a statement on Trump’s becoming presumptive nominee.
  • While Clinton is still plagued by Bernie Sander’s wide support, Donald Trump also faces an intraparty hurdle: the “Never Trump” movement. Instead of dying with Ted Cruz’s campaign on Tuesday, many inside the movement signaled plans to truly never support Trump, such as Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse.
  • “Reporters keep asking if Indiana changes anything for me. The answer is simple: No,” Sasse tweeted on Tuesday, although he failed to mention if he would support Hillary Clinton instead.
  • However, this was not the feeling of all “Never Trump” supporters, some of whom backtracked and moved to the “Never Say Never” camp. Republicans from Reagan strategist Ed Rollins to former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to Cruz donor Toby Neugebauer announced Tuesday that they would support Trump against Clinton, signaling that some “Never Trump Republicans” will soon become “Trump Republicans”.
  • Indiana Primary DOWNBALLOT: Establishment-Backed Young Defeats Tea Partier Stutzman The support for outsider candidate Donald Trump in Indiana’s Republican presidential primary Tuesday did not trickle down to the GOP Senate race in the state, where the same voters who delivered a Trump victory supported the establishment candidate and rebuked a Tea Party contender.
  • Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) defeated his colleague Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) in the Republican primary to succeed retiring Sen. Daniel Coats (R-IN) on Tuesday. Young was heavily backed by the GOP establishment, receiving millions of dollars from allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in an attempt to quietly resist the party’s Trump wing and install more moderate Republicans who may be able to win in November even with the bombastic billionaire atop the ticket.
  • Stutzman, on the other hand, is a member of the House Freedom Caucus who was backed by the Tea Party and seen as a challenge to Republican leadership. Young’s defeat of Stutzman was a huge victory for the Republican establishment, and a sign that 2016 may not be the Year of the Outsider in downballot races.
  • Young’s victory sets up a general election matchup with him and former Rep. Baron Hill (D-IN), who was not challenged for his party’s nomination on Tuesday. Young is seen as having a better chance of defeating Hill in November, boosting Republican hopes of keeping control of the Senate. In fact, Young has defeated Hill before: the two faced off in 2010, when the former was first elected to the House (overcoming Hill by a 10-point margin).
  • The Stutzman and Young candidacies created two open House seats: State Sen. Jim Banks won the Republican nomination for Stutzman’s seat with Freedom Caucus and Club for Growth backing; for Young’s seat, two state senators and the Indiana attorney general were defeated by multimillionaire Trey Hollingsworth, who relied on family money to win, despite moving to Indiana just a year before.

White House Watch

  • The President’s Schedule President Barack Obama makes his first trip to Flint, Michigan on Tuesday, to meet with residents of the city facing a water crisis.
  • At 10:05am Eastern Time, Obama will depart the White House, arriving in Flint at 11:50am, to be greeted by Gov. Rick Snyder (R-MI).
  • At 12:40pm, the President will visit a Flint food bank to receive a briefing on the federal efforts to rebuild the city after old pipes were found to be tainting the Flint drinking water with lead.
  • At 2:30pm, Obama will participate in a roundtable meeting with members of the Flint community at Northwestern High School in Flint, where he will deliver remarks at 4pm.
  • At 5pm, President Obama will depart Flint – arriving at the White House at 6:40pm.
  • At 8:25pm – just hours after standing in a city with potentially unsafe tap water – Obama will attend a gala dinner, speaking at the 22nd Annual Awards Gala of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies. Also in attendance at the reception? Hillary Clinton, the only presidential candidate to accept an invitation. If Obama and Clinton are at the event at the same time, their interaction will be interesting to watch, and to see if Obama makes any moves toward endorsing Clinton after her Indiana primary loss.

Question of the Day

  • Today’s Question Indiana was the sixth state of the 2016 presidential primary cycle to deliver victories to both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Can you name any of the other five? Send your answer(s) to trivia@wakeuptopolitics.com; correct respondents will be featured in tomorrow’s edition of Wake Up To Politics.
  • Yesterday’s Answer Monday’s trivia question came from Wake Up To Politics reader Joe Bookman: “Which presidential candidate had the greatest age difference with their running mate?”
  • The answer…James Buchanan, who was 30 years older than his vice presidential nominee, James Breckinridge. Buchanan, who was 65 years old on Election Day, and Breckinridge, 35, won the 1856 election, making the latter the youngest Vice President in U.S. history.
  • No one answered the question correctly, but credit to Jim Wilbat, Michael Prager, Randy Fleisher, and Rick Isserman – who all sent in guesses. Answers included Bush–Quayle ‘88/92 and Romney– Ryan ’12 (both tickets had a 23-year difference, tied for the seventh-largest age gap); and McCain–Palin ’08, who were separated by 28 years of age (second-largest age difference).
  • Great job all! If you have a political trivia question for Wake Up To Politics, send it to trivia@wakeuptopolitics.com!
  • Source: Smart Politics
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