Matt Vespa - It's On: Hillary Clinton Immediately Begins Fundraising Off Trump's Win In Indiana
Posted: 5/3/2016 10:54:00 PM EST

Folks, 2016 primary season is pretty much over, and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have emerged as the prohibitive favorites for the Democratic and Republican nominations for president respectively. Trump trounced Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) earlier Tuesday night. The Hoosier State was the last stand for the Cruz campaign, which had recently picked Carly Fiorina to be Cruz’s running mate days prior to Election Day. It was a Hail Mary that failed. Now, Hillary Clinton is tweeting that Trump is the “presumptive” nominee, and has actively begun fundraising off his win.

Clinton is banking heavily on the overwhelming demographic advantage Democrats have heading into November, but things have been unpredictable since Trump has entered the race. In a crowded field of Republicans who were either in politics or business, all of whom with much more political experience than Trump, who thought this bombastic and capricious billionaire could steamroll everyone with such ease in a matter of months. He’s spent almost nothing compared to his rivals, while earning $2 billion on free media. Certainly his Republican challengers did not, many of whom not having serious opposition research divisions to look into the real estate magnate since they thought he would fizzle out. That wasn’t the case.

Yes, Trump has appalling numbers with women voters. If they maintain, this election will be a disaster for Republicans, some already think it is with his pathway now cleared to clinch 1,237 delegates. But all is not lost. Given the unpredictable nature of this election year, former Mike Huckabee communications director, Hogan Gidley, said a week ago that in the past three instances where Trump and Clinton went after one another—Trump emerged as the victor. He admitted that when he invoked the women’s card to attack Clinton after dominating the I-95 primaries was a bad move. It’s gender-specific, and plays into the misogyny games liberals love to play with conservatives. But saying that Hillary is “crooked” doesn’t fall into that category. In fact, he noted that’s how many Americans feel about her, including Sanders supporters. Lastly, when Hillary came after Trump for being sexist, Hidley said Trump responded by saying she some nerve attacking him for that, given her marriage to Bill. The whole conversation then turned into whether Bill Clinton was “fair game” to attack this cycle.

The man knows how to work the media, while Clinton knows how to avoid them like the plague. When it comes to fighting Trump, she can’t do that.

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Matt Vespa - Ted Cruz Ends Presidential Ambitions, But Declares He’ll Continue To Defend The Constitution
Posted: 5/3/2016 10:35:00 PM EST

As Christine noted earlier this evening, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the conservative’s conservative, has ended his presidential ambitions after devastating defeat to billionaire Donald Trump. Trump had momentum after his decisive victories in the Acela Corridor primaries, which only further increased his significant delegate lead.

As former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina took the stage to introduce the senator, she said that both she and Cruz had “fallen in love” with the Hoosier state.

This is a man who favors substance over sloganeering. Who favors respect over insult. Who favors positive policy solutions over hand waving,” she added.

Upon taking the stage, Cruz delivered his usual anecdote about his family’s roots, the story about his father’s very humble beginnings, and how the dividends reaped from fleeing Cuba was allowing him to cast a ballot for his son running for the highest political office in the land. Then, came the bombshell, where the conservative fighter said, “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.”

‘‘Together, we left it all on the field of Indiana. We gave it everything we’ve got, but the voters chose another path, and so with a heavy heart but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign,” he added.

Yet, just because Cruz’s presidential ambitions are over, does not mean he’s finished fighting for liberty and constitutional principles.

“I am not suspending our fight for liberty, to defend the Constitution,” he said. “I will continue this fight with all of my strength and all of my ability.”

The state seemed tailor made for Cruz, given the large evangelical population and scores of high-income, college educated conservatives that break for Cruz, though Trump also had strength with the state’s white working class voter bloc. Moreover, Trump, according to ABC News early exits, showed that 70 percent of Republican voters were worried about the economic heath and direction of the country; Trump tends to do well in states where that level of dissatisfaction is high. Also, 60 percent of Indiana voters wanted a political outsider, another check in the Trump column (via FiveThirtyEight):

In many respects, Indiana should be a terrific state for the Cruz/Carly Fiorina pre-ticket. Indiana has the highest share of evangelical Protestants of any state yet to vote — 31 percent — which is 9 percentage points higher than in Wisconsin, the site of Cruz’s last triumph. In the 2012 GOP primary, the state’s GOP voters toppled Sen. Richard Lugar, a 36-year moderate fixture, in favor of Cruz’s fellow Tea Party purist Richard Mourdock. (Though Mourdock lost the general election to a Democrat, Joe Donnelly.) And like Wisconsin, Indiana has a robust population of well-educated, high-income conservatives — types that have favored Cruz — particularly in the northern Indianapolis suburbs.

However, here’s why Indiana could be an even better Trump state: It boasts the highest share of manufacturing jobs in the country. From steel mills on the shores of Lake Michigan to the medical device hub of Warsaw, to Elkhart, the “RV capital of the world,” Indiana’s blue-collar workforce — and its blue-collar retirees — are machine-made for Trump.

And they stood firm with Trump when it came time to cast their ballots. CNN  added that the Cruz campaign also made some strategic mistakes, like not sending Fiorina to key counties to shore up support in the final days leading up to the primary.

The Cruz campaign's biggest strategic error in Indiana could prove to be its decision to keep vice presidential pick Carly Fiorina -- who stood a much better chance of appealing to suburban women who make up a huge chunk of that doughnut county electorate -- with Cruz in urban and rural areas, rather than sending her to Hamilton, Boone and Hendricks counties, where she could have helped solidify Cruz's support.

In the end, Trump won evangelicals, and pretty much every other demographic.

So, for Cruz, his presidential train ended in Indiana, but he’s still an elected official from Texas. And he’s still got a job to do, especially if Hillary is elected in November.

Justin Holcomb  - Trump Tastes Sweet Victory, Says Cruz Was A Tough Competitor
Posted: 5/3/2016 9:48:00 PM EST

In what appears to be the end of the 2016 Republican election cycle, Donald Trump has won the Indiana primary in a landslide and forced Ted Cruz out of the race leaving a clear path to victory. 

The GOP party chair admitted that it is time to coalesce around the frontrunner.

Trump started his speech by thanking his family.

"We are going to make America great again," Trump said.

"We've been losing all the time... we're going to start winning again, big league," he continued.

Trump spoke about the tremendous amount of money spent on negative ads against him.  "The people aren't buying it," he said.  

"We are going to build up our military bigger better and stronger than before, it's the cheapest thing we can do."

He called Cruz a "hell of a competitor" and went on to thank all those who endorsed him over the course of the campaign.

"You will be so proud of your country very soon," he said in closing. 

Cortney O'Brien - Reince: Time to Unite Behind Trump
Posted: 5/3/2016 9:30:00 PM EST
In case you didn't hear, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is officially out of the 2016 election. As such, pundits have already started referring to Donald Trump as the "presumptive" Republican nominee - including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Priebus' use of the #NeverClinton hashtag indicates a major shift in the election and demands the GOP now focus solely on the assumed Democratic nominee.

Trump has had a love-hate relationship with the RNC throughout the 2016 primary. First, at an early debate, he refused to sign a pledge to support the Republican nominee if it wasn't him, then he signed the pledge, then he refused to honor it. Through all the flip flopping, Priebus didn't know what to make of him. Moreover, Trump called the Republican primary process "rigged" after losing delegates in state conventions where average voters didn't have a say.

Now, however, the chairman has acknowledged it's time to make friends with the bombastic businessman.

Cortney O'Brien - BREAKING: Sanders Wins Indiana
Posted: 5/3/2016 9:15:00 PM EST

After an exciting comeback, Bernie Sanders has won the Indiana primary, CNN is projecting. He had 53 percent of the vote, with 63 precincts reported.

The former secretary of state has not been able to hold off Bernie Sanders and his passionate supporters for months now. 

Although he has won several contests, his superdelegate tally pales in comparison to Clinton's. Before Tuesday’s vote, Sanders ranted against the “rigged” Democratic primary process for being biased toward Clinton. 

When asked about the candidates' behavior, 27 percent of voters said Clinton had treated Sanders unfairly.

The former secretary of state may face an even more disaffected electorate in coal country, where voters have not forgotten about her pledge to put coal companies out of business. 

Exit polls suggest her struggles won't end in the general election. Only a little more than half of Indiana voters viewed her as trustworthy. 

Christine Rousselle - BREAKING: Ted Cruz Is Suspending His Campaign
Posted: 5/3/2016 8:30:00 PM EST

UPDATE II: It's official, and Cruz has suspended his campaign. "We are suspending our campaign." 

UPDATE: AP is reporting it as well.

This post will be updated as Cruz finishes his speech in Indianapolis.

Christine Rousselle - BREAKING: Donald Trump Wins Indiana
Posted: 5/3/2016 7:00:00 PM EST

Donald Trump has won the Indiana Republican primary, CNN is projecting.

There are 57 delegates up for grabs tonight, but 27 of those are divided among congressional districts. Trump will receive at least 30 delegates, however, for winning the popular vote in the state.

This post will be updated when delegate totals are available.

Matt Vespa - GOP Early Exits: Indiana Is Prime Trump Territory
Posted: 5/3/2016 6:25:00 PM EST

With the polls about to close across most of Indiana, early exits show that it’s fertile ground for Trump. According to ABC News, 60 percent want a political outsider, which isn’t bucking the trend from past primaries. Regarding illegal immigration nearly half support deportation of illegal immigrants, whereas 41 percent, on average, supported the policy. The prolonged economic torpor under the Obama administration has probably boosted voter yearning for a political outsider. In Indiana, 70 percent of voters are worried about the direction of the country, although the number for those who are angry with the government is lower than in previous contests:

Attributes: Trump’s done very well in previous primaries among those looking for a candidate who “tells it like it is” or “can bring needed change,” and more recently, those focused on electability. He’s had a hard time with those, instead, who mainly care about a candidate who shares their values. Preliminary exit poll results in Indiana point to about the typical split in the size of each group, with change and plain talk voters accounting for more than half the total.

Time of decision: Early deciders are another group to watch: Trump’s done especially well all season among voters who made up their minds more than a month ago. They account for nearly half of Indiana GOP voters in preliminary exit poll results, similar to their average in previous contests.

[…]

GOP unity: Animosity within Republican ranks is on display again. As in New York and Pennsylvania, a majority of Indiana GOP primary voters – nearly six in 10 in preliminary exit poll results – say the campaign has mostly divided the party, while only four in 10 instead think it’s “energized” it. Trump supporters are most likely to say the contest has energized the party, while those supporting Cruz are much more apt to say the party’s been divided.

[…]

Midwestern demographics: Based on preliminary exit poll results, among key GOP groups, a third are “very” conservative, six in 10 are evangelicals and a majority attends church weekly. Still, weekly churchgoing evangelicals – a better group for Cruz in the past – account for well under half of all Indiana GOP primary voters, about four in 10.

Christine Rousselle - New Poll Shows Trump With Huge Lead in West Virginia
Posted: 5/3/2016 4:35:00 PM EST

A new PPP poll out of West Virginia shows Donald Trump with a massive lead in the state over Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Trump is leading Cruz by nearly 40 points, 61 points to 22, in the latest poll. Trump is also the only Republican candidate with a positive net favorability rating.

West Virginia heads to the polls on May 10. They have 34 delegates up for grabs--22 of which are elected statewide.

PPP's new West Virginia poll finds it's likely to just keep Donald Trump's recent streak of dominant victories right on going. Trump leads in the state with 61% to 22% for Ted Cruz and 14% for John Kasich. Trump, with a 67/24 favorability rating, is the only candidate GOP voters in the state even like. Both Kasich (32/50) and Cruz (32/53) come in with negative favorability ratings. 

Adding Carly Fiorina to the ticket has done little to help Cruz. Only 12% of voters say picking her as his running ma te makes them more likely to vote for Cruz, compared to 31% who say it makes them less likely to vote for Cruz and 54% who say they just don't care one way or another. Fiorina's 40/32 favorability rating with Republican primary voters does at least make her more popular than Cruz himself.

On the Democratic side, it looks as though West Virginians are feelin' the Bern. Sanders has a 12-point lead over Clinton.



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