We’re in between major contests, but that doesn’t mean things have been quiet. Once again with the bullet points, this time all-GOP. Sorry Democrats, you’re boring me right now!
- Bloomberg Politics has a great overview of the state of the delegate race. If you’ve only got time for one thing, read this. The bottom line is that while Cruz’s delegates tend to be seasoned activists who know the in’s and out’s of their party’s rules, Trump’s delegates tend like him to be outsiders who don’t seem to understand the rules at all.
- That has led Trump and his surrogates to begin whining on Twitter and on teevee about how unfair the whole process is (more here!). I’m sorry, but that’s just pathetic. If you decide that you want to win a contest, it is incumbent upon you and whomever you hire to learn the rules of the game you are playing. It is no one’s fault but your own if it turns out that the rules aren’t what you assumed them to be. It also suggests you’d be a disastrous president, since so much of that job is managing the complex rules and regulations of the bureaucracy while also negotiating with a congress that is constrained by its own complex sets of rules.
- And remember, it’s not just Colorado where Trump got schooled. Iowa, Michigan, South Carolina, and Indiana have also been disasters of his own making. And Indiana hasn’t even voted yet! Trump could’ve worked harder to make sure that some of the state’s delegates were people sympathetic to his cause, but they did nothing, and so instead the state has selected people who will almost certainly break with Trump on the second ballot even if he wins the state. I know this stuff is tedious and sometimes boring, but good god…has there ever been a front-runner this totally clueless about party politics?
- Republican officials are beginning to push back pretty hard. First it was Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner firing back on Twitter, but things escalated quickly. RNC Spokesman Sean Spicer then weighed in: “If you’re a campaign and you don’t understand the process that’s going on, then that’s bad on the staff. That’s bad on the campaign. Running for office entails putting together a campaign that understands the process. There’s nothing rigged.” Eventually even RNC Chair Reince Priebus had to weigh in, taking to Twitter to explain that the rules are the rules, and they’ve been in place for over a year. Which is true! They have! Trump’s big brain notwithstanding.
- The delegate contest in the US Virgin Islands has become so heated that the territory might send two delegations to the convention. So we’re pretty much guaranteed at least one credentials fight!
- But let’s get specific about this. How many delegates is Cruz picking up through his county and state-level maneuvers? The Washington Post took a look at it, and as of right now, he’s locked up an additional 130-170 delegates on the second ballot. As I’ve been trying to explain, that would be more than enough for Cruz to win on the second ballot, assuming that the remaining contests play out roughly as expected. A big if, of course, but still!
- Want to know what it’s like to be a delegate right now? Aside from the death threats – and hello, what the f**k is wrong with some people?!? – it sounds like most of them don’t know what’s about to hit them. Although the death threats appear to be changing that.
- Looks like lots of high profile Republicans, particularly those in blue states running for reelection, are planning on skipping the convention this time around. That’s…very not normal, and it’s one small sign among many of just how unusual this year really is. I have to wonder though – do they really think this is going to keep their names out of the news that week? National news, possibly, but local news? Really? I feel like they might want to rethink this plan.
- Oh, and it looks like Trum’s campaign manager won’t face assault charges!
OK wait… One Democratic bullet point:
- Matt Kerbel, one of my all-time favorite political scientists, has a great post looking at the Democratic race. No summary – go read his blog!