In a surprise upset, Bernie Sanders narrowly defeated Hillary Clinton in Michigan on the back of a trade-heavy message in the struggling industrial state. The result didn’t match polling which showed Sanders trailing by double digits, and will cause heartburn among Clinton’s campaign staff as more Midwest states vote next week. But despite the loss, Clinton’s victory in Mississippi helped her expand her already impressive delegate lead over Sanders. The result did little to alter the trajectory of the race—which is leading to a Clinton nomination—but gave Sanders new wind as he seeks to extend his fight to the convention so that he can reshape the Democratic Party.
On the Republican side, Donald Trump was the big winner, but maybe not by enough. He won Hawaii, Michigan, and Mississippi, but lost to Ted Cruz in Idaho, and only gained a net of 15-20 delegates on Cruz. Trump still needs to win more than 50% of the outstanding convention delegates in order to secure the nomination on the first ballot—a tall order as there are few winner-take-all opportunities for him to win by plurality. Ohio Gov. John Kasich saw more cracks in his Midwestern firewall as he placed third in Michigan, where he had invested heavily in hopes of boosting his chances in his home state next week. And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio‘s campaign was dealt another gut-punch with two third-place and two fourth-place finishes at at most netted him two delegates. Kasich and Rubio face do-or-die tests in their home states next week and both trail Trump in public and private surveys.
Republican Party leaders looking to mount an all-out effort to stop Trump know a convention is their only way to potentially do it. Here’s TIME’s guide to how they may try to block Trump. Meanwhile, Trump is making a plea for party unity in hopes of winning over the grassroots of the party who are tired of the divisive campaign. At an election night press conference at one of his golf courses, Trump repeatedly stretched the truth about his personal and political pitches to the American people.
Jeb Bush’s super PAC maestro isn’t second-guessing his $100-million effort. Trump finds himself in hot water over outsourcing. And a GOP fundraising ploy is angering button collectors.
Here are your must-reads:
Donald Trump Seeks to Close the Deal in Florida
Time and again, Trump stretched the truth on both the personal and political [TIME]
14 Questions You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask About Blocking Donald Trump at the GOP Convention
Your guide to a potential contested convention [TIME]
Why Bernie Sanders’ Upset in Michigan Matters
It doesn’t alter Clinton’s status as front-runner, but keeps Sanders in the race far longer than had he lost, TIME’s Sam Frizell writes
Super PAC Consultant Who Spent $100 Million on Jeb Bush is Unapologetic
No second-guessing after epic loss [LA Times]
Trump Qualified for a Tax Break for New Yorkers Making $500K or Less
City and state officials verify the incomes of residents who get the tax break. New Yorkers had to reapply for the tax deduction several years ago [Crain’s New York]
“Sure, sure, he’s got a lot of talent, don’t want to say that yet” — Trump asked on MSNBC’s Morning Joe if he’d consider Marco Rubio has his running-mate
“It always comes down to Florida doesn’t it? — Rubio at a campaign rally on another disappointing election night, though his is the only campaign facing a do-or-die test in Florida
Bits and Bites
AG Lynch Says She’s Not Interested in Supreme Court Vacancy [Associated Press]
After Another Setback, Rubio Sees Salvation in Florida [Associated Press]