With the race turning to New York, Republican candidates are focusing their efforts on the state’s confusing delegate rules, which awards its 95 delegates by a complicated, but important formula. The 14 statewide delegates are awarded proportionally to candidates reaching at least 20% of the statewide vote, but go entirely to the first-place finisher if that candidate tops 50%. The 81 remaining delegates—three per congressional district—are awarded based on the outcome at the district level, with the first place finisher being awarded two delegates, unless the candidate tops 50% and wins all three. This complicated process is driving the strategies of Ted Cruz and John Kasich as they attempt to pick up delegates at the expense of statewide favorite Donald Trump. Cruz is hoping for success in many urban districts where there are few Republicans that he can target, as well as some conservative upstate districts. Kasich is focusing on larger suburban areas where many moderate Republicans live. While not directly coordinating, by targeting their focus where they stand the best odds, the two challengers are maximizing their odds of keeping delegates away from Trump.
Trump, meanwhile, reshuffled his campaign leadership in an effort to get his delegate process back on track by promoting Washington lobbyist Paul Manafort to the role of “convention manager.” But he faces an uphill climb, both within the insular and free-wheeling Trump campaign and externally, as he tries to make up for months of lost time. Some delegates are already lost, with the campaign missing critical deadlines.
The Democratic race is growing increasingly bitter, but what has the Hillary Clinton campaign worried is the spillover effect into the general election. Sanders’ charge that she is unqualified is guaranteed to come back in the fall general election. Meanwhile, Sanders is taking a break from the campaign trail next week to visit the Vatican to speak on “restoring social justice and environmental sustainability to the world economy,” his campaign announced.
Clinton has trouble with the subway. Rudy backs Trump. And why Cruz made matzoh.
Here are your must-reads:
Republican Establishment Weighs the Devil They Know
TIME’s Jay Newton-Small on Capitol Hill’s ever-so-slight warming to Cruz
New Hire Signals a Reboot in the Donald Trump Campaign
New “convention manager” has an uphill battle [New York Times]
Is an Increasingly Nasty Clinton-Sanders Race Doing Lasting Damage to Democrats?
Sanders’ attack on Clinton gives potent weapon to Republicans [Washington Post]
Hillary Clinton Rode the Subway and Only Looked a Little Like a Tourist
The former New York senator had a little trouble with the turnstile [TIME]
“I will take Bernie Sanders over Donald Trump or Ted Cruz anytime.” — Hillary Clinton to reporters Thursday attempting to rise above Sanders’ charge that she is unqualified to be president
“Well, does Secretary Clinton believe that I am unqualified to be president?” — Bernie Sanders to CBS when asked if he thought Clinton was qualified for the job
Bits and Bites
Obama Readies Flurry of Business and Economic Regulations [Wall Street Journal]
Rudy Giuliani is Voting for Donald Trump [New York Post]
Why Cruz Went to That Matzoh Bakery [Politico]