After his loss in Wisconsin and other high profile missteps, Donald Trump pledged to reset his campaign, hiring a new “convention manager” to essentially take over his operation. So far he has little to show for it. This weekend alone, Trump all-but gave away 28 first ballot delegates in Colorado and lost perhaps dozens more delegates should there be a second ballot from Michigan, South Carolina and Indiana. Trump’s focus on “winning” states has not extended to delegate selection, allowing rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich to install their loyalists as first-round Trump delegates who will flip on multiple ballots. The organizational failures don’t bode well for Trump’s efforts in future delegate selection efforts and raise questions about his performance in Pennsylvania, where a complex voting procedure puts delegates directly on the ballot and forces campaigns to educate their voters on whom to back.
Trump’s rivals are looking down the calendar as they hope to keep Trump from 1,237. Ted Cruz is heading to California, which votes in two months and is the last big delegate opportunity before the convention, holding two rallies in the state Monday. The state will play a pivotal role in the calendar, being the place Trump either locks in the nomination or sends the party heading toward multiple ballots in Cleveland.
The Democratic fight in New York is heating up, as the favorited Hillary Clinton releases a new ad in the state arguing she’s the only candidate tough enough to take on Trump. Bernie Sanders released a spot of his own that highlights his “values forged in New York … Brooklyn born, native son.” The ads highlight their contrasting messages, with Clinton both pivoting toward the general election and highlighting her own electability, with Sanders making an appeal for the emotions of liberal voters in the state.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan may not be running for president, but it doesn’t mean he’s not running for something. The former GOP vice presidential nominee is mounting an effort to rebrand the GOP as an ideas party at a time when the presidential race is dominating news coverage.
A Trump aide goes overboard in his Cruz criticism. Sanders questions Clinton’s judgement. And President Obama promises there won’t be any political interference in the Clinton email investigation.
Here are your must-reads:
Donald Trump Loses Weekend Delegate Fight in 5 States
A no good, very bad start to turning his ground operation around [TIME]
A Portrait of Trump the Donor: Free Rounds of Golf, But No Personal Cash
Candidate has been less charitable than advertised [Washington Post]
Paul Ryan, a Mirage Candidate, Wages a Parallel Campaign
Maybe not for president, but Paul Ryan is running in 2016 [New York Times]
Cruz, Trump Prepare Mass-Money Arms Race in California
The state will host what’s likely to be the contest’s decisive primary in June, but the campaigns are already marshaling their forces [Politico]
“Well, he’s threatening, you go to these county conventions, and you see the tactics, Gestapo tactics” — Trump convention manager Paul Manafort on Meet the Press on Ted Cruz’s focus on securing delegates
“We’ll sell them missiles that don’t work correctly, right? Let them sue us. Tell them to sue us. Oh, I’m sorry they don’t work. Gee, that’s too bad. We’ll take in about $12 billion for missiles and they’ll say these missiles are terrible. And I’ll say, ‘Yup, that was the purpose of it.'” — Trump on selling missiles to Iran
Bits and Bites