Voters don’t elect presidential nominees. They never have. Party politics aren’t democratic—the will of the party trumps the people—and maybe even Trump. In the modern political era, primaries and caucuses have been played outsized roles in determining nominees, but on a procedural level it’s always been an inside game governed by party delegate selection rules. Communicating that to voters is a challenge both parties are struggling with this spring as the Republican race moves closer to a contested convention and Democrats once again struggle with the influence of super-delegates on their process. Flirting with using arcane party rules to overturn the plurality of its primary voters, the GOP is struggling to find how best to communicate to its voters that, at the end of the day, they don’t really decide. Charges that “the fix is in” have been thrown around both parties, at times rightly so, making unifying both parties after their conventions more difficult.
Donald Trump has been screaming bloody murder about the GOP delegate selection process, calling it unfair and rigged. But the fault is largely his campaign’s for failing to understand the very basics of the nominating system—in some cases losing simply because his campaign didn’t show up. In New York, his children missed deadlines to register to vote for their father. Now Trump’s vocal army of supporters is taking matters into its own hands, making their frustration known with pledged delegates who are anti-Trump, in what is a preview of what the Cleveland aftermath might look like.
John Kasich is delivering a speech Tuesday about the two paths facing the nation: the one he offers, and “into a ditch.” Ted Cruz is spending some time outside the Empire State amid the blow up over his “New York values” criticism. Hillary Clinton is slamming Bernie Sanders once again on his voting record on gun control. And candidate plans don’t bode well for the national debt.
Here are your must-reads:
Trump’s Own Beltway Establishment Guy: The Curious Journey of Don McGahn
Trump’s election lawyer is the ultimate insider [Washington Post]
Campaign 2016: Not Servicing National Debt
Promises by Trump, Cruz, Sanders all raise prospects of more red ink, outside experts say [Wall Street Journal]
Billionaires Fund Anti-Trump Delegate Push
Super PAC mounts state-by-state effort to elect convention delegates who oppose Trump [Politico]
Donald Trump and New York Tabloids Resume Their Elaborate Dance
A symbiotic relationship meets the presidential campaign [New York Times]
“The people out there are going crazy. They’re going absolutely crazy because they weren’t given a vote.” — Donald Trump on Colorado Republicans who selected their convention delegates through a convention, rather than a caucus or primary
“I don’t think that people are going to want a closed convention, I think they’re going to want to give the delegates freedom to make good choices.” — John Kasich in a CNN town hall calling for GOP rules changes to make it easier for him to be nominated
Bits and Bites
John Kasich to Lay Out ‘Two Paths’: His and Driving ‘Into a Ditch’ [New York Times]