Editors' Blog

The Great Moment Has Arrived, People!

Now that Donald Trump is definitively the Republican nominee, it's time to see whether he can unite the party. Who will endorse him? Will more than nine people stay in the #NeverTrump minyan? We want to help you track who's endorsing, who's not and the various grey areas of awkwardness in between. So starting this afternoon, after consulting statisticians, political scientists and ourselves, we've derived this five part taxonomy.

They are: 1) Endorse, 2) "Supporting the Nominee", 3) Mum's the Word, 4) Fuzzball and 5) NeverTrump.

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TPM Readers on Sanders #9

TPM Reader PL has a take on the Sanders-Clinton battle which I agree with in a lot of ways. As he puts it, he never thought Sanders would be the nominee. The aim was to push the party left and show the establishment that the the left-wing of the party is growing, strong and has teeth. Now, they refuse to go away.

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TPM Readers on Sanders #8

TPM Reader JR has a structural take on how we got to the Bernie-Hillary contest ...

I’m a little late to the party on the Sanders comments, but I think one additional perspective on the current state of affairs is missing: Sanders’ entire campaign was made possible by the fact that Hillary essentially cleared the playing field for him prior to the primary season getting started. O’Malley was never a serious contender, which left the entire “not-Hillary” space to Sanders. Given all of the Democrats out there that have misgivings about her (you included), the default vehicle for channeling their disenchantment was to feel the Bern.

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Do We Need a Wake-Me-When-I'm-Trump Bracket?

I'm not sure if a bracket could pull together and structure the requisite information. Perhaps it would be a betting market. But it will be of great interest over the next several months to see how long it takes various NeverTrump and EventuallyTrump Republicans to come forward and fully embrace Trump.

For most, I suspect, it won't take long. But when?

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Bleeding Them Dry

One of the highlights of this tumultuous night was when Ted Cruz thanked Carly Fiorina for being "an incredible, phenomenal running mate." Of course, Fiorina was never Cruz's running mate. Indeed, she'd only been his fake running mate for less than a week. The moment captured an enduring element of the Republican primary cycle. Donald Trump may have few redeeming skills. But he is a master of the 'dominance politics' of destruction. He not only beats opponents. He lures them into escalating spasms of indignity before delivering the death blow.

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All Done

So there you have it: Donald Trump is the nominee of the Republican party. All the 'nevers', all the outrages, all the everything. All past. It is an amazing night, just the sheer improbability of it all.

I've been saying for months that I thought Trump was all but unstoppable and that the GOP establishment was fooling itself to think they could rob Trump of the nomination in Cleveland. But I will be the first to say that when Trump got in last June it never remotely occurred to me that he could be the Republican nominee. But I will say this: It shouldn't surprise us at all that this happened. The only surprise is that Donald Trump was the one to do it.

As I argued two months ago, Trump's dominance is the product of a slow build up of hate and nonsense debt within the Republican party. At some point it had to come due. And now it has.

BREAKING: Cruz Out

Confirmed by numerous news outlets. Even though he's still talking, Ted Cruz is apparently dropping out after a huge Trump win.

Sanders Might Take This

The vote counters I watch most closely are now saying that it's looking like Sanders can pull out a win here. The big issue seems to be that the early returns were heavily the early vote. But the vote today seems to have tilted heavily in Sanders direction. A lot of vote remains out there. But it doesn't seem like there's enough for Clinton to pull this out.

Still too early to say who wins. But Sanders seems more likely.

Of course, in delegate terms, it will be largely a draw. So leaves Sanders far behind. But it will drag this out longer.

Sanders-Clinton

So what's up with the Sanders-Clinton fight in Indiana? The first round of exits - notoriously wrong - showed Sanders with a 12 point margin. But the initial results pointed to a solid Clinton win. Since then Sanders is doing pretty well in some key areas. He's keeping it very close in Marion County (Indianapolis) where Clinton should run up pretty solid numbers. And statewide, with about 20% of precincts reporting it's the thinnest possible lead for Sanders.

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We Won't Even Get Riots

Right now, a pretty reasonable projection of the coming primaries gets Donald Trump really, really close to 1237 delegates. But I think that understates what's going to happen. New York State did part of it. But the five states last week simply took the wind out of the anti-Trump forces. Once it's obvious it's over it's really hard to keep people motivated to keep fighting. People also want to back a winner. Eventually the desire to back a winner begins to overcome that will to fight.

That's what Indiana is showing us. This was a tailor-made state for Ted Cruz. But he got crushed. Some of that is because everyone hates Ted Cruz. The bigger factor is that people are simply done. Trump's the nominee. They're tired of dragging it out. Expect that trend to build in the final states. They'll all be blow outs.

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