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Political Bilingualism Takes the Stage

It's been a consistent feature of recent US presidential elections that they are less about persuasion than mobilization of relatively stable political coalitions. There is a thin segment of up-or-grab voters but it tends to be as little as five percent and seldom more than ten percent of electorate, and only those in a handful of swing states really drive the campaigns' attention. Because of this, the campaigns are largely talking past each; and that is by design.

But watching last night's victory speeches I realized that this general election is likely to take that model to an entirely new level.

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Two Thoughts on Donald Trump's Chances in the Fall

I think it’s now reasonable to look toward a general election contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I have two thoughts. One of the key voting blocs that has gone Democratic over the last fifty years is professionals. It’s a census category and after the November election, there will be surveys that will allow us to chart their vote, but in the meantime, you can get a rough estimate by looking at voters with advanced degrees. These are not the same as voters with the highest income. They make up about a fifth of the electorate nationally and close to a quarter or more in states like Maryland, Oregon, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

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A Fitting End

Trump said it himself: "It's over." And he's right. It is. He's the nominee. But his victory speech and Q&A was deeply revealing - both in its power and its self-destructiveness.

I cannot remember a presidential campaign in my lifetime and perhaps in more than a century where the two nominees not only differed so much on policy (we've had plenty of that) but tonally in the most basic way they exist as candidates and public people.

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Dems Don't Get Their Shot at Cruz

It's a bummer for Dems that they won't get a shot at presidential nominee Ted Cruz. Don't get me wrong: I think Trump will be a historically weak general election candidate. But Cruz would be the choice you'd want if you're running the general election for the Democrats. Cruz is a conventional right wing candidate who would almost certainly go down to a crushing general election defeat. He is conventional and predictable. He's a new version of Barry Goldwater, only Goldwater had some personal appeal.

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Watch Rhode Island

Rhode Island has looked pretty rough for Hillary Clinton all night. But as a former Rhode Island resident, I will tell you that Rhode Island's minority voters are heavily concentrated in the one big city, Providence. The state's population is just over 80% white. But Providence is about 50% white. Providence hasn't reported any votes yet. So there's more of this story to unfold.

Late Update: Welp, closed significantly but a solid Sanders win. It was even closer in Providence. But Sanders actually won Providence too or is at least winning with about 70% of the vote in.

The Beginning of the End

A bit like I said about the results of the New York primary, the delegate math doesn't change dramatically with tonight's big Trump victories (not relative to what they we thought they would be a week ago.) But that's not the full picture. Tonight's Trump wins are so crushing that I suspect Republicans are going to take a look at these results, maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow and say, "Who are we kidding?"

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Bernie Tonight

It looks like Sanders is taking Weaver's lead and not Tad Devine's, to put it mildly. He's making the case against closed primaries and more or less explicitly making the case that Super Delegates should choose him to be the nominee even if he's behind in pledged delegates because he runs better against Donald Trump.

That said, there were no real attacks on Hillary Clinton. It seemed like a mix of recognition of the writing on the wall along with a defiant insistence that his campaign should get the nomination.

Trump Smashing Victories Everywhere

The early exit polls showed Trump at 60 or over in PA, CT and MD. The initial results seem to confirm at least big big wins.

As I said earlier on Twitter, if the scale of these win holds up, I think the GOP primary race could all but end tonight.

The Most Important Poll You Didn't See

You're here at TPM. So you're probably a political junkie. You've undoubtedly seen a lot of horse race polls. Sanders is more popular than Hillary. Trump is historically unpopular. Both candidates consistently beat Trump and Cruz. But Sanders consistently does so by greater margins. All valuable information if you know how to interpret it. But the Harvard Institute of Politics just released a detailed poll on the opinions of millennial voters, particularly voters between 18 and 29 years of age. The results are a very, very big deal.

Here's what the poll shows.

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