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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

There appears to be a cleavage at the highest level of the Sanders campaign between Jeff Weaver and Tad Devine. The latter is in the more typical mode: We're going to keep fighting and see where things are after the run of Northeast states in the next couple weeks. But Weaver, at least based on what he said last night on MSNBC is in a pretty different place. Weaver says that if Sanders is mathematically eliminated from winning the pledged delegate race, the campaign will spend June and July lobbying Super Delegates to overrule the pledged delegates and give the nomination to Sanders.

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I still don't know what those 9 pm exit polls were about, especially the early reporting from CNN. This appears to be a 20 point spread on the Democratic side, not remotely a near-tie. What's weird is that the internals from the exit polls just didn't seem to make that latter outcome remotely plausible. Just no idea what that was about.

We're about to see one of the most persistent things about horse race election coverage - the overshoot based on the politics and results of the moment. As I noted earlier, people had convinced themselves last week that Trump was basically done - largely on the basis of a few bad news cycles and a big loss in Wisconsin. As long as he didn't get to 1237, he was toast. But Wisconsin was obviously an outlier. Now though things look very different. And they are different. But part of that is that Trump was never in as bad of shape as people thought ten days ago. It was always going to be extremely difficult to deny the nomination to the clear plurality winner of the primary process. #NeverTrump has its work cut out for it. But it did a week, two weeks and three weeks ago too.

Obviously, Trump is on the way to a smashing victory. And it's his home state. Trump is an avatar of what I sometimes refer to as 'anger management Republicanism.' Trump's a party of it; Christie's a part of it. Giuliani is a part of it. On a smaller scale, Rep. Pete King (R) from Long Island is too. It's politicians who don't mess much with sexual/moral traditionalism but have a 'can do'/authoritarian streak. That works in New York City and the greater tri-state area. Trump is basically its personification.

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I'm really not sure what CNN was smoking suggesting the Democratic primary was turning out to be a tight race. The internal breakdowns of the exit polls really didn't seem to make that kind of result possible. And she's had a huge lead since the very first results. The one thing that made me wonder was that her vote was coming in from New York City. Sanders should do better in the more rural areas. So maybe it was going to close? But not enough to overcome this margin. So Clinton wins and seemingly wins pretty handily.

As the late afternoon exit polls suggested, Donald Trump looks to be on his way not just to a victory but a smashing victory. It seems plausible that he wins all the delegates in the state. That requires not just a statewide majority but winning districts. On the Democratic side, the results so far seem kind of hard to figure. The early exit polls suggested a pretty good night for Clinton. When the polls closed at 9 PM, though, CNN at least was reporting an extremely close race based on the exit polls - Clinton 52%, Sanders 48%.

So far though, the results that have come in don't suggest that close of a race. Clinton has big lead with a decent number of votes in. But they're mostly out of New York City, where you would expect her to run up good numbers. To get a sense of what's happening, look at the county by county breakdowns here.

All the nets call Trump early. But the Democratic race seems much closer than expected, at least according to the exit polls. The early exit polls suggested Clinton was doing pretty well. But if this is a nail biter on the Democratic side, that is a big, big surprise. Let's wait and see.

As I wrote last week, the voting system in New York State is simply terrible. It's generally restrictive. And we've introduced none of the reforms of the last decade or two which are designed to make voting more accessible for occasional voters or people whose work or family responsibilities make voting difficult. I'm talking here about things like early voting, mail in voting, same day registration, etc. The reason is simple: no one cares. And by no one, I mean no organized interest is interested in changing it.

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As you can see I've been writing a number of book reviews and recommendations recently. I plan to do this on an on-going basis. Because I read a lot of history and people seem interested in getting recommendations on good reads. But I'm starting for the moment with what amounts to a backlog of some of what I think are the best books I've read in the last five or six years. The one I wanted to talk about today is Who Were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From? by William G Dever, a now retired biblical archeologist and historian.

This book isn't necessarily what I would call a page turner, at least not in the conventional sense of a galloping narrative. It's more an investigation and I found it irresistible. It's also one of those books that changed or profoundly advanced my understanding of a key topic or question.

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From TPM Reader JR ...

I don't have a statistical answer to Josh's question regarding what percentage of GOP primary voters, whether for Trump or not, are "new" voters.

But I wanted to chime in to note that once state voter databases, and in turn major party voter files, are updated, then we will have a hard, exact data answering this question. Voting history is a searchable public record across the states, and we always know who voted in general elections and primaries.

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