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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Tad Devine, Sanders message and strategy guy, is on CNN right now finishing up an interview. His message was dramatically different from the one I noted below from Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver. He never brought up Weaver's comments, as near as I could tell. But what he did say was very significant. He framed the entirety of his comments on Sanders' continuing ability to win a the majority/plurality of pledged delegates and assessing after more primaries in the coming weeks whether that is still possible. As a statistical matter, that's a stretch - the ability to catch up on pledged delegates, given the Democrats' use of proportional representation. But the point is he made no mention whatsoever of an effort to get Super Delegates to override the pledged delegates.

He's definitely not throwing in the towel. He clearly wants Sanders to stay in through California. And there's no reason why he shouldn't. But he's very conspicuously not on the same page as Weaver.

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.

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