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Takeaway: What to watch on the election 2016 campaign trail.

Below is a brief excerpt from Potomac Research Group Chief Political Strategist JT Taylor's Morning Bullets sent to institutional clients each morning.

THE DELEGATE COUNT:  

Despite the increasing chatter about Trump's unstoppable momentum, everyone in the field is far from the 1237 required for the nomination: 

  1. Trump has 392 delegates;
  2. Cruz has 305;
  3. Rubio has 130;
  4. And Kasich has 35

So On the Democratic side, where a candidate needs 2,383 delegates to secure the nomination:

  1. Clinton has a clear lead with 1,121;
  2. Compared to Sanders' 481.  

MI, MS and HI are up to bat tomorrow.

FLINTY DEBATE:

JT Taylor: How To Beat Trump... & Thoughts On Current GOP & Democratic Delegate Counts - hill bern

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed in MI last night two days before another critical primary in that state. The debate felt like a sharper-elbowed replay of their past performances covering some of the same ground -- trade, economic plans and of course the water crisis and auto bailout.

Clinton holds a double-digit lead going into tomorrow's primary and, despite Sanders racking up a number of wins this weekend (ME, KS and NE), he needs to beat her in a big state to actually change the trajectory of the race.

We've said before that Sanders is in this for the long haul, and certainly realizes the math is not in his favor -- he's pinning his hopes on amassing enough delegates to ensure his role and message in Philadelphia will be felt and heard.

CLOSED PRIMARIES -- A WAY TO TRIP TRUMP?

JT Taylor: How To Beat Trump... & Thoughts On Current GOP & Democratic Delegate Counts - cruz trump

Ted Cruz effectively split the day with Donald Trump on Saturday, and importantly, the reasons why may offer a potential path ahead to Cruz contesting the nomination. The Republican contests this weekend marked the beginning of several closed primaries, meaning only Republicans can vote in Republican primaries and Democrats in Democratic primaries.

From here on out, closed primaries dominate the nominating calendar, offering Cruz an opportunity to methodically close the delegate gap. By appealing to Republican voters who may feel a Trump candidacy is a bridge too far, Cruz may be able to take advantage of the long primary calendar in order to prevent Trump from securing enough delegates too early in the contest.

No one can argue that the nomination appears to be Trump's to lose, but were not ready to concede that one of the wildest and most surprising contests in history is all wrapped up.