Why Clinton Lost Michigan... & Cruz's Big Gamble

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.

TRUMP TRIUMPHS:

 

Why Clinton Lost Michigan... & Cruz's Big Gamble - trump face

 

Whatever rattled Donald Trump last weekend is already old news. His double-digit takedown of his rivals in MI coupled with his wins in MS and HI last night netted 71 delegates and significantly shifted momentum back his way. Now heading into the winner-take-all states, Ted Cruz is back on defense despite winning Idaho, Marco Rubio is limping (he picked up no delegates) and after playing big in MI, John Kasich may have lost momentum going into his neighboring OH.

 

Trump's focus now turns to tomorrow night's debate in Miami (another QVC-esque infomercial for Trump products anyone?) and holding his ground while his rivals frantically attack him.

PREVENT DEFENSE:

 

Why Clinton Lost Michigan... & Cruz's Big Gamble - ted cruz photo

 

Ted Cruz continues to invest serious resources into FL, despite having no chance of winning the state. Cruz's strategy to intercept the anti-Trump vote from Marco Rubio has two prongs:

  1. Denying him a home-state victory and likely sinking his candidacy for good;
  2. Keeping Rubio pinned down while he presses ahead in other March 15th states.

It's a big gamble -- if Trump wins the state along with NC and IL, his delegate lead will be all but insurmountable. While Rubio and John Kasich are pinning their hopes on prevailing at an open convention, Cruz is reaching for an outright win in the delegate count -- even at the risk of ending the contest next week.

ALL POLITICS (WERE) LOCAL:  

 

Why Clinton Lost Michigan... & Cruz's Big Gamble - bern

 

Throughout Hillary Clinton's campaign, she has raked in local endorsements from Democratic mayors, state leaders, and even governors across the nation. Her tactical focus on local issues like water, minimum wage fights, and her calculated attacks against Republican governors at local rallies have so far won her broad support.

 

Then what happened in Michigan last night? One word -- trade. In exit polling, MI Democrats overwhelmingly expressed that trade with other countries "takes away U.S. jobs" -- and it didn't help that Bernie Sanders outspent Clinton in the state and exposed her support for trade pacts during the Flint debate, in speeches, and negative ads for the past month. With Clinton's overwhelming win in MS, she still wins the day and more delegates.


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