Below is a brief excerpt from Potomac Research Group Chief Political Strategist JT Taylor's Morning Bullets sent to institutional clients each morning.
Republicans are voting today in both AZ and UT, with divergent results expected in the two neighboring states. Politically polarized AZ should be considered safe ground for Donald Trump, where his hard-line stance on immigration is bread and butter to the state's conservative crowd, but Ted Cruz has a superior organization and it's a closed primary which work to his favor. The real test is whether Cruz can capture over 50% of the vote in UT -- winning over Mormons who loathe Trump as well as all 40 delegates -- and not ceding too much ground to the frontrunner.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will also be competing in AZ and UT, as well as in ID. Sanders' best shots are in UT and ID, where a whiter demographic and caucus-style primaries have been working in his favor, but Sanders has spent much more time and money trying to overcome Clinton's advantage in much more diverse AZ. In a sign of confidence (or arrogance?) Clinton detoured to Washington to address the AIPAC conference and continues her focus on the general election.
TRUMP'S CHARM OFFENSIVE?:
All eyes were back on Trump at yesterday's AIPAC conference as he shared the stage with Clinton, Cruz and John Kasich. Trump ditched his off-script speaking style and shifted to a prepared -- and more substantive -- speech reading from a teleprompter for the first time since his announcement last June and refuting Clinton's claims of indecision when it comes to his views on Israel. The softer-toned speech by Trump as well as an editorial board meeting at the Washington Post, a press conference at the Trump Hotel and a meeting with the a number of key Republican Senators and Congressmen have all the makings of pivot with the intent of quelling the concerns of the establishment in its backyard. Or maybe he came down with Potomac fever. Let's see how long this lasts...
Majority Leader McConnell ruled out consideration and confirmation of Judge Garland under a President-elect Clinton scenario during a lame duck session of Congress this fall, but we still believe that his hand may be forced. Democrats are looking to keep the spotlight on the vacancy at every turn -- with Veep Biden set to deliver a speech calling out Republicans later this week. We're hearing that Trump also plans to weigh in with his list of potential SCOTUS nominees soon -- potentially capping off a week where the frontrunner looks to shed his bombastic rhetoric and display a more even-keeled, disciplined and...presidential tone.