Below is a brief excerpt from our Potomac Research Group colleague and Chief Political Strategist JT Taylor's Morning Bullets sent to institutional clients each morning. For more information on how you can access our institutional research please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BERNIE'S END GAME?
Bernie Sanders' NY loss was crushing - not just for losing in the state where he was born, raised, and claimed he would pull an upset, but because it dashed any reasonable chance for him to eclipse Hillary Clinton in pledged delegates. Now he must choose whether to up the ante with attacks on Clinton, or pull a 180 and return to his core, issues-based movement. His campaign is sending mixed signals on whether he will remain in the race after the conclusion of next week's Northeast primaries - where Clinton has healthy leads. This could be a make or break week for his continued candidacy, and going negative again might be his only shot - yet can he justify doing so just as there are signs that 83% of Sanders-leaning Democrats would coalesce around Clinton? Party unity is on the line.
DELEGATE DRAFT DAY
As it stands now, Donald Trump is 392 delegates shy of the 1237 needed to secure the nomination the old fashioned way, but he is poised for another huge set of wins in CT, MD, DE, PA, and RI next week. Whether or not Trump goes to Cleveland with a delegate majority, some pols and pundits are suggesting that he could still clinch the nomination on the first ballot even if he is 100-150 delegates short.
This is due to the unbound "free agent" delegates that will be available, and are sure to be wined-and-dined by Trump and Ted Cruz for their support - though Trump's lead and his claim of having "the best toys" means he may have more to offer.
There may be five more Northeastern states voting before May 3rd's IN contest, but the focus of the Trump and Cruz campaigns has shifted back to the Midwest. IN is being compared to WI - where Cruz pulled off a strong victory - and if he has any hope of blocking Trump from winning 1237 delegates, he needs to sweep the Hoosier State. But this is far from certain - IN's demographics are more favorable to Trump than WI's were, and the anti-Trump forces have yet to organize there. As important as winning IN is to Cruz's new strategy, it may be more vital to Trump and his ability to win a delegate majority without it.