Below is a brief excerpt from Hedgeye Potomac 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 email@example.com.
TRUMP'S VICTORY LAP
The easy part may be over for the presumptive Republican nominee, and there is no looking back. Donald Trump's double-digit victory in IN has him waving the checkered flags, and now he is faced with uniting the warring factions of the Republican Party heading into the convention and throughout the long slog to November.
Trump needs about 40% of the remaining delegates facing opposition only from John Kasich in the next four weeks, but his true task will be how he can repair his image and appeal to the focal point of every election - undecided and independent voters - not to mention skeptical Republicans. Despite a setback last night, Hillary Clinton is already vying to get out ahead of him campaigning yesterday in the battleground state of OH - even though the primary was back in March.
Ted Cruz brought everything and the kitchen sink to IN as final acts of desperation needed to derail Trump (his alliance with John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, and Gov. Pence's backing), but they were no match for Trump's all-star squad of endorsements and momentum coming from his Northeastern firewall.
Cruz's campaign had been in panic mode for weeks trying to convince supporters and donors that he was the only person who could stop Trump; the writing was on the wall once IN polls showed Cruz's 20-point lead vanishing in weeks - not to mention polls showing Trump ahead by 30+ points in the Golden State. Cruz is headed back to the cartel Capitol and will resume his position as a Tea Party agitator setting his sights on other conservative battles with a future eye on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Bernie Sanders' victory in IN does not change the delegate math, but it definitely changes the narrative - which is sure to cause Clinton, well, heartburn until the last primary in June. As newfound momentum and the media continue to pump Sanders with fuel, we're waiting to see how Sanders deals with Clinton (and vice versa) as a prolonged and ugly fight for the next month proposes a sizeable risk of hurting her chances this fall now that Trump will devote all of his attention and resources to the general election.
While Clinton's focus has squarely been on Trump for the past few weeks, she is keenly aware that the primary map ahead now favors Sanders - WVA, NE, OR and KY - and has to find a way to counteract his growing leverage and keep him in the fold. Her path the nomination is all but assured and her team has been prepping for a general election run for years (but not against Donald Trump) as one of her biggest assets is her fundraising operation which becomes even more formidable if Sanders cedes his people to her for the general.