LIBERTARIAN LIMELIGHT:. The Libertarian party has recently drawn more attention this election due to voters seeking alternatives to likely presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Now with former NM Governor Gary Johnson locking up the Libertarian party’s presidential nomination along with former MA Governor Bill Weld as his running mate, expect the Libertarian duo to pull votes from presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. Looks like a third party run may come back to bite Trump – and that doesn’t even include the potential entry of an Independent party candidate being recruited by conservatives - David French (yes, who?) is considering jumping into the fray.
NOT ALL THAT GLITTERS IS GOLD: Bernie Sanders continues to hold massive rallies in CA ahead of next Tuesday’s primary. If Sanders can pull off the win next week, it should be a huge momentum boost, but where does it carry him given that primary season will be over that day (with the exception of DC on June 13)? A win for Sanders could only weaken Clinton, especially after she grabbed CA Governor Jerry Brown’s endorsement yesterday. The outcome is sure to be close, but when June 8th rolls around and Clinton is well over the delegate count, either the flame will be snuffed out of the Sanders campaign or his scorched earth tactics will continue all the way to the Democratic convention in late July.
PLAN PREVIEW: Keep an eye out for a bill from Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (TX) reforming Dodd-Frank. The legislation could preview how Trump handles Wall Street, Dodd-Frank and his plans to change future financial regulations. The bill is likely to exempt banks with high capital levels from Dodd-Frank regulations.
TRUMP TRAILING - BADLY: Trump did not actively solicit donations during the primary election, but has softened his position after finding himself well behind on that front. The problem comes down to shortfalls in fundraising and boots on the ground - without one, you can’t have the other. Republicans have only a fraction of the money they had 2008 and 2012, and less of an infrastructure than their counterparts. While he’s certainly learning on the fly, he’ll soon appreciate the fact that you can’t win a general election the same way you won the primary.
TRUMP AT WAR WITH PRESS: The battle between Trump and the media thickens - this time over money he raised for veterans and why distributing the funds took so long as Trump held the fundraiser back in January to much fanfare. Although the motive behind the story remains uncertain, it reminds us that we are indeed in an election year and every detail will come into question. Trump can no longer rattle off outlandish ideas and not be questioned as a result - these types of challenges will become the norm and the media should and will hold his feet to the fire. Trump will fight, complain and whine - but it’s time he meets his maker - the media.
BA, LMT, RTN, HII, GD WILL BENEFIT FROM CONGRESS' DEFENSE SPENDING BOOST IN FY17: Check out our Senior Defense Policy Advisor LtGen. Emo Gardner’s insight on the Senate’s FY17 Pentagon spending bill - “BA, LMT, RTN, HII, GD Will Benefit from Congress’ Defense Spending Boost”
OPEC MEETING PREVIEW: NO POLICY CHANGE NOW BUT POTENTIAL SIGNALS ABOUT THE FUTURE: In case you missed it, our Senior Energy Policy Analyst Joe McMonigle, who is in Vienna this week for the Energy Summit, shared insight on a potential policy changes at OPEC - “OPEC Meeting Preview: No Policy Change Now but Potential Signals”
We will be hosting a conference call today at 1:00 PM ET with Joe McMonigle from Vienna and former US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham from Washington. Please email us for details.