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That’ll do it for us tonight, people. It was a huge night for the Clinton and Trump campaigns. Clinton won four of five states and a slew of elected delegates. Trump won all five states up for grabs and probably every delegate outside of Rhode Island (which allocated its delegates proportionally). Moreover, many of the delegate candidates Trump endorsed in the loophole primary in Pennsylvania did well. We’ll have more on the Republican race in a separate post from Nate, but let’s talk more about Clinton’s big wins.
Clinton extended her delegate lead by what looks to be about 50 elected delegates. She did so thanks mostly to Maryland and Pennsylvania. She won by about 30 percentage points in Maryland (where she’ll pick up about 30 elected delegates) and more than 10 percentage points in Pennsylvania (where she’ll pick up about 20 elected delegates). Clinton will likely pick up a net of about 2 elected delegates in Connecticut, Delaware and Rhode Island combined.
Clinton did well tonight for the same reasons that she performed well in previous primaries. She won 68 percent or more of the black vote in Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania (Delaware and Rhode Island didn’t have exit polls). She also won two-thirds or more of voters making more than $200,000 in both Connecticut and Maryland (there was no $200,000+ crosstab in Pennsylvania).
Simply put, the contests tonight followed the already established demographic patterns of the Democratic race. That’s very bad for Sanders.
When you combine Clinton’s net 50 delegate victory tonight with the 235 elected delegate lead she had before tonight, Clinton holds a lead of about 285 elected delegates. That’s a huge lead. In order for Sanders to catch up, he’ll have to win 64 percent of the remaining elected delegates. That seems quite unlikely given the polling that is out there. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that barring a miracle, Clinton will have more elected delegates at the end of the primary season than Sanders.
Add in Clinton’s even larger edge among superdelegates, and Clinton is the presumptive nominee. That was mostly clear before tonight, and it’s crystal clear now. Now, that doesn’t mean Sanders needs to quit the race. In fact, all indications are he will stay in. But he’s staying in without a real path to the nomination, so don’t be surprised if he cuts down on the more negative attacks on Clinton.
We’ll have a lot more analysis of both races in the coming days — Indiana is shaping up to be make-or-break in the GOP race for #NeverTrump — but thanks for following along with us tonight.
Now that all of the states voting today have been called, I can report that FiveThirtyEight’s polls-plus and polls-only models got every state right on both sides. Interestingly, despite one of the largest upsets in polling history in Michigan, that state remains the only one that that the polls-only forecast incorrectly projected on the Democratic side. Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma were the only ones incorrectly forecasted by the polls-only model on the Republican side.
Earlier in the campaign, Trump had a tendency to perform poorly among late-deciding voters. It didn’t always cost him states because he had a lot of his vote locked in early on, but it led to him underperforming his polls fairly often.
So what about tonight? According to exit polls, Trump won 37 percent of late-deciding voters in Maryland, 39 percent in Connecticut, and 41 percent in Pennsylvania. That’s good, although well below Trump’s statewide margins. In fact, Kasich narrowly led among late-deciders in Connecticut and Maryland.
The thing is, though, that there weren’t very many late deciders. Only 21 percent of Republicans decided on their vote in the last week in Pennsylvania, 20 percent in Connecticut, and 27 percent in Maryland.
The prediction markets agree with the conventional wisdom that a Trump-Clinton general-election matchup is looking more likely after tonight. According to Election Betting Odds, which uses data from Betfair, Trump is up to a 75 percent chance to win the Republican nomination, from 70 percent a day ago. And Clinton continues her march toward clinching, up to a 95 percent chance from 94 percent yesterday. The Clinton-Trump matchup continues to look favorable for Democrats according to bettors, who give the party a 75 percent chance of holding on to the White House.
The Associated Press and ABC and NBC News are projecting that Clinton will win in Connecticut.
With Trump racking up five more wins tonight, he told supporters and media tonight this was a “diverse victory.” He was referring to the variety of primary states that supported him tonight. However, when it comes to the more common uses of the term diversity — race, religion, class, and national origin — ideological divides between those groups are deepening. Americans in regions where employment has been disrupted by globalization are disproportionately likely to be Trump supporters. An academic study called “Importing Political Polarization?” looked at the impact of China trade on the electorate, and found a specific racial correlation as well. As an article on the findings in The New York Times put it, “While whites hit hard by trade tend to move right, nonwhite voters move left, eroding support for moderates in both parties.”
The 2016 American electorate is the most racially diverse ever, and it may also be the most ideologically divided. Two-thirds of Republican voters support Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from entering the United States. As we noted earlier on the liveblog, new voter registrations among Latino Americans in California have doubled, probably in response to Trump’s persistent calls for a border wall and his statement that Mexicans are rapists.
Some people have argued that we have two Americas — sometimes meaning rich and poor, others black and white. But perhaps we have a politically fractured America, where questions of identity and self-interest will bring voters into conflict with each other’s goals and ideals throughout the campaign season and beyond.
The Associated Press has corrected its count in Greenwich. Sanders has now won 31 percent of the vote there. That’s still bad, though better than the 12 percent the Associated Press previously reported.
Here’s a projection: Trump has easily swept all 38 Maryland delegates.
Clinton just overtook Sanders’s lead in Connecticut by about 800 votes, and the remaining precincts look pretty favorable to her. About 63 percent of precincts are reporting, but that’s higher than the share of precincts reporting in Clinton-favorable cities like Hartford, Bridgeport, and New Haven.
Additionally, many locales that should be favorable for Clinton, such as Westport, New Britain, Norwalk and Fairfield have yet to report any votes at all. Sanders is doing better in small-town and rural Connecticut, which reported votes quickly. My money’s on Clinton to win the state and split the two New England contests tonight.
More evidence that rich people do not like Sanders: After winning just 21 percent of the vote on Manhattan’s Upper East Side last week, Sanders followed that up by winning just 12 percent of the vote in the wealthy suburb of Greenwich, Connecticut tonight.
Trump, who came to his victory party tonight straight off an appearance at the Time 100 Gala — he changed in between from tux to blue suit and tie — is really leaning into his against-the-establishment brand … on both sides of the aisle.
While boasting that has won millions and millions more votes than Kasich, Trump decided to offer his thoughts on the Democratic race as well.
“The Democrats have treated Bernie very badly and frankly I think he should run as an independent,” Trump said, as some in the crowd booed.
But his sympathetic advice to Sanders had an obvious self-serving point. If Sanders ran a third-party race, it would be highly advantageous for Trump, drawing votes away from Clinton.
If The Upshot’s projected margins are right, Clinton will win about 218 pledged delegates tonight compared to 166 for Sanders, very close to our projections heading into the evening, and leaving Sanders in a dire position. (Note: I’m assuming that Democratic delegates are allocated proportionally based on the statewide vote when in fact some are allocated proportionally by congressional district, but this rarely makes a difference of more than a couple of delegates.)
|DELEGATES BASED ON PROJECTED MARGIN|
|Rhode Island||Sanders +12.2||11||13|
One thing that has to greatly worry the anti-Trump forces is that Trump is now exceeding his poll averages. Since New York, Trump has performed at least 6.5 percentage points better in every state than the average of polls taken within 21 days of the election. Before that, Trump tended to hit his polling average and win no undecideds. Now, he’s winning his fair share of undecideds and then some. That’s very bad news for his opponents, given that Trump is already ahead in Indiana, a must-win state for Cruz.
|Average Since New York||+9.0|
|Average Before New York||+0.2|
Another problem for #NeverTrump: how do 54 unbound Pennsylvania delegates possibly vote against Trump when he’s won 57 percent of the statewide vote?
It’s not so much that they think it should be over. They think it is over.
To expand a bit, I think we can assume that Trump’s support comes first and foremost from voters’ preference for him over the alternatives. And Kasich and Cruz have long been essentially niche candidates. They’re just the last ones left. When you add that to their seeming inability to win, you’ve got at least a bit of an explanation for Trump’s rising support.
To expand on Dave’s post about there being evidence of consolidation around Trump, is it possible that part of Trump’s apparent improvement is because GOP voters are just tired of this race? That they think it should be over?
Of the five states reporting results tonight, Trump’s smallest margin so far is 31 percentage points (in Maryland, where he leads Kasich 54 percent to 23 percent). Granted, these are low-turnout GOP primaries in very Democratic states that are demographically favorable to Trump. But by exceeding expectations in places like Maryland’s 8th District, Trump raises the question of whether we’re beginning to see a “rally around the frontrunner” effect on the GOP side that we simply aren’t seeing in the Democratic race.
With 62,000 votes counted in the Baltimore Democratic mayoral primary, former Mayor Sheila Dixon is gaining on State Senate Majority Leader Catherine Pugh, thanks to a slight edge in votes cast today. But Pugh’s lead of nearly 4,000 votes in early voting might be enough to hold off Dixon’s charge. Meanwhile, DeRay Mckesson, the Black Lives Matter activist, is showing signs of strength in votes today — he got 1.6 percent of early votes but has 3 percent of votes cast today.
Although Republican turnout in the Northeast is higher than it’s been in most previous Republican primaries, it’s still quite low in an absolute sense — or compared to what it’s been in other parts of the country. In New York last week, for instance, only 6.4 percent of the voting-eligible population cast a ballot in the Republican primary, the lowest in any primary state to date, according to Michael McDonald’s website. And in Delaware tonight, which has counted almost all of its vote, GOP turnout is just 9.8 percent of the voting-eligible population. Trump seems to do well in areas where there are relatively few Republicans. It may also be that Kasich and Cruz supporters, who see their candidates way behind in the polls, aren’t motivated to turn out. Here’s the data for all primaries (not caucuses) so far:
|STATE||TURNOUT AS SHARE OF VOTING-ELIGIBLE POPULATION|
While Trump will win all 17 of Pennsylvania’s statewide delegates, the state will also send an additional 54 unbound delegates to the national convention. These delegates — three from each congressional district — were listed on today’s ballots without any indication of which candidate they might support. Many, however, have said publicly how they intend to vote at the convention (though they are free to change their minds). Below are the top three delegates right now in the districts that have reported results so far, along with how they’ve said they will vote. This list may change as more results come in. Many of the delegates have said they will back the winner of their district which, in many (if not all) cases, will be Trump.
|1||Vogler, Christopher M||37.42%||Uncommitted|
|1||Hackett, David||31.75||District Winner|
|1||Kaufer, Seth W||30.83||Uncommitted|
|2||Havey, Elizabeth||29.30||District Winner|
|2||Tucker, Calvin R||29.16||Uncommitted|
|2||Cohen, Aaron J||25.82||Uncommitted|
|3||English, Philip S||17.66||Uncommitted|
|3||Ryan, Carol Lynne||11.27||Trump|
|3||Yates, Robert J.||11.14||District Winner|
|4||Sacco, Joseph A||13.38||Trump|
|4||Jansen, Matthew R||11.40||Trump|
|4||Scaringi, Marc Anthony||10.90||Trump|
|5||Klein, James Feuer||16.72||Trump|
|5||Mcclure, C Arnold||13.72||Trump|
|5||Khare, Ash||12.84||District Winner|
|6||Costello, Ryan A||25.32||District Winner|
|6||Lightcap, Vicki||14.27||District Winner|
|7||Puppio, Michael V||25.86||District Winner|
|7||Willert, Robert J.||24.10||Unknown|
|7||Miller, Joan M||23.42||District Winner|
|8||Worthington, Samuel James Jr||18.74||District Winner|
|8||Casper, Barry Robert||17.07||District Winner|
|8||Quinn, Marguerite C||14.50||Unknown|
|9||Shuster, William F||19.34||District Winner|
|9||Ward, Judith F||16.31||District Winner|
|9||Taylor, Debra D||13.45||Trump|
|10||Sides, Carol D||13.99||Unknown|
|10||Scavello, Mario Michael||10.04||District Winner|
|10||Pickett, Tina||9.44||District Winner|
|11||Mcelwee, David J||12.68||Trump|
|12||Steigerwalt, George F||10.80||Cruz|
|12||Vasilko, James J||9.69||Trump|
|13||Ellis, Thomas Jay||17.29||District Winner|
|13||Cox, Gilbert W Jr||15.86||Unknown|
|13||Casper, Lauren Elizabeth||14.51||District Winner|
|14||Meloy, Mary A||35.65||Uncommitted|
|14||Linton, Cameron S||29.57||Kasich|
|16||Brubaker, Douglas W||22.86||Cruz|
|16||Denlinger, Gordon Ray||22.74||Uncommitted|
|16||Dumeyer, David M||17.43||District Winner|
|17||Villano, Teresa Lynette||18.50||Trump|
|17||Bonkoski, Carolyn L||17.79||Trump|
|17||Snover, Gloria Lee||15.10||District Winner|
|18||Means, Sue Ann||13.39||Cruz|
|18||Deplato, Justin Phd||13.13||Trump|
|18||Petrarca, John Thomas||12.94||District Winner|
This year’s election race is the first test of the Obama legacy – not just of its strength, but about what it actually means. Obama has toggled back and forth between attempting to fulfill his promises of change, and working within the terms of debate that he inherited from predecessors — talking about business, work, private industry, cleaning up government through things like lobbying reform.
But the conversation about equality among the historically marginalized groups that make up the Democratic coalition has shifted considerably during his two terms. It’s not clear how much of this Obama can really take credit for – he signed on to support marriage equality after public opinion had shifted, for instance. But he did put political weight behind that issue eventually, and behind repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Issues for Americans who don’t fit into binary gender categories, the high rate of imprisonment, and racial justice – these have come up, too. And while Obama hasn’t been out in front of them, the party and the country have shifted and started new (and in many cases difficult) conversations. Clinton’s rhetoric seems to reflect that, with her emphasis on lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down, and on removing barriers. It offers the potential for her to integrate her role as the first woman candidate with a more substantive policy message.
This has been a bit rocky for her – think back to the first Democratic debate. But the last two speeches have sounded some of these themes, and it seems to be working better.
The implications for Obama’s legacy suggest, for one thing, that it might have meaning beyond the Affordable Care Act or his more fraught foreign policy approach. And it defies the longer historical story that Clinton tried to tell by referring to figures like FDR. The full-throated embrace of equality for marginalized groups has been an uneven and complicated journey for Democrats.
If I’m Clinton, I have to like the look of the Connecticut map. She’s down 1.5 percentage points with about half of precincts reporting, but there are a ton of votes left in Bridgeport, Hartford and much of southwestern Connecticut. Those are all Clinton strongholds where she is winning by 30 percentage points or more. Of course, we’ll have to see what happens.