BURLINGAME, Calif. Ted Cruz is speaking confidently about knocking off Donald Trump to take the GOP nomination, but his top staffers admit theyre getting nervous.
In interviews, several aides, speaking on the condition of anonymity, expressed growing alarm that Cruz would lose Indianas primary on Tuesday an outcome that would be a major blow to his hopes of holding Trump below the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination on the party conventions first ballot. The aides concede that, without a win in an Indiana primary where 57 delegates are at stake, Cruzs shot at the nomination would significantly narrow.
And while the Texas senator has closed the gap in Indiana in recent days, he still trails Trump and his decision to tap Carly Fiorina as a running mate has provided only a modest boost in the state, according to sources familiar with the campaigns internal deliberations.
Within the campaign, some are turning to the question of whats next. One senior aide said there had been no discussion about dropping out before the final primary contests are held on June 7 but noted that Cruz wouldnt be eager to prolong a campaign he was convinced he couldnt win.
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Donald Trump holds a 15-point lead over Ted Cruz in the potentially decisive May 3 presidential primary race in Indiana, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll.
Trump gets support from 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters followed by Cruz at 34 percent and John Kasich at 13 percent. If that margin in Indiana holds on Tuesday, Trump would be on a glide path towards obtaining the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination on a first ballot at the GOP convention in July.
"In Indiana, Trump is positioned to corral all the [state's 57] delegates, which will be a big prize toward winning the nomination outright," says Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "Clinton and Sanders are more likely to divide the delegate pool, which will do little to change the narrative on the Democratic side."
How did Oswald, with a bolt-action rifle, manage to get off two rapid and accurate shots that killed JFK and wounded Governor Connelly? Honestly, I know nothing about guns and thought I would pose the question.
During his speech at the lighthearted annual White House Correspondents' Dinner, President Barack Obama gave the assembled journalists a story to write home about when he teased at a potential Hillary Clinton presidency.
During his joke-heavy address to a room packed with media and Hollywood elites, Obama lamented the fact that the event would be his last and speculated on which of the 2016 presidential candidates might be poised to take his place next year.
"Next year someone else will be standing in this very spot, and it's anyone's guess who she will be..." Obama said to thunderous applause.
The president also took some playful swipes at Clinton, saying that her awkward campaign rhetoric has been similar to "...your aunt who just joined Facebook."
He compared Bernie's Sanders' "Feel the Bern" slogan to Clinton's, commenting that hers hadn't had quite the same effect while a mock campaign logo reading "Trudge Up the Hill!" was projected up on a screen behind him.
He's gotta be feeling it wherever he is.
Nope. We know
Yes, it is true that the economic recovery since the Great Recession has proceeded in fits and starts. And, yes, current economic indicators are somewhat mixed. But voters feel favorable about the economy nevertheless. Heres some evidence.
The longest-running measure of American attitudes about the economy is the Index of Consumer Sentiment. Below Ive graphed trends in that index since 1960.
Before I had looked at these data, I was sure Id find that sentiment was only a bit more positive than it was when Obama took office. But in fact, the upward trend with the exception of the drop during the 2011 debt ceiling crisis is striking. This upward trend is also reflected in data from Pew and Gallup.
As of the first quarter of 2016, even with a slight downturn in the second and third quarters of 2015, consumer sentiment was as positive as it had been since the mid-2000s. It was also as positive as it had been in the mid-1980s during the recovery from the recession of 1981-1982. For example, the value of consumer sentiment at the end of 1983, as Ronald Reagans reelection campaign was gearing up, was 91.6. In the first three months of 2015, it was almost exactly the same: 91.5.
In other words, consumer sentiment is as positive as it was at the beginning of the election year when Reagan argued that it was Morning in America.
But is this positive view really shared by all Americans? For example, what about the working class?
In fact, there is now a smaller gap between the views of the highest and lowest income terciles than there was under the previous presidents. What is distinctive about the Obama years especially compared with the Reagan years is how small the gap is between income groups. The average gap between upper- and lower-income groups from 1981-88 was 21.3 points. From 2009-2015, it was 13.4 points. This most recent gap is also lower than during the administrations of George H.W. Bush (14.7), Bill Clinton (16.7) and George W. Bush (18.4).
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