As Lysis explained earlier in the week, as we transition into general election mode, he’d like to keep Hillary News & Viewsgoing each morning, with a rotation of writers sharing the load. I’m on that roster, and happy to be here with all of you.
Today’s edition of Hillary News & Views begins, of course, with the results from yesterday’s open primary in Indiana. Contrary to virtually all of the polling (but consistent with demographic modeling), Hillary narrowly lost the state, 47.5-52-5, with a likely delegate split (per Green Papers) of 39-44 — exactly the target set by 538 at the beginning of the race. She carried Marion Co. (Indianapolis), Lake Co. (Gary), and a solid string of counties along the border with Kentucky, which votes later this month. (Thanks to El Mito, who hosted the evening primary-results threads.) We won’t try to recap the twists and turns; here’s the bottom line, from 538:
The Democratic race remains fundamentally unchanged after tonight’s win by Sanders. Yes, his victory was somewhat surprising, given that all of the polls had Clinton winning and by an average of 7 percentage points. And yes, Sanders has promised to fight on in the primary until perhaps the convention. The problem for the Sanders campaign remains delegate math and demographics.
Right now, Sanders looks like he’ll earn about five to 10 more delegates than Clinton in Indiana. That means Clinton will have an elected delegate lead by the end of the evening of around 280 to 285 delegates. In order to catch Clinton in the elected delegate count, Sanders would need to win over 65 percent of the remaining elected delegates. That’s actually higher than it was before Indiana voted.
Perhaps as importantly, there’s not anything in the Indiana result that should make one think that Sanders has dramatically changed the result. According to a demographic model published last week by Nate, Sanders was expected to win the state of Indiana by 7 percentage points. That’s about the size of his lead right now. Indeed, you can look at the exit polls and see that Clinton is holding onto the demographic groups she usually wins. For instance, she is beating Sanders among black voters by 52 percentage points. That’s actually slightly better than she did among black voters in New York.
I know that some people will think tonight’s polling error in favor of Sanders could be predictive of errors to come. As I pointed out in adifferent post, it’s actually par for the course so far in this primary. It’s nothing like the Michigan polling error we saw earlier in the campaign. Sanders will need far larger polling errors going forward to have a shot at the nomination.
As I said at the top, Sanders will continue to fight on, and he will win votes. He looks like the favorite in the West Virginia primary, for example, which is coming up next. He’ll also do well in the remaining states in the middle of the country. Still, it looks like Clinton and Trump are going to be the nominees of their party.
(On the Republican side, In case you missed it, Ted Cruz dropped out of the race, accidentally whacking his wife in the face in the process.)
Clinton’s activities for the past couple of days have been consistent with her overall pivot to the general election. In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea MitchellTuesday morning, she confirmed this strategy:
I think we had a good campaign, we ran hard. But, you know, I'm really focused on moving into the general election. And I think that's where we have to be, because we're going to have a tough campaign against a candidate who will literally say or do anything. And we're going to take him on at every turn on what's really important to the people of our country.
Asked about Trump’s attacks on her for playing “the woman’s card,” she noted that it wasn’t just about her:
What he was saying in going after my qualifications is very familiar to a lot of women. We’re going to stand up and express our opinions. We’re going to claim what is rightfully ours in the workplace, in our society, in our economy, in our political system.
Hillary spent the day campaigning in West Virginia (which votes on May 10) and Ohio, a key state in the general election. From Politico:
While Sanders barnstormed through Fort Wayne, Evansville and Indianapolis on Monday, Clinton set out on a two-day van tour of Appalachia, visiting West Virginia and Kentucky, which will vote on May 10 and May 17, respectively. She also went to Ohio, where she addressed jobs and manufacturing.
During that swing, Clinton faced down criticism in coal country for comments she made in March in which she vowed to "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
Though Clinton had followed up by saying she would make sure those who lost work would not be forgotten, the former secretary of state was confronted by a man in West Virginia on Monday evening.
As Clinton explained to Andrea Mitchell in Tuesday morning’s interview, the protester — a laid-off coal miner — highlighted a dilemma for her, and for everyone trying to transition to a post-fossil-fuel economy:
We've got to both move toward a clean energy future. . . . But we also have to remember who turned on the lights and powered the factories and provided the energy we needed to build our country.
Clinton (like everyone else who is serious about climate change) knows that we need to leave coal in the ground instead of continuing to mine it. At the same time, it is unfair for the families and communities that have relied on coal-mining for generations to bear the costs of that transition. To a large extent they already are, as global demand and therefore production have dropped. When mining companies, like the giant Peabody Coal, declare bankruptcy, their workers and retirees lose. So (unlike Trump), Clinton can’t reassure coal-dependent communities that she will bring back their coal-related jobs. Instead, she’s committed to a $30 billion program of retraining and alternate development. Later in the day Clinton tweeted out the already-familiar pieces of her program to help Appalachia move to a post-coal economy:
There’s no question that the workers of Appalachia made America more prosperous and secure, and that legacy should be honored. We’ll create more good-paying jobs by investing in locally-driven projects and infrastructure improvements. Revitalizing Appalachia means investing in education and training— from pre-K to college to vocational and retraining programs. . . .What is the other side offering? Unfortunately, it’s the same old trickle-down economics that failed us before.
She also highlighted her plan to combat drug and alcohol abuse and suicide, which she noted are all on the rise across Appalachia.
Also consistent with her focus on the general election — especially now that the GOP race is essentially resolved — Clinton is continuing to hire staff in crucial swing states:
One of the things that constantly amazes me about Clinton is her ability to multi-task on multiple issues that we as progressives care about. In the middle of a day focused on Appalachia — and waiting for results from Indiana — she personally tweeted this:
Thrilled by this news. Every loving parent, no matter who they are, can now adopt kids in all 50 states. https://t.co/NpUjCpzdQB -H