(Hagerstown, Maryland) – We are on the road again this week, at a crossroads of three states that may be interesting in Campaign 2016 – Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Let’s “brunch” on that and some other nuggets this week:
“When a Win Is a Loss” – Hillary Clinton declared herself the winner of Tuesday’s Kentucky primary by a margin of 1,924 votes. The breakdown was 46.7 percent for Clinton to 46.3 percent for Bernie Sanders. For the third straight week, Clinton had no rally anywhere. Four hours after polls closed in Kentucky, they closed in Oregon, with Sanders a big winner. He held a raucous rally in California, site of the crucial June 7 primary. Sanders seized the night, and the spotlight, and the media coverage. It was if he won both primaries!
“Coal Matters” – Clinton barely eased past Sanders in the coal state of Kentucky, but was swamped by Sanders last week in the coal state of West Virginia. Why two very different results? Well, West Virginia had an open primary, in which voters who are registered non-partisan or independent can request a Democrat or Republican ballot. In Kentucky, it was a closed primary, where only registered Democrats can vote in the Democratic primary. Independents are a huge source of Sanders’s support, and they were simply shut out of the process in Kentucky. Trust me, coal will be a major issue between Trump and Clinton in November, especially in these two states, as well as Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
“What’s Left?” – Mark June 7 on your calendar, as that is the date of six primaries, including New Jersey and California. It could be an early night because - if she wins enough delegates on the East Coast - Clinton may have enough delegates for the nomination; and then what happens on the West Coast will be moot.
“Math Matters” – Okay, this is crazy, but it’s possible Bernie Sanders will actually wind up winning the Kentucky Primary anyway. A re-canvass of votes could put him ahead; but even if it doesn’t, he may still win. Here is why: The race was so close that Clinton and Sanders have each been awarded 27 convention delegates, with one uncommitted. Of the state’s five super delegates, two have committed to Clinton, and three have not announced their allegiance. Yes, it is possible that if four of these unattached delegates pick Sanders, he wins the primary with 31 to 30 delegates!
“The Final Super Tuesday” – There have been several Tuesdays this year with multiple primaries. June 7 will be the last, with six states casting ballots: New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, New Mexico, and California. It’s not unprecedented that a primary this late crowns a winner. I was in Montana and South Dakota on the final primary day in 2008. Hillary Clinton won South Dakota, but Barack Obama won Montana, giving him enough delegates for the nomination.
“Trump Reigns Supreme” – I found it fascinating that Donald Trump announced his “short list” of potential Supreme Court nominees if he is elected. It’s a dicey strategy. It certainly gives the other party plenty of time to do opposition research, but it also gives Trump a chance to show how he might reshape the bench in a term that could include three court nominees. I have met one of the possible nominees, Federal Appeals Court Judge Diane Sykes, who was a fellow student at Marquette University. She succeeded my dad’s college roommate and longtime family friend, Court of Appeals Judge John Coffey, on the federal bench. It’s a small world.
“Strange Bedfellows” – I was intrigued by the ABC News report this week that former Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA) is not interested in being Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential running mate. Patrick – whom I have interviewed many times – is now working in business development for Bain Capital. Yes, that’s the same Bain Capital founded by former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA). Patrick has also often been touted as a potential Supreme Court nominee. He says he’s not interested in VP, but keep him on your short list for either job.
Do you have any thoughts on VP or Supreme Court, from either party? Just click the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.
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