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• Q Poll blows a hole in GOP convention fantasies
• Trump threatens Cruz’s wife
• Power Play: Likeable enough?
• Hillary wins big in Arizona, Bernie gets small prizes
• Never too late
Q POLL BLOWS A HOLE IN GOP CONVENTION FANTASIES
The argument that somehow Donald Trump can be denied the Republican nomination has gotten thinner than the ham in a sandwich at the state penitentiary.
A new Quinnipiac University poll out today says not only that Donald Trump has a 14-point lead on Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, but that without Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the race, Cruz still trails by 9-points. Prior polling showed that in head-to-head matchups, other candidates trumped Trump, so this is something new.
At the same time, however, Trump continues to struggle where it matters most. While Trump can certainly celebrate his 23-point margin of victory in Arizona, the fact that he could only muster 14 percent of the vote in ultra-conservative Utah is not a good sign.
Here’s the new reality for the Republican Party: As of now, you have a presumptive nominee whether you like it or not.
One thing that is not different in this Q poll is Trump runs the worst against his Democratic counterpart, Hillary Clinton. Last month, the survey found Trump trailing Clinton by a single point, now it is six. That reflects the judgment of every other national survey taken this month that shows Trump getting creamed by margins ranging from 5 points to 13 points.
It may not matter.
Looking ahead in the primary calendar, it is hard to see how Trump could be denied. While, the remaining third of the delegates aren’t guaranteed to Trump, there is a lot of good terrain ahead for the frontrunner: New York, New Jersey, and most of all, California. All promise good things for Trump.
But it’s not a lock just yet.
There are belated signs that the Republican Party is taking action. Consider that Jeb Bush’s full and unconditional endorsement of Cruz would have been unimaginable even three months ago. It is unsurprising today.
Presumably, still more endorsements will come in for Cruz, but what chance does that movement have if the Q poll is right? If Cruz gets only half of Kasich’s 16 percent without the long-shot Ohio governor in the race maybe that means Republicans are falling in line behind Trump.
Those members of the party who are living in an alternate reality in which there will be a brokered convention that will produce some magical unicorn of a candidate need to take a long hard look at this poll.
That’s not to say that there is no chance. But without forceful action to support Cruz and swing the remaining anti-Trump holdouts to his side, it’s not going to happen.
Trump threatens Cruz’s wife - NYT: “For a moment, it seemed Donald J. Trump thought he had gone too far. The moment passed. Shortly after publishing, then deleting, a menacing Twitter post about the wife of Senator Ted Cruz, Mr. Trump quickly corrected himself late Tuesday — by adding more colorful language and punctuation to his threat.’Lyin’ Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from G.Q. shoot in his ad,’ Mr. Trump wrote in the slightly revised message. ‘Be careful, Lyin’ Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!’ Mr. Trump appeared to be referring to a recent ad from the “super PAC” Make America Awesome, which showed Mr. Trump’s wife Melania, a former model, posing nude. The ad, which was targeted to Mormon voters, has no ties to Mr. Cruz’s campaign.”
NR hammers Kasich - National Review’s Jeremy Carl explains why he doesn’t take Kasich’s campaign seriously: “The campaign of John Kasich is a joke, and not a particularly funny one, unless you like humor at the expense of the GOP and conservatism. Yet the media and GOP establishment has largely failed to call Kasich out. But with his embarrassing losses in Utah and Arizona yesterday (incredibly, it appears he lost the latter even to Rubio, who has been out of the race for a week now), it is long past time to throw Kasich’s campaign into the ash heap of history.”
What just happened? - If you’re struggling to understand the shape of politics today, FiveThirtyEight has an insightful explanation.
POWER PLAY: LIKEABLE ENOUGH?
As the primaries continue, it’s looking more and more like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be their parties’ respective nominees. But despite a successful primary season, Trump and Clinton don’t seem to connect as well with the general electorate they’ll face come November. Chris Stirewalt explains it all in just 60 seconds. WATCH HERE.
[GOP delegate count: Trump 739; Cruz 465; Kasich 143 (1,237 needed to win)]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
Why do you like certain flavors? That’s the question one researcher at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science decided to unravel. Denver Post has the details: “[Nicole] Garneau’s current project explores how people experience sweet taste and how bacteria in the mouth affect perceptions and health…To explain how our taste preferences evolve, she often starts at the beginning when survival meant finding food…The crowdtasting study will ask participants who buy tickets to try four craft beers and three food bites, as well as pair them together, before answering questions about their preferences. It may lead to additional studies that delve deeper into how a person’s experiences influence their palate.”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
National GOP nomination: Trump 44 percent; Cruz 28.6 percent; Kasich 18.4 percent
National Dem nomination: Clinton 53.1 percent; Sanders 41.7 percent
General Election: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +9.8 points
Generic Congressional Vote: Democrats +1
HILLARY WINS BIG IN ARIZONA, BERNIE SMALL PRIZES
LAT: “Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton won the Arizona primary, the biggest prize in Tuesday’s presidential nominating contests, while rival Bernie Sanders notched wins in the Utah and Idaho caucuses. Claiming victory Tuesday night, Clinton slashed at the Republican field’s reaction to the terrorist attacks in Belgium…Arizona offered more delegates up for grabs than Utah and Idaho combined. All three states saw long lines, with some Phoenix-area polls staying open late to accommodate voters who waited more than two hours to cast ballots.”
Bernie’s big burn rate - USA Today: “Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator and self-proclaimed democratic socialist, is spending $1.8 million on ads this week in states with nominating contests Tuesday, NBC News reports. That’s nearly three times the ad spending of front-runner Hillary Clinton, who is buying only $600,000 worth. It’s also more than Republican contenders Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas ($989,000) and Donald Trump ($520,000).”
[Dem delegate count: Clinton 1681; Sanders 937 (2,383 needed to win)]
NEVER TOO LATE
AP: “A library book overdue by nearly 50 years has been returned to a university library in southwest Ohio. The University of Dayton says a former student who borrowed the ‘History of the Crusades’ in 1967 has sent it back with an apology for the late return. The university says James Phillips, of Minnesota, apparently checked out the book as a freshman before leaving school to join the U.S. Marines. Phillips says the book and other belongings must have been gathered from his dormitory room and sent to his parents' house where they remained until his parents' died. Phillips recently found the book in a box of belongings forwarded to him by his brother. University officials say they won't be charging Phillips the late fee that would have been about $350.”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.