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• GOP wants off primary carnival ride
• What to expect from Trump’s foreign policy speech today
• Hillary locks it up
• Bernie says he’s in until the last votes are cast
• Turns out he was home the whole time
GOP WANTS OFF PRIMARY CARNIVAL RIDE
First, the Republican nominating process was a referendum on conservatism. Then, it was a referendum on Donald Trump. Now, it is a referendum on itself. And voters seem to be voting overwhelmingly against it.
Smashing victories for Trump in the I-95 Primary showed us a couple of things.
They certainly revealed Ohio Gov. John Kasich for what he has been all along: a message candidate whose message is that he doesn’t like his own party. And the feeling seems to be mutual.
If Kasich couldn’t, ahem, take a bigger bite out of the portion of the Republican map where he should have run best, what’s the point of him?
The delegates may decide, but a moderate Republican who finishes third in his native Pennsylvania behind a Texan with the ideological nuance of paint thinner has been pretty definitively rejected by his own party.
Kasich has agreed to not inflict himself on Indiana, but his partner in a new non-aggression pact, Sen. Ted Cruz, doesn’t seem to be getting a great deal out of their bargain.
Kasich’s showing in suburban Washington, first in Virginia and now in Maryland, seems to suggest he has only two natural constituencies: Ohioans and federal workers. Both are pretty well spoken for by now.
Cruz can still win in Indiana, but he’s got a tough sell to make since the product he’s pitching is the continuation of a nominating process that his party despises.
That’s the other thing that Trump’s regional romp revealed: Republicans want to stop this tilt-a-whirl of a primary season.
If GOP voters were worried about electability or ideology right now you might have seen more hold outs and more late deciders in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. And you would have seen more voters.
Not only did Trump nearly match the showing of his 2012 counterpart, Mitt Romney, with 57 percent of the vote in Pennsylvania, but he did so with the same kind of late-primary shrunken electorate as Romney.
Turnout was something like 16 percent in Pennsylvania. It was 10 percent or less in the other states on Tuesday. Last week in New York, it was 6 percent.
Compare that to earlier primaries like New Hampshire or even Wisconsin this month when a quarter of eligible voters or more were turning up. Now, they’re just tuning out.
Data dog Nate Silver lays out a similar argument here.
Some of this might be attributable to a growing acceptance of Trump, but it is most likely due to a combination of the dispiriting of anti-Trump Republicans and the desire to see finished the most noxious nominating process in modern history.
Look at it this way: Not voting at this point is essentially a vote for Trump. But a vote for Cruz is a vote to keep this donnybrook running on. All the way to July. And maybe pro-Trump riots. Oy...
Cruz needs to rally Indiana not only behind him but also behind the idea that it is both necessary and purposeful to keep the fight going for another three months.
The Pashtun, who must be the West Virginians of Central Asia, have a saying: Better one beating today than two beatings tomorrow.
It doesn’t have quite the same ring as “Make America Great Again,” but it might do for the GOP in May of 2016.
[Watch Fox: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will talk to Megyn Kelly after what his campaign is billing as a major announcement, on “The Kelly File” tonight at 9 p.m. ET.]
What to expect from Trump’s foreign policy speech today - Foreign policy pro Aaron David Miller wonders what we might hear from Trump at his foreign policy speech today: “Delivery will be important. Being tough and confident are one thing; ranting, which many think Mr. Trump does much of the time, doesn’t convey confidence in a foreign policy context as much as it suggests immaturity and insecurity.”
Pepper spray as Trump supporters, protesters clash in Calif. - AP: “Supporters and opponents of Donald Trump clashed Tuesday outside City Hall, and five people, including two little girls, were pepper-sprayed by a demonstrator during the heated confrontation, police said. No serious injuries and no arrests were reported in the clash as about 50 people confronted each other in the Orange County community.”
Cruz needs Indiana to be like Wisconsin - WSJ: “For Ted Cruz to stop Donald Trump from seizing the Republican presidential nomination, he must replicate his Wisconsin victory in Indiana, another Midwestern state with similar demographics and population…Indiana’s most respected Republican voices have stayed neutral, and local conservative media haven’t picked sides ahead of the May 3 vote.”
[GOP delegate count: Trump 954; Cruz 562; Kasich 153 (1,237 needed to win)]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
On the heels of a questionable call, or lack thereof, in the NHL playoffs, the New Yorker dives into the question of what affects the referees judgment calls: “Home-team bias occurs for a number of fairly intuitive reasons. In judging whether an action is severe enough to warrant a penalty, refs may, for instance, take cues from the spectators’ reaction. They are also subject to the very human desire to go along with the crowd. A 2007 study of refereeing in Italian soccer games confirmed the outsized influence fans have on officials. At matches that were played in front of empty stadiums, because fans had been banned owing to hooliganism, the researchers found that referees’ tendency to punish away-team players far more harshly than home-team players vanished…as the researchers put it, ‘that social pressure from the spectators affects the referees’ behavior.’”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
National GOP nomination: Trump 43 percent; Cruz 30 percent; Kasich 21 percent
National Dem nomination: Clinton 49.5 percent; Sanders 45.8 percent
General Election: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +8.5 points
Generic Congressional Vote: Democrats +2.3
HILLARY LOCKS IT UP
Vox: “As media outlets called Rhode Island for Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, with early triumphs in Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania, claimed her victories with a nod to her rival. ‘I applaud Senator Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality,’ Clinton said in her speech…It [was] a decisive night for Clinton, who, despite having the delegate count in her favor for some time, has been pushed increasingly left on Sanders’ progressive talking points like minimum wage and campaign finance reform.”
Meaning she can now pivot to the general election - NYT: “After months of trying to sideline an unexpectedly deft and well-financed liberal opponent, Hillary Clinton on Tuesday won a series of primaries that freed her to present herself as the de facto victor of the Democratic nominating fight and gave her the impetus to shift focus decisively toward the November election…Her advisers and allies say she will spend the coming weeks honing her message for the general election, and stepping up fund-raising that has lagged in the face of Mr. Sanders’s challenge…In coming weeks, Mrs. Clinton will campaign in states with looming primaries, but she will also recharge and spend time in New York plotting a general-election strategy with advisers.”
Bernie says he’s in until the last votes cast - The Hill: “Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders responded to his electoral defeats Tuesday night by vowing to stay in the race and fight it out until the Democratic National Convention in July. …‘The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be. That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast,’ he said.”
Trump to Bernie: Run as an independent - USA Today: “Donald Trump offered some campaign advice to Bernie Sanders, as the Vermont senator’s chances of winning the Democratic presidential nomination grow increasingly slim: run as an independent. Trump tweeted on Tuesday that Sanders ‘has been treated terribly by the Democrats — both with delegates & otherwise.’ He added: ‘He should show them, and run as an Independent!’”
[Dem delegate count: Clinton 2151; Sanders 1338 (2,383 needed to win)]
TURNS OUT HE WAS HOME THE WHOLE TIME
ABC 7: “A family on Long Island has their attentive dog to thank for alerting them to a giant snake living in the wall of their home. Lauren and Eric Feinstein got quite a surprise last Monday; a 4-foot California Kingsnake was coiled inside a radiator at their Glen Cove home. ‘Our dog Maya was in the corner of the room something caught her attention. I went and I looked and I saw the tail end of a snake going into the heat register, and I freaked out completely,’ said Lauren said. The Long Island couple moved into the home back in November, not knowing the previous tenant’s snake escaped from its enclosure. Because it disappeared more than a year ago, that person figured his pet was long gone…Eric managed to capture the snake and set it free in their yard, something they regret now that they know it is not indigenous to this area.”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. 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.