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• Dems, not GOP hold key for Trump in November
• Power Play: Hillary’s costly pivot delay
• Favorability gap favors Hillary
• Huma and the G-men
• No editor could refuse this story
DEMS, NOT GOP HOLD KEY FOR TRUMP IN NOVEMBER
On his way to a 4-point popular vote loss in 2012, Mitt Romney won 93 percent of Republican voters, about the same as President Obama did among Democrats.
Romney won among independents too, besting Obama by 5 points.
Romney’s problem was simple: Too many Democrats. Exit polling showed the blue team made up 38 percent of the electorate, 6 points more than the red team, and 9 points more than independents.
Given the anguish within many precincts of the Republican Party today, it is safe to say Donald Trump will not get 93 percent of the Republican vote. The most recent USA Today/Suffolk University poll showed Trump with 80 percent of the Republican vote against Hillary Clinton, compared to 90 percent of Democrats who favor their party’s presumptive nominee.
Provided there is no conservative third-party alternative on offer, both Clinton and Trump’s numbers will improve among members of their parties. But the gap will certainly persist. Add in the fact that Trump trails Clinton among independents by 6 points, and you have the makings for a bad beatdown.
House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican leaders have a solution in mind for Trump: Change his substance and style in a bid to unite the GOP.
What a predictably terrible idea.
There are more Democrats in America than there are Republicans, and given the astonishing Obama turnout machine and the historically high Democratic intensity against Trump, there is no reason to believe this election will be different.
While there are some questions about the intensity and party loyalty of African-American voters – 13 percent of the electorate in 2012 – one suspects that the jaw-dropping anti-Trump intensity among Hispanic voters would likely make up for any slack in the Democratic coalition.
Just as it was a cultural signifier for black Americans to vote for Barack Obama, it seems likely that Hispanic Americans will see a vote against Donald Trump in the same way. Taco bowl or no taco bowl.
We know that it’s state results not national polling that matters, but if Trump trails Clinton by anything like 10 points overall you can skip the state drilldown. You’re looking at a rout.
But the states can instruct us as to where Trump should be looking for his voters. One of the most discussed targets for a potential Trump flip is Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is not very Republican; just 35 percent in 2012 and only 20 percent independent.
If Trump really is going to be competitive in the Keystone State it would mean cracking into the 45 percent of the electorate that identified as Democrats last time around.
It is a good rule of thumb to say that the more unified party always wins, but given Trump’s attitudes and views, he will have to find another way.
Let’s say Trump could push his share of the Republican vote 10 points higher, he would still lose to Clinton. And that’s assuming that GOP turnout stays relatively high, no guarantee in an election year that’s about as pleasant as amoebic dysentery on a mule train.
And so, Ryan’s threat to Trump to withhold resources and support rings a little hollow. Trump is right to say that he probably doesn’t necessarily want their support. He needs money, but would do better hitting up his fellow billionaires and grass-roots donors than flogging an unwilling GOP donor base anyway.
What Trump really needs is to give Hillary Clinton the same headache he’s got.
Trump’s general-election focus of bashing free trade, calling for a foreign-policy pullback and increased domestic spending are all sweet music to the Bernie Bros. Yes, it is possible that Trump could lose more ground among the Republicans, but he needs the electorate to look very different to have a chance anyway. If Trump keeps trying to break up the Democratic coalition, it might work, or it might end up in a crash-and-burn season finale.
But Ryan’s call for a more conventional Trump candidacy would produce a predictable loss, though perhaps at a smaller margin. That would do Trump no better, but it would help Ryan and his party prevent down-ballot disasters.
As the negotiation between Trump and the GOP leadership plays out, Trump derives considerable leverage from the fact that he can’t win with them, but just might be able to win without them.
POWER PLAY: WHAT WILL TRUMP PAY FOR GOP MONEY?
Donald Trump’s stances have made him popular with voters, but many donors are hesitant to come to his side. But he needs the cash to take on Hillary Clinton. Will that be enough incentive for big money Republicans to open their wallets? WashEx’s David Drucker and National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar explain to Chris Stirewalt. WATCH HERE.
[Watch Fox: For all your latest political news and analysis tune into “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
Staten Island Advance: “In 1874 Captain Edgar Wakeman, partially paralyzed and suffering from fainting spells, arrived at Sailors’ Snug Harbor [on Staten Island] seeking help writing his autobiography. The man he had asked for help was Mark Twain. Twain had first met Wakeman aboard the steamship America on a voyage from San Francisco to New York City in 1866. Twain was fascinated by the gregarious old salt and featured him as a character in several of his books, often under the name ‘Captain Stormfield.’ …Wakeman first came to national attention in 1849 by hijacking the steamship New World, then under police guard at an East River dock… [he] forced the deputies overboard at Staten Island for a wet three mile slog back to the ferry. The manhunt for Wakeman continued for years with multiple narrow escapes.”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
General Election: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +6.5 points
Generic Congressional Vote: Democrats +2.3
POWER PLAY: HILLARY’S COSTLY PIVOT DELAY
The Democratic primary was pretty much over before it started, but Hillary Clinton still can’t put it away with Bernie Sanders hanging around forcing her to put off her Trump attacks a bit longer. How far will Sanders continue to push Clinton and can she make her general election pivot to Trump without angering Sanders’ coalition? WashEx’s David Drucker and National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar explain to Chris Stirewalt. WATCH HERE.
FAVORABILITY GAP FAVORS HILLARY
FiveThirtyEight: “Clinton’s average “strongly unfavorable” rating in probability sample polls from late March to late April, 37 percent, is about 5 percentage points higher than the previous high between 19803 and 2012. Trump, though, is on another planet. Trump’s average “strongly unfavorable” rating, 53 percent, is 20 percentage points higher than every candidate’s rating besides Clinton’s. … No major party nominee before Clinton or Trump had a double-digit net negative ‘strong favorability’ rating. Clinton’s would be the lowest ever, except for Trump. In previous cycles, the nominees of each party almost always had a strongly favorable and unfavorable rating within 10 percentage points of each other.”
[Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore joined Megyn Kelly Thursday warning that Trump needs to be taken seriously. Watch here.]
HUMA AND THE G-MEN
LAT: “Huma Abedin, a close aide to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, was questioned last month by FBI agents investigating whether classified material was mishandled on the private email server used by the former secretary of State and her aides, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Abedin was interviewed for about two hours at the FBI’s field office in Washington on April 5, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.”
“You’ve been hearing me say it’s a rigged system, but now I don’t say it anymore because I won … And the only way I won was I won by such big margins because it is a rigged system. But the only way you can do it, it’s like a boxer, you got to knock them out then you don’t got to worry about the judges. But it’s true.” – Donald Trump campaigning in West Virginia.
After the convention, Trump will likely start receiving intelligence briefings - NYT
Some state GOP officials say Never Trump, Never Hillary - Time
Former House Speaker John Boehner is set to attend the GOP convention - WashEx
Liam Donovan argues against magical thinking about Trump - National Review
Peggy Noonan says Trump is a spark not a fire - WSJ
NO EDITOR COULD REFUSE THIS STORY
ClarksvilleNow [Clarksville, Tenn.]: “Montgomery County Animal Care and Control (MCAC) is investigating after a dog bit an individual at a house party Wednesday evening. The human was not the only victim, however. According to officials, the dog was also bitten by an unknown person…The woman who owns the dog was attending the birthday party and got into an altercation with the man who was celebrating his birthday. The woman allegedly grabbed the man’s glass, slammed it down, poured out his liquor, and brandished a butter knife at him. The homeowner then asked the woman to leave. She refused, so he reportedly grabbed her arm to escort her out. The woman’s dog (described by the complainant as a pit bull named ‘Killa’) then bit the homeowner in what officials believe was an effort to protect the woman.”
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 digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.