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· Flip-flopping or evolving?
· New poll show Hillary’s lead narrowing
· Washington State selects pro-Cruz delegates
· Power Play: Senate play
· Go fish
FLIP-FLOPPING OR EVOLVING?
We’re hearing almost daily about how voters dislike both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Poll after poll has steadily reinforced the negative view of the now presumptive nominees throughout the 2016 cycle, and the winner may well be determined by whichever party is most successful at turning out voters who cast ballots against their opponent, rather than who tops their ticket.
So what’s driving this distaste for the top choices offered to the electorate? One factor might well be called a tendency for the soon to be ticket-toppers to engage in “evolutionary” viewpoints.
Donald Trump’s changing policy positions have been well documented throughout the primary cycle, and one he acknowledges somewhat readily.
In a Fox News interview in February, Trump declared: “I will be changing very rapidly. I’m capable of changing to anything I want to change to.”
And he certainly seems to be keeping to that.
Over the weekend, Trump gave a vague answer that appeared to put him on opposite sides concerning guns in the classroom. When asked on “Fox & Friends” if he believes teachers should have firearms in the classroom Trump responded: “I don’t want to have guns in classrooms. Although, in some cases, teachers should have guns in classrooms” before continuing, “I’m not advocating guns in classrooms… In some cases — and a lot of people have made this case — teachers should be able to have guns, trained teachers should be able to have guns in classrooms.”
But Trump isn’t the only one switching long-held beliefs in the face of a changing electorate.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton has also taken a lot of heat for her changing stances on issues, and is a large part of why she is still in a primary. In addition to calling out Clinton for personally benefitting from Wall Street while also calling for reform, challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders has also made Clinton’s reversal or ambiguous stances on the Iraq war, gay marriage and lack of transparency with paid speeches, staples of his own campaign platform.
And indeed Clinton has made a lot of policy changes in this cycle. Among the most recent and obvious examples is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which she called the “gold standard” for trade in 2012, only to come out in opposition three years later when it was apparent that the pact didn’t sit well with her populist base.
Similar to past cycles, however, both Clinton and Trump have made claims that their changing positions aren’t contradictions, but rather a result of their evolutionary thinking on issues. But for two well-known commodities, each with a clearly defined public profile, claims of evolution will be harder to sell to the voting public.
Where being well known in party primaries can benefit candidates immensely, saving the time and resources usually required for candidates to introduce themselves, it can be a detriment when trying to pitch to the general election electorate. Often such changes are seen more as pandering for votes than personally held beliefs that have evolved over time.
With less than six months to go and both sides looking to bring voters into their tent, Clinton and Trump will likely ratchet up the game of who can convince voters their policy changes are the most sincere.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
The New Yorker: “The demonstration began on the afternoon of May 21, 1946, at a secret laboratory tucked into a canyon some three miles from Los Alamos, New Mexico, the birthplace of the atom bomb. Louis Slotin, a Canadian physicist, was showing his colleagues how to bring the exposed core of a nuclear weapon nearly to the point of criticality…In his right hand, he held a long screwdriver, which he planned to wedge between the two components …one of his colleagues, Raemer Schreiber…suddenly he heard a sound behind him: Slotin’s screwdriver had slipped, and the tamper had dropped fully over the core…Subsequent calculations put the total number of fission reactions at about three quadrillion—a million times smaller than the first atomic bombs, but still enough to send out a significant burst of radioactivity…[Slotin] died nine days after the accident, at the age of thirty-five. The cause was recorded as acute radiation syndrome, also known as radiation sickness.”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
General Election: Clinton vs. Trump: Trump +0.2 points
Generic congressional vote: Democrats +1.8
NEW POLL SHOW HILLARY’S LEAD NARROWING
WSJ: “Republicans have rallied behind Donald Trump in the weeks since he effectively clinched his party’s presidential nomination, helping him narrow Democrat Hillary Clinton’s once double-digit lead to just 3 percentage points, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows. Mrs. Clinton leads the New York businessman, 46% to 43%, in a test matchup between the two likely nominees, the poll finds. That represents a much tighter margin than her 11-percentage-point lead in April and marks the first time in Journal/NBC News polling this year that her support has dropped below 50% in a contest with Mr. Trump.”
Can Bernie turn campaign into a liberal movement? - NYT: “Far from laying the foundation to transform his campaign into a movement, Mr. Sanders is wrapped up in the race itself, sharpening his attacks on Hillary Clinton and demanding she debate him before the June 7 primary in California. And many of his supporters are following his cue…Thus far, Mr. Sanders has offered little support for a broader progressive movement…Even if he does try to redirect the energy behind his candidacy into a new liberal organization, the task may not be easy…His regular diatribes against the influence of big money in politics could make it awkward, if not impossible, for him to raise money from wealthy liberals.”
Democrats divided on green, blue issue - Conservative-leaning Manhattan Institute’s City Journal magazine delves into the long-standing divide in the Democratic Party between blue-collar labor unions and environmentalists that seem to be coming to a head explaining: “…[T]rade unions and environmentalists have long been at odds. The real news [with the formation of a new PAC from the Democratic Party partnered with environmentalist Tom Steyer] was that much of the rest of the labor movement—led by public-sector unions—had agreed to work with Steyer, highlighting the ever-widening divide between blue-collar labor groups and their public-union counterparts. That split has already driven some trade unions into the arms of Republican candidates, and may account for some of the support Donald Trump gets in polls from working-class voters.”
WASHINGTON STATE SELECTS PRO-CRUZ DELEGATES
The Week: “Washington State holds its Republican primary on Tuesday, and with one candidate left in the race, there’s not too much drama about the outcome. But in a twist — and what would the 2016 race be without a twist? — 40 of Washington’s 41 delegates selected Saturday to attend the Republican National Convention in July are Ted Cruz partisans. Cruz supporters outnumbered Donald Trump supporters at the state GOP convention in Pasco, and they were better organized, pushing through the Cruz slate of delegates over occasional protests from Trump backers, who noted repeatedly that Cruz is no longer in the race.”
But Trump swept delegates in Missouri - Kansas City Star: “Longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly and U.S. Rep. Sam Graves were among 25 at-large national convention delegates selected by Missouri Republicans at their meeting Saturday in Branson…Of the 25 delegates picked Saturday, 19 will be pledged to presumptive nominee Donald Trump, including Schlafly. Six at-large delegates are pledged to Sen. Ted Cruz, who finished second in the primary.”
Hmmm… - Politico: “Donald Trump says he is ‘not a big believer in global warming.’ He has called it ‘a total hoax,’ ‘bullshit’ and ‘pseudoscience.’ But he is also trying to build a sea wall designed to protect one of his golf courses from ‘global warming and its effects.’ The New York billionaire is applying for permission to erect a coastal protection works to prevent erosion at his seaside golf resort, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland, in County Clare. A permit application for the wall, filed by Trump International Golf Links Ireland and reviewed by POLITICO, explicitly cites global warming and its consequences — increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather this century — as a chief justification for building the structure.”
Power Play: Senate play - Pro-GOP group American Crossroads Communications Director Ian Prior talks to Chris Stirewalt about the group’s request for an audit of the Clinton Foundation. But their eye isn’t juts on the presidential race. Prior explains why the group is confident about keeping the Republican majority in the Senate, and how they’re breaking down the races. WATCH HERE.
Bathroom insanity in 2016 - Weekly Standard
Trump’s scorning of data could hurt GOP - FiveThirtyEight
Graham courts conservatives to back Trump - The Hill
Trump lags behind Hillary in Ohio organization - WSJ
Josh Kraushaar explains why the GOP can be hopeful about the Senate - National Journal
“We need a campaign, an election, coming up which does not have two candidates who are really very, very strongly disliked. I don’t want to see the American people voting for the lesser of two evils.” -- Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on ABC News Sunday talking about voter choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
North Devon [England] Journal: “A man who swallowed a live goldfish at a Devon fair last year has been banned from owning a fish for the next five years. Alexander Mackey, of Erie Gardens, Plymouth [England] swallowed the goldfish whole ‘to impress his mates’ after one of them won it at the fairground. The 21-year-old was captured on video dangling the clearly distressed fish above his mouth before dropping it in and swallowing. The court heard the 21-year-old, who works as an engineer, had drunk ‘four or five’ cans of lager with friends before heading to the fair, where he admitted to drinking a further ‘four cans.’”
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.