POLITICS

How will it end for the Dems?

Does it matter who wins?

 

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Buzz Cut:
·        How will it end for the Dems?
·        Power Play: Golden stakes
·        Trump holds the line: Judges’ ancestries matter
·        It’s almost halftime!
·        What was your first clue, officer?

HOW WILL IT END FOR THE DEMS?
Endings matter more than beginnings.

Psychologists talk about “the peak-end rule,” the phenomenon by which our perception of an experience tends to be highly defined by its closing phase.

The most famous study on the topic is one from the 1990s involving colonoscopies, discussed in the book “The Paradox of Choice.” Patients were divided into two groups, both of which underwent the same procedure with the same degree of discomfort.

Members of one group were told they were receiving a “colonoscopy plus” in which technicians gave the patient a brief respite at the end of the procedure before its conclusion. For the other group, it was just over and out.

Perceptions among the two groups were starkly different. Patients in the group that had a more pleasant conclusion, but just as much actual discomfort, rated their experiences much higher than those who were finished more quickly.

How much of that had to do with simple branding of “plus” and how much was related to the psychological phenomenon of overemphasizing the way things end, we can’t be exactly sure.

But there is no doubt about the correlation between good endings and the perception of satisfaction.

So speaking of colonoscopies, the 2016 presidential nominating process is coming to a close. And endings certainly matter.

The Republicans had something of a surprise ending, as the once-vaunted resistance to Donald Trump crumpled-up five weeks ago. That party’s nominee, however, is still vigorously probing his patient. Whether or not the GOP will have any kind of respite before its convention next month remains to be seen.

The members of the blue team, however, are still deciding whether they are going to have a “nomination” or a “nomination plus.” The decision will fall to Democrats in the state that is the largest and the most important part of the Democratic electoral coalition: California.

Hillary Clinton needs just 25 of the 887 delegates up for grabs on Tuesday to lock it up. By all estimates, she will do that and more as polls close in New Jersey at 8 p.m. ET. Sen. Bernie Sanders, though, says he doesn’t care. And will go on through next week’s D.C. primary and on to the Philadelphia convention, no matter what happens on Tuesday.

Sanders argument is that Clinton will need some unbound delegates to reach the 2,383 delegate threshold, and since those folks are free to change their minds, the ball is technically still in play.

That’s why California matters so much for Clinton.

She’s going to clinch on Tuesday, but how she does it will determine in large part what her next month looks like and how able she is to continue to pummel Trump.

In one scenario, Clinton clinches but loses the largest and most-important Democratic state. She limps into Philadelphia with Sanders still contesting and Democrats sympathetic to his claim to still do so.

In the other scenario, she slams the door on Sanders and, by extension, his claim for refusing to capitulate. Given the already existent divisions in the Sanders camp over whether or to proceed, a decisive California defeat would be tough to take.

Clinton is doing better in the closing chapter than some of her successful predecessors -- including President Obama in 2008 and Jimmy Carter in 1976. They both stumbled at the end.

But she is not doing as well at this point as her husband, who sealed up his 1992 nomination with a decisive win over once and future California Gov. Jerry Brown in his home state. It was the lift Bubba needed to knock out his last remaining long-shot rival and build momentum going into the general.

His wife is no doubt hoping for that history to repeat itself.

POWER PLAY: GOLDEN STAKES
Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., says that he’s confident that Hillary Clinton will take California in Tuesday’s Democratic primary contest, but admits it will be closer than expected. He doesn’t, however, think Donald Trump will have the same narrow margin in the general election saying, “To have someone so bombastic, outlandish has already given enormous pause to our allies and enemies. We will not fall apart. He will not be president. He will not win California.” WATCH HERE.

WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
NatGeo: “On February 27, 1942, nine saboteurs scaled a cliff in the middle of the night to blow up a Nazi-controlled heavy water plant in Norway. Hollywood turned the story of the attack into The Heroes of Telemark, a sappy action-movie-on-skis starring Kirk Douglas. The true story is both more complicated—and more compelling. Using rarely viewed Norwegian records, eyewitness accounts, and his own travels in Norway, Neal Bascomb’s The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission To Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb sets this daring sabotage mission in the context of the high-stakes race between the Germans and the Allies to create a nuclear weapon.”

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POLL CHECK
Real Clear Politics Averages
General Election: 
Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +1.5 points
Generic congressional vote: Democrats +2.2

TRUMP HOLDS THE LINE: JUDGES’ ANCESTRIES MATTER
NYT: “Donald J. Trump, who said last week that a judge’s Mexican heritage should disqualify him from a lawsuit against Mr. Trump, expressed doubt on Sunday that a Muslim judge could remain neutral in the case, comments that are unlikely to ease concerns among his fellow Republicans who fear his controversial remarks could hurt the party in November. Mr. Trump’s comments, made in an interview with John Dickerson, the host of CBS’s ‘Face the Nation,’ followed his criticism of Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel, a federal judge in California overseeing a suit against the defunct Trump University. Mr. Trump said Judge Curiel had a ‘conflict of interest’ in the case because of Mr. Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico.”

[In a new video, Team Hillary knocks Trump for his comments that a Mexican judge is biased against him by using the criticisms of other Republicans in the latest of their series #GOPDisunity.]

RACE NOTES
If you have to ask… Priebus wants Trump to deliver ‘G-rated’ convention - WashEx

Trump’s briefing book: Economic Insecurity - WashEx

Trump continues Dole team restoration with new political director - The Hill

New pro-Trump PAC ad brings up the Clintons’ past - ABC News

Kristol draftee conscientiously objects - National Review

Dem congresswoman didn’t know she is a superdelegate - Fox News

Charles Koch’s $200 million quest for a ‘Republic of Science’ - WaPo

WITHIN EARSHOT
“I don’t think Trump knows a goddamn thing about economics. But I like him anyway, I might add.” – Economist, actor and former White House speechwriter Ben Stein in an interview with the Guardian.

IT’S ALMOST HALFTIME!
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WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CLUE, OFFICER?
TribLive: “Five members of a reggae band accused of smoking marijuana at a Strip District concert last weekend are among the first cases Pittsburgh police are pursuing under a city ordinance decriminalizing pot possession. Members of Truth & Rites were inside their van shortly before they were set to perform at Sunday night’s KayaFest when, according to Public Safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler, officers working a security detail at the music festival smelled marijuana coming from the van. Chester ‘King Banja’ Bailey, one of the band members charged, said the band and others were in the van waiting to go on stage when an officer knocked on the van door…‘We were sitting in the van that took us to the event — just chilling, you know, smoking a little bit,’ Bailey said. …Bailey said no one told him what he’d been charged with, but officers told him he’d receive a citation in the mail.”

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.