By Clint Henderson, ,
Published April 19, 2016
All about New York today as the Empire State plays a crucial role in the presidential election for the first time in decades. Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton all have ties to the state. New York could be a make-or-break moment for Sanders and could provide Trump the solid victory he needs to get closer to sewing things up.
The New York Times writes today about the two front-runners:
Polls have shown both front-runners ahead by double-digit margins before Tuesday's New York primary. A big win for Trump would bring him closer to winning an outright majority of Republican delegates - an outcome that remains in jeopardy and that has prompted rival Ted Cruz to mount a spirited campaign to force a contested convention.
For Clinton, a victory would give her a boost of momentum and perhaps a new mandate to more openly pivot her campaign to prepare for the general election. Unlike Trump, Clinton is so far ahead in the delegate count against Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) that it has become close to impossible for him to catch up.
There’s growing sentiment that Sanders role as a spoiler is beginning to hurt Hillary Clinton. The attacks on Hillary Clinton have moved her negatives higher.
New polling out last night from the WSJ and NBC News suggest Hillary Clinton’s negatives continue to rise. In fact, the polling shows the three front-runner are very unpopular with much of the nation. Trump and Cruz have even worse ratings than Hillary Clinton. Seven in Ten registered voters say they couldn‘t support Donald Trump. 61% for Ted Cruz and 58% for Clinton.
Meantime, the same polling shows Sanders has nearly caught Clinton nationally among Democrats.
2012 candidate Mitt Romeny again weighing in on the race. Romney warning that if both Ted Cruz and John Kasich stay in the race, they could hand the nomination to Trump. Politico’s Hanna Trudo writes today:
Cruz and Kasich are splitting the anti-Trump vote, the former Massachusetts governor argued in an interview with David Gregory for the former NBC host’s new podcast, “The David Gregory Show."
"I think that Mr. Cruz and Mr. Kasich divide the vote, if you will, and that will make it easier for Mr. Trump to win the winner-take-all congressional districts and the winner-take-all states and get the delegates he needs to either hit the 1,237 or get close enough to it that he could persuade the uncommitted delegates that he would need to get the victory on the first ballot," Romney said.
If Cruz or Kasich becomes “inactive” after New York’s primary on Tuesday, however, Republicans would likely move to a contested convention, he said. “If it remains three candidates, I think Mr. Trump wins on the first ballot.”
When asked about Trump’s ability to gain the support of uncommitted delegates and thus secure the nomination, Romney mentioned perks that the billionaire could offer, such as trips on his private plane or resort memberships.
“I think there’s a lot of ways to be persuasive,” he said, adding that it’s conceivable that Trump could win over as many as 50 or 100 uncommitted delegates.
Romney dismissed, however, Trump's repeated complaint that the delegate-selection process is "rigged" against him.
Trump held a massive rally last night in Buffalo. The Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe writes about Trump’s delegate struggles today:
Weeks after his campaign vowed to turn things around in the hunt for delegates, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is still struggling to ensure that supporters will be there to vote for him at the Republican convention in Cleveland.
In recent days, supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) earned delegate slots in Wyoming, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia. They're also packing party meetings in Nebraska and Washington state, where Republicans are beginning to pick delegates before primaries next month.
Sanders is accusing the Clinton campaign and the DNC of fundraising violations.
There are several live events to keep an eye out for today:
8am -- Hillary Clinton votes in Chappaqua, NY. LIVE via LiveU
1130EDT -- Hillary Clinton speaks at the National Building Trades Convention. Washington, DC. LIVE via LiveU
TBA EDT -- Donald Trump casts his ballot. New York, NY. FNC COVER
1330EDT -- OH Gov Kasich makes a retail stop at the Original Oyster House, Pittsburgh, PA. TBA COVER
1400EDT -- Sen Sanders holds a rally. Bayfront Convention Center, Erie, PA. LIVE via LiveU
As much as 20 inches of rain has fallen in parts of Texas.. Houston is seeing historic flooding. More rain and flash flooding are possible again today. Homes and roads are flooded, and at least four people have died.
President Obama heads for Saudi Arabia today. Controversy continues to swirl over the Saudi role in the 9/11 terror attacks. The President is fighting to keep a top secret report private that apparently implicates some high-ranking Saudis in helping the terrorists in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Congress is debating a measure that would force its declassification and publication. The President is considering a veto and the Saudis are threatening economic repercussions if the report is released.
The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a terror attack in Kabul that left at least 28 and wounded more than 320. There was also a terror attack in Pakistan.
The death toll in a massive earthquake in Ecuador has passed 400. The quake has caused severe damage to coastal areas of the country.
More than 900 people are living in shelters in Japan after a series of massive earthquakes. At least 45 were killed.
We get earnings today from beleaguered Yahoo! Goldman Sachs disappointed investors with its results this AM. Oil had four days of losses but is up 1% so far today. Netflix shares plummeted overnight as it reported weaker-than-expected growth prospects. We also get a report on housing starts.
The Dow hit 18,000 yesterday.
For more news, follow me on Twitter: @ClintPHenderson