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Analysis and perspective about what's happening in the political realm.

The Republican Party Can Stop Trump But Only By Thwarting Its Voters

With Don­ald Trump’s blo­wout win in New York and five more Trump-friendly states just a week away, Re­pub­lic­ans in­tent on block­ing their fron­trun­ner from the pres­id­en­tial nom­in­a­tion will have no choice but to be­come down­right un­demo­crat­ic – with a lower-case “D.”

Na­tion­al Journ­al re­view of the re­main­ing states sug­gests that even if Trump does poorly in In­di­ana and loses win­ner-take-all con­tests in Neb­raska, South Dakota and Montana, he will likely still end the primary sea­son with close to 1,150 del­eg­ates. That total will be at least 300 del­eg­ates more than Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will have, and will rep­res­ent sev­er­al mil­lion more primary voters.

Trump made a point of men­tion­ing both of those leads in his vic­tory speech on Tues­day night, while con­tinu­ing to rail against a sys­tem that per­mits del­eg­ates to be awar­ded in loc­al and state con­ven­tions, rather than statewide...

Clinton Can Use Her VP Choice to Bridge Divide With Sanders

Pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ees pick run­ning mates for all kinds of reas­ons. Hil­lary Clin­ton, some of her fel­low Demo­crats say, should fo­cus on one goal in par­tic­u­lar: build­ing a bridge.

In­ter­views with a num­ber of lib­er­al Demo­crats on Cap­it­ol Hill re­veal a view that Clin­ton, if she be­comes the nom­in­ee, can use the choice of a No. 2 to ap­peal to sup­port­ers of pro­gress­ive firebrand Bernie Sanders.

Asked about the VP pick, Sen­ate Demo­crat­ic Whip Richard Durbin, who backs Clin­ton, em­phas­ized the Sanders factor.

“She is go­ing to have to be mind­ful that Bernie Sanders has a large fol­low­ing, and if he is not the nom­in­ee and she is, that she makes it clear that the mes­sage he was car­ry­ing that res­on­ated so well across Amer­ica, par­tic­u­larly among Demo­crats, is go­ing to be re­spec­ted in her pres­id­ency,” Durbin told re­port...

How a Serious Third-Party Presidential Run Could Still Happen

How late is too late for an independent or third-party presidential run?

That question is becoming paramount as the Republican Party barrels through its primary season bitterly divided and with the chances growing that it will open its July convention without a nominee in hand. Conservatives resolutely opposed to a Donald Trump presidency have been investigating a third-party bid for weeks, hoping that if they can’t rally the party behind Ted Cruz then at least they’ll be to give the Never Trump movement an alternative not named Clinton in November. And the recent, if hardly surprising, demise of the paper-thin “loyalty pledge” that Republican candidates signed last year means that either Trump or Cruz could conceivably mount an independent campaign if they lose the GOP nomination in Cleveland.

The short answer is that no, it’s not too late for a third-party or independent run, and it might even be possible for someone as wealthy and well-known as Trump to launch a serious campaign as late as July. (Note: Serious does not necessarily mean winning.)

But for the anti-Trump forces scrambling to find a conservative alternative, time is very much running short.

The most organized Never Trump group...

Are Voters Getting Tired of Trump?

Donald Trump’s shtick may be getting old.

In Wisconsin, host of the next big Republican primary, a new poll shows Texas senator Ted Cruz ahead by 10 percentage points in what should be prime Trump country: a state with a high percentage of non-college educated white, Republican voters.

But even Trump’s base may be flagging: A new national survey shows that every demographic group has a negative view of the real estate developer—even white men, who were previously his stalwarts.

It could be a stamina problem. When Trump hosted the “Apprentice” reality shows, he made a big splash—and then ratings quickly sunk. At one point, Trump threatened to quit before NBC could fire him, though the network and the host patched things up.

Political analysts have long predicted that Trump’s offensive rhetoric would eventually make him politically radioactive, but that hasn’t happened. His flip-flop immunity (on full display yesterday as he suggested punishing women who obtain abortions before retracting the idea) insulates him from traditional message problems.

And the deep roots of his appeal in the Republican party have made it easy for establishment figures like former Bush consigliere Karl Rove to run ads...

Will Trump Destroy the Party of Reagan?

Ron­ald Re­agan is long gone, but for dec­ades Re­pub­lic­ans have con­tin­ued to revere his al­leg­or­ic­al three-legged stool: eco­nom­ic, so­cial, and for­eign policy con­ser­vat­ives, united as one to carry the party to vic­tory.

So what hap­pens when real­ity-TV star and self-styled “com­mon-sense con­ser­vat­ive” Don­ald Trump gets stew­ard­ship of the GOP? He in­sists that So­cial Se­cur­ity and Medi­care should be left un­altered, de­fends the non-abor­tion re­lated work of Planned Par­ent­hood, and calls NATO ob­sol­ete—thereby of­fend­ing all three ele­ments of the Re­agan trin­ity.

“He shat­ters the stool when he sits on it,” said Ari Fleis­cher, a top aide to former Pres­id­ent George W. Bush. “It’s bizarre, be­cause he has no prin­cipled, co­her­ent ideo­logy that we’re used to…. It cer­tainly won’t re­semble the stool any­more.”

What last au­tumn might have been an idle in­tel­lec­tu­al ex­er...