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The Trump-Clinton Race Is Not As Close As It Looks

With its nomination settled, the GOP has been healing its wounds, but Democratic feelings are still raw because of the ongoing fight between Clinton and Sanders.

What We're Following
Trump Aims to Unite and Conquer
Democrats Begging Sanders to Repair the Party
Contours of General Election Starting to Emerge
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

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AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

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TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

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TEMPORARY OR NOT?
Rick Wiley Bolts the Trump Campaign
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Wednesday parted ways with Rick Wiley, his national political director, just six weeks after the Republican operative joined the campaign." Wiley joined just six weeks ago, as Trump said he would be a "tremendous asset as we enter the final phase." But yesterday, Trump said in a statement that "hired on a short-term basis as a consultant."

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ON GUN RIGHTS
Trump Jr. Meeting with GOP Members
THE LATEST
CONTRARY TO REPORTS
Ryan Not Endorsing Trump Just Yet
THE LATEST
OTHER SECRETARIES AT FAULT, TOO
State Dept. Review Faults Clinton Email Management
THE LATEST

"A State Department audit has faulted Hillary Clinton and previous secretaries of state for poorly managing email and other computer information and slowly responding to new cybersecurity risks. ... It cites 'longstanding, systemic weaknesses' related to communications. These started before Clinton's appointment as secretary of state, but her failures were singled out as more serious."

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CRUZ STILL TOOK DELEGATES AT THE CONVENTION
Trump Rolls in Washington Primary
THE LATEST

Donald Trump "was on course to win more than three-quarters of the vote in Washington's primary" last night. Ted Cruz's defunct candidacy still pulled about 10 percent. "Cruz dropped out of the race on May 3, but won 40 of the state's 41 delegates up for grabs at last weekend's state GOP convention."

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MULTIPLE OFFICERS INJURED
Trump Rally Turns Violent in New Mexico
WHY WE CARE

"What started as a calm protest outside Donald Trump’s rally Tuesday erupted into fiery violence as protesters jumped on police cars, smashed windows and fought with Trump supporters and police. Police faced such an angry crowd that they called in reinforcements from around the state, seeking to double their numbers to counter the protesters, whose numbers swelled beyond 600." Protesters threw rocks and bottles at police, who broke up several fights. 

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HE ‘WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT’
Warren Goes After Trump Yet Again
Alex Rogers
Staff Correspondent

When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage. 

LEVERAGE
Kasich Tells His Delegates to Remain Pledged to Him
THE LATEST

Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."

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LOST BY HALF A PERCENTAGE POINT
Sanders Wants a Recount in Kentucky
THE LATEST

Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.

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TIES TO CLINTON GLOBAL INITIATIVE
McAuliffe Under Investigation for Fundraising
WHY WE CARE

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) “is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and … the Justice Department” for potentially improper contributions to his 2013 campaign, including while he was a Clinton Global Initiative board member. ... Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from” former Chinese legislator Wang Wenliang. “U.S. election law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to … elections. … But Wang holds U.S. permanent resident status.”

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RAISES SEX ASSAULT, VINCE FOSTER
Trump Takes Aim at Bill Clinton
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump is reviving some of the ugliest political chapters of the 1990s with escalating personal attacks on Bill Clinton's character, part of a concerted effort to smother Hillary Clinton 's campaign message with the weight of decades of controversy. Trump's latest shot came Monday when he released an incendiary Instagram video that includes the voices of two women who accused the former president of sexual assault, underscoring the presumptive Republican nominee's willingness to go far beyond political norms in his critique of his likely Democratic rival. ...In one recent interview, Trump said another topic of potential concern is the suicide of former White House aide Vincent Foster, which remains the focus of intense and far-fetched conspiracy theories on the Internet."

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TIME IS ‘BEST SPENT CAMPAIGNING’
Clinton Won’t Debate Sanders on Fox News
THE LATEST

Hillary Clinton will not debate Bernie Sanders on Fox News before the California primary next month. Sanders had already agreed to the debate. Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said Clinton’s time “is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California and preparing for a general election campaign that will ensure the White House remains in Democratic hands.”

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TIME IS ‘BEST SPENT CAMPAIGNING’
Clinton Won’t Debate Sanders on Fox News
THE LATEST

Hillary Clinton will not debate Bernie Sanders on Fox News before the California primary next month. Sanders had already agreed to the debate. Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said Clinton’s time “is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California and preparing for a general election campaign that will ensure the White House remains in Democratic hands.”

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THE QUESTION
How Much Has Trump Loaned His Campaign?
THE ANSWER

"More than $43 million, although the loans are loans in name only — Trump says he has no intention of recouping the cash."

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NO STAFF IN OHIO
Trump Has the Poll Numbers; Does He Have the Organization?
WHY WE CARE

While Donald Trump's poll numbers are steadily climbing, he "trails far behind" Hillary Clinton "in organizing in key general-election states. Ohio ... presents both ... Trump's best opportunity to carry a big swing state and reveals his team's steep logistical challenges. After winning the GOP nomination on a tight budget with a skeletal staff ... Trump doesn't have any general-election staff in the state, and senior aides in New York and Washington haven't made contact with the state Republican Party. Efforts to recruit the state's experienced operatives who helped elect" John Kasich "have so far been unsuccessful, people familiar with the matter said." Clinton "has a small team of full-time aides in Ohio."

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SAID SO AT A PRIVATE FUNDRAISER
Sen. Graham Urging Republicans to Support Trump
THE LATEST

One of the last high-profile holdouts against Donald Trump appears to have finally come around. "Graham urged GOP donors at a private fundraiser Saturday in Florida to unite behind Trump's campaign and stressed the importance of keeping likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton from the White House. The fundraiser was hosted by former U.S. Ambassador to Portugal Al Hoffman, a former Republican National Committee finance chairman who also co-chaired Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential bid."

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CLINTON’S LEAD EVAPORATING
Two Major National Polls Show Dead Heat
THE LATEST

Two new national polls released this weekend show Donald Trump running neck and neck with Hillary Clinton. First up: an NBC/Wall Street Journal survey shows a three-point lead for Clinton, 46%-43%. She led by 11 percentage points in April. Next is an ABC News/Washington Post poll actually shows Donald Trump ahead, 46%-44%. "Greater voter registration among Republicans is one factor: Clinton’s 6-point lead among all adults, 48-42 percent in a general election matchup, switches to essentially a dead heat among registered voters."

7,000 ATTENDEES
Philadelphia Approves Four Sanders Rallies
WHY WE CARE

"Four pro-Bernie Sanders ral­lies, with es­tim­ated at­tend­ance of 38,000 act­iv­ists, have been ap­proved for pub­lic demon­stra­tions dur­ing the Demo­crat­ic Na­tion­al Con­ven­tion in Ju­ly” in Phil­adelphia. "The con­ven­tion of­fi­cially runs Ju­ly 25-28, but two of the five ap­proved ral­lies and marches of more than 7,000 act­iv­ists will be held Ju­ly 24 — the day more than 4,000 del­eg­ates ar­rive from across the coun­try.”

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GOP VOTERS FALLING IN LINE
CBS/NYT Poll Has Clinton Up Seven Points
THE LATEST

A New York Times/CBS News poll shows "[i]f the election were held now, 47 percent of registered voters would support ... Clinton, versus 41 percent for ... Trump." Clinton's "head-to-head advantage has narrowed somewhat since ...Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee: Last month, she led him by 10 points in a CBS News poll. ... The survey reveals that Republican voters are starting to fall in line with ... Trump now that he is their presumptive nominee—and that they expect party officials to do the same."

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DNC OFFERS SANDERS PLATFORM COMMITTEE SLOT
Durbin: Sanders Called Me, Pledged Unity
THE LATEST

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Bernie Sanders called him on Wednesday, promising to smooth things over with the Democratic establishment. "I am convinced, as Bernie has said repeatedly, he is going to be on the team to defeat Donald Trump," said the Senate's No. 2 Democrat. "I don't have any question in my mind." Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports, the DNC plans to offer Sanders "seats on a key convention platform committee."

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STICKING TO GOP PLATFORM
Manafort Makes Nice with Conservatives on the Hill
THE LATEST

Donald Trump adviser Paul Manafort met with House Freedom Caucus members Thursday morning, "reassuring them that the billionaire will stick to the GOP platform and the list of potential Supreme Court justices he released earlier this week." Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) said,“The Trump team recognizes the importance of the House Freedom Caucus. Ultimately, a vast majority of members will support Trump,” he said.

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SANDERS WOULD STILL FARE BETTER
Fox Poll Shows Trump Leading Clinton Nationally
THE LATEST

Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton 45%-42% in a new Fox News poll, within its margin of error. Clinton led by seven points in the same survey last month. Bernie Sanders would top Trump 46%-42% in a hypothetical matchup.

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WHAT COULD GO WRONG?
Vetting Trump’s VPs: The Guy Who Picked Palin
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump has tapped lawyer A.B. Culvahouse Jr., a longtime Washington fixture, to help vet his potential running mates, according to people familiar with the campaign. The role for Culvahouse, who visited Trump Tower in Manhattan earlier Wednesday for a meeting with Trump's aides, is a familiar one. He ran the vetting process for Republican presidential nominee John McCain in 2008 that ultimately selected Sarah Palin."

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AT LEAST $1.5 BILLION IN ASSETS
Trump Discloses New Financial Data to FEC
THE LATEST

A new disclosure form provided by Donald Trump to the FEC "offered new details on the enterprises and the financial picture of Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee. The limitations of the form, however, made it impossible to calculate his specific net worth or to verify his claim that he is worth more than $10 billion." It shows income of at least $615 million from January 2015 to the present, up from $380 million a year prior. It also shows at least $1.5 billion in assets.

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SEN. LEE’S BROTHER, SYKES’S EX-WIFE
Trump Releases List of Potential SCOTUS Picks
THE LATEST

Donald Trump released a list of 11 potential Supreme Court picks on Wednesday. Those on the list include Associate Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court Thomas Lee, the brother of Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), and Diane Sykes, the ex-wife of conservative Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes, a vocal Trump opponent. 

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LAS VEGAS REDUX
Will Sanders Supports Behave at Convention?
WHY WE CARE

Democrats have a new worry: that if Bernie Sanders "does not rein in his supporters, the same ugly scene that occurred in Las Vegas last weekend could replicate itself in the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia." Several senators told CNN that Sanders should "get things under control" lest he "cause a schism" in the party.

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THE GREAT UNBINDING
Conservatives Still Exploring Anti-Trump Options
THE LATEST

"Angered by Trump's shifting views on taxes, the minimum wage, national security and how little he discusses social issues," some conservatives are still "studying the party rule book for last-ditch moves they could make when the convention begins in Cleveland." Specifically, RNC members and election-law experts are exploring whether delegates can be "unbound" before the convention and/or whether delegates will actually be required to vote for Trump on the first ballot. "Curly Haugland, a longtime Republican National Committee member from North Dakota ... is so devoted to the idea that he is publishing a new e-book, 'Unbound,' set for release this week."

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NO LONGER A WASTE OF MONEY
Trump Hires Fabrizio as Pollster
THE LATEST

"After calling pollsters a waste of money, Donald Trump's presidential campaign reversed course and signed up veteran political strategist and pollster Tony Fabrizio.... Rumored for more than a month, Fabrizio's hiring still came as a surprise to those who have listened to Trump boast that he doesn't employ pollsters."

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11 STATE MEETINGS OVER THE WEEKEND
Anti-Trump Forces Thwarted at State Party Conventions
THE LATEST

"Republican activists chose party unity over 'never Trump' resistance Saturday, with party leaders in one state after another pressuring their members to fall in line behind the presumptive nominee - and even punishing those who refused. Eleven states held annual Republican conventions or party leadership meetings Saturday, offering a platform for those who still object to Donald Trump as their party's standard-bearer a prime opportunity to make mischief. But at almost every turn, they slammed into state leaders who closed ranks around a candidate who many once said they'd never support."

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THE QUESTION
What’s the Wall Street Journal’s Estimate of Donald Trump’s Income?
THE ANSWER

About $160 million before taxes, according to the paper's analysis. Which makes his recent fundraising push all the more understandable. "[I]f Mr. Trump stuck with self-financing, he likely would have faced difficult decisions over whether to sell some of his properties or borrow more money against them."

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‘NOTHING APPLIES’
Priebus: Voters ‘Don’t Care’ If Trump Mistreated Women
THE LATEST

When asked on "Fox News Sunday" about a New York Times report detailing Donald Trump's mistreatment of women over the years, Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus said, “All these stories that come out — and they come out every couple weeks — people just don’t care." When pressed on it, he appeared to shrug it off as a political reality: “All I’m saying is that after a year of different stories, nothing applies."

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‘DAVID BARRON’
Trump’s Fake Spokesperson: Trump
WHY WE CARE

In the '70s-'90s, Donald Trump had a habit of posing as "John Miller" or "John Barron,"public-relations men who "sound precisely like Trump himself—who indeed are Trump, masquerading as an unusually helpful and boastful advocate for himself, according to the journalists and several of Trump’s top aides."

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‘TOTALLY COMMITTED’
Ryan Calls Trump Meeting ‘Productive’
THE LATEST

"We had a very good and encouraging productive conversation" on how to unify the Republican party said House Speaker Paul Ryan, after his meeting with Donald Trump ended. He said the two focused mostly on their common ground, such as separation of powers, but that "we are now planting the seeds to get ourselves unified to bridge the gaps and differences." They put out a joint statement saying they are "totally committed" to working together.

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PRIEBUS CALLS IT A POSITIVE STEP
Ryan-Trump Meeting Wraps Up
THE LATEST

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus called the meeting between Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan this morning "a very positive step toward party unity." In the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger notes that if there is common ground to be found between the two, it's probably on improving the anemic economic growth of the Obama administration.

MONETIZING 16 MILLION SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWERS
Trump Aims for Sanders-Like Online Fundraising
THE LATEST

"A senior adviser to Trump, Barry Bennett, said in a recent interview that the campaign could use online fundraising to make up for a lack of a traditional fundraising network. 'He's got 16 million followers on social media, much like Bernie Sanders, and when we turn that on, you are going to see Bernie Sanders-like fundraising.'"

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TV APPEARANCES, INFLUENCE
Early Trump Supporters Reaping the Benefits
WHY WE CARE

"On the night last week when [Donald] Trump all but clinched the nomination by winning the Indiana primary, he had endorsements from only 12 of the 300 Republicans in Congress. The early converts said backing Mr. Trump long before he drove his last two rivals out of the race gave them greater access to his campaign because their support seemed genuine and not tactical." And indeed, some members are reaping other benefits. Take Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), who had hoped to book three TV appearances this year. Since endorsing Trump, he's done 60.

$1 BILLION OR BUST?
Trump Fundraising Kicking Off in Los Angeles
THE DETAILS

Backers of Donald Trump estimate they'll need as much as $1 billion in their war chest to compete in the fall. And by the end of this month, they're going to start the process of raising it. "Investor Thomas Barrack Jr., who did real estate business with Trump in the 1980s, is scheduled to host a campaign fundraiser honoring the candidate on May 25" in Los Angeles. "The Trump campaign, which has no apparatus to solicit contributions, is now finalizing plans with the RNC to participate in a joint fundraising committee that can accept large contributions."

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ANNOUNCES ON HANNITY
Gingrich Makes It Official: He’s in for Trump
WHY WE CARE
From the Race Tracker
April 10 - April 14, 2016
Margin of error: 5.3 percentage points
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Hotline's Quote of the Day

To me that sounds like an opening. That causes me to be hopeful.”

— Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), on Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) listening to calls for him to seek reelection, Bloomberg, 5/26.

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