SPOTLIGHT

3 Lessons From Tuesday’s Primaries

UNITED STATES - MAY 30: Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., is interviewed outside of Methodist Olive Branch Hospital, after a tour of the facility in Olive Branch, Miss., May 30, 2014. 
CQ-Roll Call,Inc.
Scott Bland
See more stories about...
Scott Bland
June 25, 2014, 7:45 a.m.

Tues­day’s primar­ies were a fit­ting se­quel to the last round on June 10, when House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Eric Can­tor (R) lost his seat. Here are three les­sons we took from a wild primary night:

— Those who best know the rules, like Pres­id­ent Obama‘s 2008 primary cam­paign, will of­ten win the game. Team Co­chran had its flaws, but they ran a bet­ter race than his op­pon­ents in Mis­sis­sippi, start­ing with the key real­iz­a­tion that they should tap black voters who hadn’t par­ti­cip­ated in the June 3 elec­tions (and didn’t want the hard-right Chris McDaniel (R) to win) to vote in the open primary run­off. It was a com­pletely leg­al, reas­on­able, stra­tegic move that ap­pears to have clinched a Co­chran vic­tory that prob­ably couldn’t have happened oth­er­wise.

— Mean­while, an­oth­er les­son on race and polit­ics ree­m­erged in NY-13, where Rep. Charlie Ran­gel (D) nar­rowly leads a primary that hasn’t yet been called. His­pan­ic voters out­num­ber Afric­an-Amer­ic­ans nearly 2-to-1 in Ran­gel’s dis­trict, but trans­lat­ing those pop­u­la­tion num­bers in­to votes isn’t simple, as we also saw in Afric­an-Amer­ic­an Rep. Marc Vea­sey‘s (D) ma­jor­ity-His­pan­ic TX-33 in 2012. Re­l­at­ively high­er black turnout ap­pears to have saved Ran­gel again.

— The third les­son: Most in­cum­bents are still win­ning, but don’t mis­take that for safety (at least the way we’ve known it). As we told sub­scribers two weeks ago, Reps. Doug Lam­born (R-CO) and Richard Hanna (R-NY) were the fore­most can­did­ates for Can­tor-like sur­prises after quiet primar­ies, and at 53% Tues­day night, they both came very close to los­ing. Lam­born is es­pe­cially in­ter­est­ing: He’s about as con­ser­vat­ive as you can get, and his chal­lenger was dis­liked by many of Lam­born’s former fierce crit­ics. But Lam­born is just not well-liked by his primary voters. That might have been easi­er to get away with, once upon a time, but primar­ies are prov­ing less and less for­giv­ing for in­cum­bents. More are get­ting pulled in­to dog­fights, in­clud­ing at least 14 mem­bers who fin­ished un­der 60% so far this year.

We’re about to enter a quiet primary spell, with only a few run­offs in Ju­ly. But there is still plenty to think about after last night.
— Scott Bland

What We're Following See More »
‘PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE’
Priebus Asks Party to Unite Behind Trump
7 hours ago
THE LATEST
FEELING THE MIDWESTERN BERN
Sanders Upsets Clinton in Indiana
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

Despite trailing Hillary Clinton by a significant margin, Bernie Sanders wasn't going the way of Ted Cruz tonight. The Vermont senator upset Clinton in Indiana, with MSNBC calling the race at 9pm. Sanders appears poised to win by a five- or six-point spread.

Source:
TRUMP IS PRESUMPTIVE NOMINEE
Ted Cruz Bows Out, Effectively Ceding the Contest to Trump
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

And just like that, it's over. Ted Cruz will suspend his presidential campaign after losing badly to Donald Trump in Indiana tonight. "While Cruz had always hedged when asked whether he would quit if he lost Indiana; his campaign had laid a huge bet on the state." John Kasich's campaign has pledged to carry on. “From the beginning, I’ve said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory,” said Cruz. “Tonight, I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed."

Source:
TAKES AT LEAST 45 DELEGATES
Trump Wins Indiana, All but Seals the Nomination
9 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Republican establishment's last remaining hope—a contested convention this summer—may have just ended in Indiana, as Donald Trump won a decisive victory over Ted Cruz. Nothing Cruz seemed to have in his corner seemed to help—not a presumptive VP pick in Carly Fiorina, not a midwestern state where he's done well in the past, and not the state's legions of conservatives. Though Trump "won't secure the 1,237 delegates he needs to formally claim the nomination until June, his Indiana triumph makes it almost impossible to stop him. Following his decisive wins in New York and other East Coast states, the Indiana victory could put Trump within 200 delegates of the magic number he needs to clinch the nomination." Cruz, meanwhile, "now faces the agonizing choice of whether to remain in the race, with his attempt to force the party into a contested convention in tatters, or to bow out and cede the party nomination to his political nemesis." The Associated Press, which called the race at 7pm, predicts Trump will win at least 45 delegates.

Source:
THE QUESTION
What’s the Average Household Income of a Trump Voter?
14 hours ago
THE ANSWER

Seventy-two thousand dollars, according to FiveThirtyEight. That's higher than the national average, as well as the average Clinton or Sanders voter, but lower than the average Kasich voter.

Source:
×