What We're Reading

Morning Reads: Republicans Barrel Toward the Political Nerd’s Dream, a Contested Convention

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: Republicans Barrel Toward a Contested Convention

Marco Rubio, flanked by his family, announces he is suspending his campaign after losing his home state to Donald Trump. (Photo by Angel Valentin/Getty Images)

Developing –> President Obama will announce his Supreme Court choice from the White House Rose Garden at 11 am, ET.

Returns of the day –> Donald Trump demolished his rivals yesterday. Mostly. As of Wednesday morning, he had taken Florida, Illinois and North Carolina, and lost only Ohio, to that state’s governor, John Kasich. He leads Ted Cruz in a tight race in Missouri, which has not yet been called. Marco Rubio bowed out last night after winning only 27 percent of the vote in his home state of Florida.

Olivia Nuzzi writes for The Daily Beast that a contested convention looms: “While Trump winnowed the field and grew his delegate lead closer to the 1,237 threshold needed to secure the Republican nomination, he didn’t do well enough to put an end to the race altogether. John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, won his home state by a decisive 10-point margin. To win now, Trump will need to claim 57 percent of the remaining delegates, and the odds of a contested convention, once considered highly improbable, are greater than ever.” At TPM, Josh Marshall is skeptical that we’ll actually see a contested convention, but writes that it’s a now-or-never moment for the Republican establishment — everyone needs to pick a side.

Hillary Clinton also had a great night, winning every state except Missouri, where returns are still being counted and she remains in a tight race with Bernie Sanders. Jeet Heer writes about Sanders at New Republic: “If his only goal is to win the nomination, then it might be time for him to call it quits. But if his goal is to remake the Democratic Party by creating a powerful faction to the left of Clinton, then Sanders has every reason to stay until the end — and doing so could help Clinton defeat the likely Republican nominee, Donald Trump.”

MEANWHILE, none of the cable networks carried Sanders’ speech last night.

AND: Brandon Ellington Patterson at Mother Jones: “Score one for the Black Lives Matter movement. Chicago-area voters have given the boot to Anita Alvarez, Cook County’s top prosecutor, who has been under fire for her handling of a police shooting case. Alvarez has conceded the race to challenger Kim Foxx, who has nearly 60 percent of the vote with 75 percent of precincts reporting at press time. Foxx, who ran on a pledge to hold the police accountable, will be the Democratic nominee for state’s attorney in the November election.”

Network interruption –> “Donald Trump’s surge to frontrunner status in the Republican presidential race has caused angst and divisions among the donor network led by the billionaire Koch brothers, some of whom pushed to launch a sustained anti-Trump drive and were rebuffed,” Peter Stone reports for The Guardian.

AND: Liberal billionaire George Soros already has pledged $13 million to back Clinton and other Democrats in a bid to prevent a Trump — or Cruz — presidency. “There should be consequences for the outrageous statements and proposals that we’ve regularly heard from candidates Trump and Cruz,” he said. Bloomberg’s Zachary Mider reports.

Not winning the future –> Young voters overwhelmingly support Sanders. But if Clinton is the nominee? Trump won’t be winning many of their votes. Patrick Caldwall writes for Mother Jones that a “new poll from USA Today/Rock the Vote shows Clinton crushing Trump by a margin of 52-19 percent among voters under the age of 35. Almost a quarter of young Republicans would vote for Clinton, according to the poll. Young voters across demographic lines prefer Clinton to Trump, with African Americans favoring Clinton 67-5 percent.”

AND: In The New York Times, Emma Roller looks more deeply at young liberals’ preferences. Headline:  “Don’t Trust Anyone Over 30, Except Bernie Sanders.”

The scandal that isn’t –> Remember the VA scandal? At Washington Monthly, Alicia Mundy argues that it was not, in fact, a scandal, but rather a creation of a new, Koch-backed front group, Concerned Veterans for America. The VA, Mundy argues, still provides better-than-average health care.

Written to stay secret –> Last fall, as the dimensions of the Flint water crisis became clear, many state employees started labeling their emails with a note that the email should not be made public. “Many of the e-mails display what appears to be an active effort by state employees to avoid disclosure of public records under FOIA,” writes Paul Egan at the Detroit Free Press. It’s another indication that, while saying nothing to Flint residents, officials were well aware of the severity of the problem.

Trump campaign manager’s behavior raises concern –> The recent alleged manhandling of a Breitbart reporter wasn’t the first time the actions of Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski raised concern among Trump allies, Ken Vogel, Ben Schreckinger and Hadas Gold report for Politico. A veteran of the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, Lewandowski has a history of “being rough with reporters and sexually suggestive with female journalists, while profanely berating conservative officials and co-workers he deemed to be challenging his authority.” They write that some Trump staffers even planned a coup to overthrow Lewandowski, but stood down after Trump’s big win in Nevada.

Half-hearted Machiavellian –> Ben Carson said in an interview with Newsmax that he would have preferred to not endorse Trump — Kasich and Rubio were more appealing — but Trump seemed like the only realistic option. He also implied that in exchange for his endorsement, Trump offered the neurosurgeon a role in his administration. Katherine Krueger has a write-up for Talking Points Memo.


Morning Reads was written by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!

We produce this news digest every weekday. You can Sign up to receive these updates as an email newsletter each morning.