No surprises –> Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump handily won their primaries yesterday, Sanders in West Virginia and Trump in West Virginia and Nebraska. Jeff Stein writes for Vox that Hillary Clinton is almost certainly going to be the nominee, but Sanders is slowing down her progress.
But here’s a surprise: “According to exit polls just 33 percent of Democratic primary voters said they definitely would vote for the Democratic nominee; 27 percent said they would vote for Trump,” Jessica Taylor reports for NPR. “Forty-four percent of Sanders voters said they would support Trump in the fall, while just 23 percent would vote for Clinton.” The Democratic Party, and Clinton, especially after her remarks about the coal industry, are not well-liked in West Virginia.
Closer than you might think –> Russell Berman at The Atlantic: “The swing-state surveys from Quinnipiac University and a national snapshot from Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning firm, show a surprisingly close general-election race. The PPP survey found Clinton leading Trump by just four points nationally, 42 percent to 38 percent, while Quinnipiac found the two essentially tied in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio… The biggest warning sign for Clinton is that as toxic as Trump has proven for women and minorities, Clinton herself is nearly as disliked by white men.”
White nationalist and Trump supporter –> Josh Harkinson at Mother Jones: “On Monday evening, California’s secretary of state published a list of delegates chosen by the Trump campaign for the upcoming Republican presidential primary in the state. Trump’s slate includes William Johnson, one of the country’s most prominent white nationalists… ‘I just hope to show how I can be mainstream and have these views,’ Johnson said to Harkinson. ‘I can be a white nationalist and be a strong supporter of Donald Trump and be a good example to everybody.'” The Trump campaign later released a statement blaming Johnson’s selection on a “database error.” Johnson told Mother Jones that he will resign.
Everybody’s doing it –> Hillary Clinton wasn’t the only person using a private email address for official business. Key figures throughout the Obama foreign policy apparatus did the same thing. “The senders included Denis R. McDonough, currently the White House chief of staff and previously the deputy national security adviser, and Susan E. Rice, the former American representative at the United Nations who is now Mr. Obama’s national security adviser,” Steven Lee Myers writes for The New York Times.
Money keeps pouring in –> Matea Gold at The Washington Post: “A burst of giving by liberal donors and a last-ditch effort to fend off GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump helped super PACs pick up nearly $100 million in new donations by the end of March, pushing the total raised by such groups this cycle to more than $700 million, according to a Washington Post analysis of Federal Election Commission reports. At this pace, super PACs will raise $1 billion by the end of June. In the entire 2012 cycle, such groups brought in $853 million, according to FEC filings.”
Going a step further –> France already has placed a ban on shale gas exploration that would have paved the way for fracking operations in the country. According to Reuters, French Energy Minister Segolene Royal indicated yesterday that she is frustrated that some energy companies in the country are importing American shale gas, and so, she is investigating legal means for prohibiting US gas imports.
D + –> Sam Fleming at the Financial Times: “The American Society of Civil Engineers, which reports on the shortcomings in the country’s roads, bridges, waterways and airports, said that gross domestic product would take a $4tn hit between 2016 and 2025 because of lost business sales, rising costs and dented incomes if the country continues to underinvest in its infrastructure… ‘Deteriorating infrastructure, long known to be a public safety issue, has a cascading impact on our nation’s economy, impacting business productivity, gross domestic product, employment, personal income and international competitiveness,’ warned the ASCE, which has given US infrastructure a D+ grade.”
Brazil’s political crisis gets stranger –> Raymond Colitt and Anna Edgerton report for Bloomberg: “This Wednesday may be the last day in office for President Dilma Rousseff, as Brazil’s Senate gears up for a vote that would force her out and into an impeachment trial she appears unlikely to survive… The days leading up to the vote have been unusually tense. On Monday the head of the lower house annulled impeachment sessions, threatening to derail the entire process, only to revoke his own decision at midnight…
“Nerves have grown coarse, families divided. Social media activists debate whether their country is more like House of Cards or Game of Thrones… Others suggest the constitutional struggle is more like a game show or a board game. The nation is running short of metaphors.”
The Philippines’ own Donald Trump –> Rodrigo Duterte, a bombastic, anti-establishment, tough-on-crime politician often called the Filipino Donald Trump, has just become that country’s next president. At The Guardian, however, Tom Smith writes that there’s no comparison — Duterte is far worse.
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