Republican party front-runner Donald Trump’s Twitter feed went uncharacteristically quiet in the immediate aftermath of his double-digit loss in the Wisconsin primary to Sen. Ted Cruz. Later in the night, the Trump campaign reverted back to status quo by insulting, not congratulating, the winner. “Ted Cruz is worse than a puppet— he is a Trojan horse, being used by the party bosses attempting to steal the nomination from Mr. Trump,” according to a statement from his campaign.
As Trump pouted defiantly, pundits were dissecting Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders sixth straight win against Democrat Hillary Clinton, who is far ahead in the delegate count. As one newspaper editorial put it: “For a guy who can’t win, Bernie Sanders is certainly defeating Hillary Clinton a whole lot…. ” Next primary stop is in New York, where we may learn if Cruz and Sanders’ campaign ‘mojo’ will continue.
The Odds Rise of a Democratic Victory
William A. Galston – The Wall Street Journal
Donald Trump, the current GOP front-runner, is hugely unpopular with important sectors of the electorate, including minorities and women, and his positions on the economy and foreign policy trouble many traditional conservatives…. If Mr. Trump prevails, many Republicans are likely to stay home on Election Day, and more than a few will quietly support the Democratic nominee. If he falls short on the first ballot and is denied the nomination, he and his supporters will cry foul, and a formal party split would be likely. It is too soon for Hillary Clinton, a candidate with vulnerabilities of her own, to start measuring the drapes for the Oval Office. But Republicans who fear massive Senate and House losses as well as another term for a Democratic president are not exaggerating the risks they face.
William Kristol – The Weekly Standard Podcast
At one point, it seemed like he could do those things and get away with it. I think there is a kind of an accumulation, you know… I actually do think the air never went out or is going to go out of the balloon, the whole metaphor of it’s gonna pop or it’s going to pop or fizzle, it’s gonna kinda go away, that was a very misleading one…. Trump turned out to have a much tougher base of support. Still, one does feel that it’s gradually eroding. As one reflection of his character emerges after another. I don’t think he’s making particular mistakes, he’s just being Trump. He doesn’t really know how to be anything other than Trump… The idea that he’s going to give some policy speeches and people are now going to say, ‘Oh he’s a serious guy,’ I don’t think that…. I actually do think there is a bit of cap. It’s just a question now of high is that is, how much can Cruz peel off some Trump voters…
Cruz: Now the Odds On Favorite
David Gergen – CNN
Wisconsin exit polls gave further evidence, as if any were needed, that Trump’s self-destructive behavior in the two weeks leading up to the vote cost him dearly. He reacted so badly to various challenges, especially in his inability to speak clearly about abortion, that one wondered whether he had tired of the game and wanted to go home. Wisconsin voters punished him severely. But Cruz must surely have taken one lesson to heart: that Trump started slipping when the press turned a scorching spotlight on him. Now that the odds have shifted in his favor, the press and others will now vet Cruz much more toughly, too. One of the most interesting questions of the moment is how well he will stand up under that same spotlight. He shouldn’t start sniffing for roses yet.
Trump, Hillary Proving to Be Historically Weak Front-runners
John Podhoretz – New York Post
To date, Sanders has won 16 contests to Hillary’s 20. He’s in contention in the next primary here in New York. This should be considered a barn-burner of a race. But in the end, what matters is the delegate count, and in this regard, Clinton does seem to have it sewn up Meanwhile, Ted Cruz just walloped Donald Trump, and the exit polls suggest he did so in exactly the way he needed to win — by broadening his usual support from evangelical and “very conservative” voters to the “somewhat conservative” voters who actually make up the plurality of the Republican Party’s primary electorate.