Cruz and Kasich withdraw after loss to Trump in Indiana

By Dave Andrusko

(left to right) Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump

(left to right) Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump

Proving that the latest polling numbers were spot on, Donald Trump became (in the idiom of the day) the presumptive Republican presidential nominee yesterday with a crushing defeat of Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Indiana primary.

Sen. Cruz withdrew Tuesday night and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who finished a distant third, dropped out on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders squeaked out another victory over fellow pro-abortionist Hillary Clinton, 51% to 49%. As Scott Whitlock noted, this was Clinton’s 18th primary or caucus loss to Sanders.

On the GOP side, the final percentages were 49% for Trump, 37% for Cruz, and 9% for Kasich.

Besides enthusiastically blasting Mr. Trump, who trails Mrs. Clinton in opinion polls by an average of 6.5 points (a CNN poll released today has the margin at 13 points], there was a quieter note that Republicans are not the only “divided” party. So, too, are Democrats.

Sanders gives no hint he will withdraw, although Clinton leads in delegates, 1,682 to1,361, according to Real Clear Politics. With that as a backdrop, a not untypical headline read, “It’s over for Bernie Sanders – he needs to stop attacking Hillary Clinton.”

But, as the Washington Post’s Philip Bump noted this morning, given how well Sanders has fared recently and with favorable states on the horizon, the “Sanders’s team is now arguing that late votes count more than early ones.”  Sanders’ strategist Tad Devine told the Huffington Post

“I think they [later votes] are [more important] ,” he said, “You know why? Because they are closer to November, that’s why, you know. And what happened a year ago is not as important as what’s going to happen in June of this year.”

So, while Trump’s dismal numbers among various demographic groupings is well known, former Secretary of State Clinton’s has considerable problems of her own.

For instance, as NRL News Today has discussed many times, her disapproval number far exceed her approval numbers and voters (including some within her own party) question her basic honesty and leadership.

In addition, Mrs. Clinton’s standing among Independents is astonishingly bad. Here’s the lead from today’s story by the Wall Street Journal’s Beth Reinhard:

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton faces a mounting challenge among independent voters following months of attacks from rival Bernie Sanders.

An April Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that Mrs. Clinton’s favorability rating among independents had dropped 15 percentage points in the previous four months. That poll found that 20% of independents viewed Mrs. Clinton positively, compared with 62% who viewed her negatively. In January, that same poll found her with a positive rating of 35% and a negative rating of 54%.

In January 2015, four months before she launched her presidential campaign, that gap stood at just 4 percentage points—35% positive to 39% negative.

The Republican National Convention will be held July 18-21,in Cleveland. The Democratic National Convention is July 25-28 in Philadelphia.