Saturday, April 30, 2016

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Weekend Update 16

The next critical Republican primary contest is in the
midwestern state of Indiana. Most polls show the race to be
close between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, with John
Kasich trailing. One recent poll, perhaps an “outlier,” has
Cruz up by double digits. Indiana Governor endorsed Mr.
Cruz while at the same time strongly praising Mr. Trump.
With more than 50 delegates at stake, and with Mr. Trump
on a track to clinch the GOP nomination with more than 1237
committed delegates before the party’s national convention in
Cleveland in July, this primary could either make Mr. Trump’s
quest almost inevitable if he wins it, or slow his momentum
going into several far west primaries, including California, if
he loses it.


Although the liberal media, his opponents, and some Repubican
establishment figures, have criticized Donald Trump’s recent
foreign policy speech, former Speaker Newt Gingrich, one of the
most knowledgeable conservative figures in international affairs,
national security and the military, has warmly praised it. Many
of the Trump critics have cited the phrase “America first” in the
speech as call for isolationism (recalling Charles Lindbergh’s
use of the phrase in the 1930’s), but historian Gingrich pointed out
that the phrase was originated by Woodrow Wilson (hardly an
isolationist) in the 1920’s. Citing his own call for reform of the
state department in 2003 and during his own race for president
in 2012, Mr. Gingrich endorsed Mr. Trump’s for a change in U.S.
foreign policy direction, especially giving renewed priority to
American vital security and economic interests, but he has so far
not endorsed any candidate for president.

Hillary Clinton is now very close to securing the Democratic
nomination for president. Although he has made an unexpected
and strong race, Bernie Sanders appears to be falling
mathematically short of being able to overtake Mrs. Clinton’s
lead in the contest, especially with her advantage of having the
support of so many of the unelected “super-delegates” to the
party's convention in Philadelphia in July. Her advantage with
black, southern and Hispanic voters has overshadowed Mr.
Sander’s strong support among young, populist, and rural voters.
Because the Vermont senator has received so many millions of
votes so far, however, he remains a powerful force in the party.
If and how he supports Mrs. Clinton in Philadelphia (and
afterwards) could be decisive in how well she does against her
Republican opponent in November.

Copyright (c) 2016 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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