"Acela primary" discussion thread

Five states along the east coast held primaries today. Donald Trump had a clean sweep on the Republican side of the so-called Acela primary, named for the Amtrak express train that connects Boston to Washington, DC. As of 8 pm central time, Trump had won more than 50 percent of the votes counted in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Dark days lie ahead for the #NeverTrump crowd. Even if Ted Cruz manages to win the Indiana primary next week and John Kasich wins Oregon and New Mexico, stopping Trump from reaching 1,237 delegates before the Republican National Convention will be a tall order. Dave Wasserman published a good analysis of Trump's success at FiveThirtyEight.com. I've posted excerpts after the jump.

Networks called Maryland for Hillary Clinton immediately after polls closed. At this writing, she has also been projected to win Pennsylvania and Delaware, while Bernie Sanders is set to win Rhode Island, and Connecticut is still too close to call. Clinton's remarks to her supporters in Philadelphia tonight sounded very much like a general-election stump speech.

Dave Weigel noted Clinton has won eleven states she lost to Barack Obama in 2008: Iowa, Maryland, Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Even more striking, Weigel pointed out, "After tonight, Donald Trump will have won 12 of the 13 original colonies. He's also favored to win in the 13th, New Jersey."

Any comments about the presidential race are welcome in this thread. Today the admin for U.S. Senate candidate Tom Fiegen's social media blocked me on Twitter after I challenged one of Fiegen's many tweets suggesting the Democratic superdelegates should switch from Clinton to Sanders. So touchy! Fiegen proceeded to block several people who had re-tweeted me or commented negatively about the blocking.

UPDATE: Added below the full text of Clinton's speech tonight and a statement released by Sanders. Although he did not concede the nomination, he appears to be shifting to a fight about the Democratic Party platform, rather than trying to beat Clinton.

SECOND UPDATE: Clinton ended up winning Connecticut by about 5 points. Trump's margins of victory were enormous in all five states: 29 points ahead of Kasich in Connecticut, 35 points in Pennsylvania, 31 points in Maryland, 39 points in Rhode Island, and 40 points in Delaware.

From Dave Wasserman's post at FiveThirtyEight.com, "The Four Corners Of The GOP (Trump Owns Three Of Them)":

Thus far, the two best predictors of GOP voter preferences have been white socioeconomic status and an area’s partisanship. Trump has performed best among non-Hispanic whites with low socioeconomic status, especially in blue areas. Meanwhile, Cruz has fared best in more conservative areas, Kasich has run best in blue areas, and both have run slightly better in areas with high white socioeconomic status.

To illustrate this phenomenon, let’s divide the counties that have voted into four quadrants.1 First, let’s divide the GOP electorate by white socioeconomic status, based on a composite index we created, 2 so that 50 percent of Republican voters that have cast a ballot so far fall in each each half (High, Low). Then let’s cut the GOP electorate into two halves by partisanship (Blue, Red): About half of the 23 million GOP primary votes have been cast in counties where President Obama won at least 44.6 percent of the two-party vote in 2012; the other half have been cast in counties where Mitt Romney took at least 55.4 percent.

And voila: We have four quadrants that represent four unique segments of the GOP electorate: Let’s call them HighBlue, LowBlue, HighRed and LowRed. [...]

Add it all up, and Trump has dominated three of the four quadrants, losing only HighRed. Trump’s two largest leads have come in the two blue quadrants, thanks to Cruz’s weakness there. That’s a drastic departure from our pre-primary expectations about “blue zone” GOP voters last fall, and it’s critical to understanding why Trump has a built-in edge in the remaining 15 contests.

If we use the same technique to divide the areas represented by the 2,472 delegates that will go to the Republican convention in Cleveland into four quadrants, we can see that New York’s primary marked a sharp left turn on the calendar. From New York through the end of the primaries, 51 percent of delegates will be awarded in HighBlue — Cruz’s weakest quadrant — a huge 32 percentage point jump from primaries before New York. Kasich’s best quadrant is HighBlue, but he’s Trump’s weaker opponent by far.

Meanwhile, of the 769 delegates at stake in the final stretch that started with New York, just 11 percent will be awarded in states and districts that fall into Cruz’s best quadrant, HighRed — down 14 percentage points from contests before New York. The HighRed states and districts remaining on the calendar include Nebraska, suburban Indianapolis and Orange County, California; but by themselves they aren’t enough to guarantee a floor fight.

UPDATE: The Clinton campaign released her remarks as delivered on April 26.

Wow. Thank you, Pennsylvania! What a night. I want to thank everyone – I want to thank everyone.

Thank you all so much. Wow. I just want to thank all of you, everyone who came out to vote here in Pennsylvania and across Maryland and Delaware, Connecticut, Rhode Island. I am so grateful to all our volunteers, our organizers, our community leaders. Everyone who worked their hearts out.

And I want to thank the leaders here in Pennsylvania. Thank you, Governor Wolf. Thank you, Senator Casey. Thank you, Congressman Cartwright. And thank you so much, Mayor Kenney, for your great help. And of course, I want to thank the 42nd President of the United States, my husband.

Now, with your help, we’re going to come back to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention with the most votes and the most pledged delegates and we will unify our party to win this election and build an America where we can all rise together – an America where we lift each other up instead of tearing each other down.

So we need you to keep volunteering. Keep talking to your friends and neighbors. Please join the more than 1.1 million people who’ve already contributed at hillaryclinton.com.

I know there are still too many barriers holding too many Americans back. But despite what other candidates say, we believe in the goodness of our people and the greatness of our nation. And if anyone doubts that, just let them travel across this country, as I’ve done in this campaign the past year, hearing people’s stories, learning about their struggles.

Listen to the quiet determination of the working parents I met last week in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. They are doing everything they can to provide opportunities to their children in an economy where there still aren’t enough good-paying jobs.

Listen to the mothers who lost children to gun violence and encounters with the police. They’re turning their sorrow into strategy and their mourning into a movement – a movement for justice and dignity.

Listen to the nurse I met this weekend in New Haven, Connecticut, who worked for years to build a middle-class life and raise a family. But then, her luck changed. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and used up all her savings and her sick time. Soon, she was facing foreclosure and the prospect of losing the home she’d loved for more than 20 years. And here’s what she said to me: 'My daughter and I live in fear of the day that we might come home and have a lock on the door… We’re in pain. We’re hurting… We were, and are, the backbone of this country – the middle class. We’re not asking for a handout. We just want to be treated fairly.'

And she is speaking for so many people across our country who feel beaten down, left out and left behind. People who have worked hard and done their part, but just can’t seem to get ahead, and find it tough even to get by.

Now, underneath all those worries together, we are going to come together and we are going to solve the problems we face.

And I am aware that too many people feel at the mercy of forces too big for anyone to control, and they just worry that those of us in politics put our own interests ahead of the national interest.

The faith that we can make things better, that we can give our kids a better future than we had, is at the heart of who we are as a nation. And it’s one of many reasons that being American has always been such a blessing.

And our campaign is about restoring people’s confidence in our ability to solve problems together – by delivering results that help people follow their own dreams. That’s why we’re setting bold, progressive goals backed up by real plans that will improve lives. After all, that is how progress gets made. We have to be both dreamers and doers.

And as a great Democratic President once said, 'There is nothing wrong with America that can’t be cured by what’s right with America.' I believe we can create more good jobs with rising incomes, jobs that provide dignity, pride and a middle-class life. We can renew our democracy by overturning Citizens United. We can lift up people and places who’ve been left out, from our inner cities to Appalachia, in every manufacturing town hollowed out when the factory closed, every community scarred by substance abuse, every home where a child goes to bed hungry. That’s what we Democrats believe in. That’s what we know is possible.

So we will build on a strong progressive tradition from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama. And I applaud Senator Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics and giving greater emphasis to closing the gap of inequality. And I know, together, we will get that done.

Because whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there’s much more that unites us than divides us. We all agree that wages are too low and inequality is too high. That Wall Street can never again be allowed to threaten Main Street. And we should expand Social Security, not cut or privatize it.

We Democrats agree that college should be affordable to all and student debt shouldn’t hold anyone back. We Democrats agree that every single American should and must have quality, affordable health care.

We agree that our next president must keep our country safe, keep our troops out of another costly ground war in the Middle East.

And we Democrats agree that climate change is an urgent threat. And it requires an aggressive response that can make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.

And we Democrats agree on defending all of our rights – civil rights and voting rights, workers’ rights and women’s rights, LGBT rights and rights for people with disabilities.

So in this election, we will have to stand together and work hard to prevail against candidates on the other side who would threaten all those rights and pit Americans against each other.

They would make it harder to vote, not easier. They would deny women the right to make our own reproductive health care decisions. They would round up millions of hardworking immigrants and deport them. They would demonize and discriminate against hardworking, terror-hating Muslim Americans who we need in the fight against radicalization. And both of the top candidates in the Republican Party deny climate change even exits.

Now, the other day, Mr. Trump accused me of playing the, quote, 'woman card.' Well, if fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the 'woman card,'then deal me in.

So, my friends, if you are a Democrat, an Independent, or a thoughtful Republican, you know their approach is not going to build an America where we increase opportunity or decrease inequality. So instead of letting them take us backwards, we want America to be in the future business.

That’s why I want you to keep imagining a tomorrow where instead of building walls, we are breaking down barriers – we are making it more likely that Americans will be part of a prosperous, inclusive, decent society.

We’re imagining a tomorrow where every parent can find a good job and every grandparent can enjoy a secure retirement.

We’re imagining a tomorrow where no child grows up in the shadow of discrimination or under the specter of deportation. And where every child has a good teacher and a good school, no matter what ZIP code that child lives in.

And imagine a tomorrow where any young person can graduate from college debt-free.

Or imagine a tomorrow where hard work is honored, families are supported, streets are safe and communities are strong, and where love trumps hate. That is the future I want. I want that future for my granddaughter and for all of our children and grandchildren.

Now, think of this. Our nation was born right here in Philadelphia. Our Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed just a few blocks away. And ever since – even through dark and difficult chapters of our history – the idea of America has shone through. At our best, we are, as Robert Kennedy said, 'a great country, an unselfish country and a compassionate country.'

But America’s greatness is not a birthright. It must be earned by every generation.

So please join us. Join us. Go to hillaryclinton.com. Text JOIN, 4-7-2-4-6. Volunteer, contribute. Let’s go forward. Let’s win the nomination and in July let’s return as a unified party. Thank you all so much.

Statement released by the Sanders campaign, April 26:

I congratulate Secretary Clinton on her victories tonight, and I look forward to issue-oriented campaigns in the 14 contests to come.

I am proud that we were able to win a resounding victory tonight in Rhode Island, the one state with an open primary where independents had a say in the outcome. Democrats should recognize that the ticket with the best chance of winning this November must attract support from independents as well as Democrats. I am proud of my campaign’s record in that regard.

The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as president and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be. That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast. That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for a $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.

  • Tom Fiegen's attacks on Hillary Clinton.

    Fiegen may be hurting his prospects in his run for U.S. Senate. That does not sit well with me or with Iowa Democrats who are Hillary supporters.

  • Who is really being "blocked"?


    Count your lucky stars if being blocked from a Twitter account is your biggest beef of the day.

    Please use your blog as an opportunity to tell your favorite candidate to stop blocking:

    1. Support for a federal wage of $15 per hour. Low wages block people from people able to feed their families.

    2. The idea that fracking should be outlawed. Fracking blocks access to clean water.

    3. The idea that the NAFTA and TPP are back from the economy. Those disastrous, Clinton-sponsored economies have turned manufacturing towns in Iowa and other Midwestern states into shells of their former selves.

    4. Black Lives Matter protestors who take the Clintons to task.

    5. Young people who dare question her failing to speak out against the fossil fuel industry (and taking money from them) are simply failing to do their research. This is condescending, and it's simply untrue.

    6. And finally, please tell HRC to stop blocking the idea that every American has the right to single payer health care. Other countries do it, and we could easily do it if 60% of every federal tax dollar didn't go to support the war in Iraq, which Clinton teamed up with George W. Bush to start.

    The Democratic party has worked so hard to block so many New Deal principles. It is simply disgusting, and quite frankly, it's immoral. That's the unfair principle that you should be outraged about.

  • 60% of every federal tax dollar supports the military.

    The Iraq War is a part of that 60%, not the sum total.

  • We don't know what the results of the FBI investigation into the email scandal will be.

    If Clinton is indicted, then the superdelegates darn well better have supported Sanders. I don't want to see President Trump's inauguration broadcast in 2017.

    I don't think that Democrats have ever had a riskier leading candidate in Hillary Clinton. Superdelegates would be wise to pledge their support to a candidate who's *not* the target of an FBI investigation (hello).

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