Voters take part in the 2016 Connecticut primary as they vote in the gym at the Julian Curtiss School located in Greenwich, Connecticut April 26.

Voters take part in the 2016 Connecticut primary as they vote in the gym at the Julian Curtiss School located in Greenwich, Connecticut April 26.

The delegate numbers got better last night for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Clinton dominated the primaries in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware. Senator Bernie Sanders won in Rhode Island, picking up just a fraction of the delegates he had hoped for. Trump won all five primaries and called himself the presumptive nominee. Diane and a panel of guests discuss what the front-runners’ momentum means heading into the last nine weeks of primaries. And whether either party has any chance of unifying before the July conventions.


  • Dan Balz Chief correspondent, The Washington Post
  • Stanley Greenberg Democratic pollster and political analyst; chair and CEO, Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner Research
  • David Winston President, Winston Group; Republican strategist; CBS News consultant; adviser to the House and Senate Republican leadership for more than a decade
  • Susan Glasser Editor, Politico


  • 10:06:54

    MS. DIANE REHMThanks for joining us. I'm Diane Rehm. After Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump dominated the primaries last night, they shifted aim toward each other. Looking past party rivals, each frontrunner chided and taunted the other, but Trump may still face a contested Republican convention in July. Here to talk about results of yesterday's primaries, Dan Balz, of The Washington Post, Susan Glasser of Politico, David Winston, a Republican strategist and Stanley Greenberg, Democratic pollster and strategist. I'm sure many of you will want to join the conversation. You are welcome to call us, 800-433-8850, send your email to, follow us on Facebook or Twitter. And it's good to have you all here.

  • 10:07:56

    MR. DAVID WINSTONGood morning, Diane.

  • 10:07:56

    MR. DAN BALZThank you.

  • 10:07:57

    MS. SUSAN GLASSERGreat to be here.

  • 10:07:57


  • 10:07:59

    REHMDan Balz, Hillary Clinton took four states. She did not win Rhode Island. Can she effectively claim that she is the nominee? Does she have enough delegates?

  • 10:08:15

    BALZWell, arithmetically, no, practically, yes. You know, winning those four states, she added to the total she has in delegates. She was already ahead in a way that was probably insurmountable for Bernier Sanders, unless he was able to win lots of contests with big margins. But he had a significant setback last night, and I think it's very difficult for him to claim at this point, and I'm not sure he's claiming, that there is a path left for him to become the nominee with delegates.

  • 10:08:49

    REHMNow, he has said, Susan Glasser, he will not leave the race. Do you believe that what happened yesterday will change the tone of his speech making?

  • 10:09:03

    GLASSERWell, I think you saw a preview of that, actually, in his remarks last night. He's already sort of softening, he's giving a justification for why he's still running. Right now, that sounds increasingly defensive. Obviously, the Clinton campaign is in a delicate situation, because Hillary Clinton herself kept running all the way 'til June in 2008, so they can't overtly call on him to drop out, which they would have done, it seems to me, in previous election cycles, had it not been for Hillary Clinton's own past. But Bernie Sanders will still face increasing private pressure.

  • 10:09:38

    GLASSERI think there's already reports, we have some today, that inside his campaign, there's already something of a debate over how long, and how aggressively he should continue to run, given that the math and the calendar suggest there's no real way for him to beat her.

  • 10:09:53

    REHMStan Greenberg?

  • 10:09:55

    GREENBERGI think last night was, I think, a major turning point. We had New York, you know, the blowout win in New York, and that clearly created a different moment. But this was a real win across -- you know, across four states. Connecticut, I think, was very important, you know, given New England, given that Hillary Clinton did not win Connecticut in the last election. And her win was fairly broad, and if you look at her comments, they were of a different character. Obviously more about Trump, but also if you listen to what she was saying about the country, what she had learned, she started with what she had learned in the primaries.

  • 10:10:31

    GREENBERGListening to people, you know, reached out to Sanders on his issues, and called for uniting the party. So I think she set the stage for, and I'm not sure there's such a great rush, I think she set the stage for the party coming together.

  • 10:10:44

    REHMBut what does she have to do to win over Sanders supporters?

  • 10:10:50

    GREENBERGWell, you know, the issue is I think not so much Sanders supporters, because if you look at it -- he has unbelievable support, 85, you know, in the area of, in the 80 percent levels of support with millennials, and that just kept playing out. But the evidence is that those voters are very anti-Trump. You know, young people, even in the Republican party, don't like Donald Trump, so I think, you know, those voters are gonna come. I think what's more important is the fact that Sanders was winning white working class voters, in the primary, just as Trump was in his primary, and if you look at where the opportunity for Trump and where she needs to strengthen herself, it's in that space.

  • 10:11:30

    GREENBERGSo if you look at these states and look -- parts of the states, you know, where Sanders was gaining votes, like Connecticut, 'cause I'm from there, and my wife's from there. Anyone, Naugatuck Valley, and many of the rural and working class areas of the state. And I think that's the challenge, is how she -- and I think she began to step up to those issues last night.

  • 10:11:50

    REHMAll right, and let's turn to Donald Trump, David Winston. He called himself last night the presumptive nominee. Has he really clinched the nomination?

  • 10:12:04

    WINSTONWell, that may be a little bit of, sort of over the top at this point, but having said that, last night was a major step for him. The one thing that he did last night that he has not been able to do prior to this, I mean, he did it in New York, but that was his home state, was actually build and have a majority coalition within the Republican party. In all the five primaries, he was over 50 percent. Two of them, he was actually over 60 percent. So the challenge to him in terms of could he build that coalition, he clearly did. Now having said that, and this is -- as we sort of fast forward to what can a general look like -- what I still find strange in terms of last night is, basically, from both parties, the person who emerged likely to be the nominee are also the two people who had the highest negatives within the country.

  • 10:12:49

    WINSTONAnd so I'm not quite sure what that portends, but at least for the short run, for Trump, I mean, he still has Indiana to deal with. I mean, that's sort of Cruz's big last stand here. But he took a huge step toward the nomination.

  • 10:13:03

    REHMAnd Ted Cruz called for a statement, public statement he's going to make at 4:00 this afternoon. Dan Balz, what's he likely to say?

  • 10:13:16

    BALZWe don't know. I mean, there's speculation that he could announce his vice president. He's been very public about the fact that he's vetting a short list of candidates, so it's possible he'll do, in a sense, what Ronald Reagan did in 1976 when he was running against President Ford, and he announced a vice president well ahead of the Republican convention. In that case, it backfired against him, and it cost him some delegates. But we don't know what Cruz is going to say at this point. He's running out of real estate. Indiana is his last, best hope, because it's a winner take all state. There are 57 delegates.

  • 10:13:52

    BALZBut Trump had a huge, not just winning five states, he had a huge delegate night last night. He was on the upper end of kind of the projections of what he might get. He won every county in every state, with the exception of less than ten. And so for Cruz, I think Indiana sets up better for Cruz than certainly these five states in the mid-Atlantic and the northeast last night, but it'll be a dogfight and Donald Trump has momentum now coming out of this.

  • 10:14:23

    REHMBut suppose Cruz did win Indiana, then where are we, Susan?

  • 10:14:30

    GLASSERWell, we're more or less actually where we were a few days ago, which is to say it still comes down to the very last day of the primary season, in California, with its enormous trove of delegates. And we're in the sort of, the math phase of the 2016 election, and I'm sure you all noticed on the TV last night, everybody has their own scenario for how many of the individual congressional districts in California Donald Trump would have to win, assuming he wins overall in California, for him to actually secure that 1,237 delegate majority in the convention. It's not assured at this point, but let's just say that the lane for Ted Cruz to have any kind of plausible scenario is narrowing and narrowing, which is why you're now hearing about Indiana next Tuesday.

  • 10:15:16

    GLASSERI think the overall trajectory suggests that Trump, if not the presumptive frontrunner, maybe that was a bit presumptuous last night, he certainly looks much more likely to be the first bout winner. And by the way, that is very important, because Cruz has played a very smart tactical game when it comes to these delegates, and he's run aggressive races on the inside track, if you will, of the Republican race. He's been organizing, he's been paying attention to the rules that are often quite Byzantine in these different states for how you actually run a slate of actual human people, delegates.

  • 10:15:54

    GLASSERMany of them are forced by the results in their states to vote for Trump, but in fact, on the second ballot, do not have any loyalty to him and are not people who are really Trump supporters. So, a second ballot looks much better for Ted Cruz than a first ballot, but the problem is, he may never get there.

  • 10:16:11

    REHMTed -- David Winston.

  • 10:16:14

    WINSTONWrong name. Agreed in terms of where Ted Cruz is at at this point, he is not going to be able to pull off a first round vote, so oddly, he now finds himself in the same situation as he sort of admonished Kasich to get out of the race, because he couldn't' win the first round vote. But to Susan's point, if somebody else besides Trump is gonna win, it's gonna have to be in the second, and so therefore -- and that's one of the big outcomes, strategic outcomes from last night is now that dynamic is clearly in play. And so, the only way that Ted, or, I'm sorry, that Donald Trump doesn't become the nominee, is if somehow he can be stopped in that first round ballot.

  • 10:16:58

    GREENBERGNo, the -- I think his vote is -- outperforming the polls in each of the states. And I think there's reason to believe that he's strengthening himself as reflected in his vote, his California numbers in the public polls are also going up. And so I think he's gonna continually, it feels to me like he's gonna continue to outperform, and so this momentum really may build.

  • 10:17:22

    BALZI think that what we saw after New York, when he hit 60 percent, was a recognition on the part of people who don't, really don't want him to be the nominee, that he is likely to be the nominee. And that has a psychological effect. I mean, we can look at the hard numbers, and the hard numbers still say he's, you know, he's short of it, and he may not quite make it. But I think the reality in the heart of the Republican party is that this is going to be their nominee, and they better make the most of it.

  • 10:17:51

    REHMDan Balz of the Washington Post. Short break here. When we come back, we'll talk about Trump playing the woman card. And see how all of you react. We'll take your calls, your comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

  • 10:20:02

    REHMWelcome back as we sort of analyze yesterday's five primaries, in which Hillary Clinton won four out of five, with Bernie Sanders taking one in Rhode Island, whereas Donald Trump did take all five. There's a really good question here from Claude in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He says, please explain how Pennsylvania's Republican delegates are uncommitted and not obligated to vote for the candidate who won the most votes there. What's the point of having a primary if this is the case, David Winston?

  • 10:20:48

    WINSTONWell, you had two groups of delegates, right. You had these sort of at-large, statewide, and those actually went to the winner statewide. The one...

  • 10:20:58

    REHMHow many?

  • 10:20:58

    WINSTONI believe there were like 17 of them.

  • 10:21:00


  • 10:21:02

    WINSTONThe remainder were at the CD level, and just the rules for the party, they weren't bound to anybody. Now to some degree people sort of understood who they might be voting for, right, but it required a whole level of sort of getting down and being local in terms of making sure that people at the local level understood that if you voted for this person, you were actually voting for Kasich or Cruz or Trump.

  • 10:21:26

    REHMI see.

  • 10:21:27

    WINSTONBut the bottom line is that's just het rules of the party, and...

  • 10:21:30

    REHMBut surely they tried to educate voters about that.

  • 10:21:34

    WINSTONOh yeah. No, and there was -- there was some attempt going on during the evening to try to see if the media could identify certain individuals, and I think basically people kind of gave up on that, and for the moment they're just saying those 46 are just unallocated at this point.

  • 10:21:47

    REHMWhat about Democrats on that?

  • 10:21:50

    GREENBERGWell, the -- you know, the allocation is proportional. If you look at Connecticut, I think it's an even number of delegates that's being, you know, allocated. But Hillary won by -- her margins were very big in some of these states, and...

  • 10:22:02

    REHMIn Pennsylvania, Dan?

  • 10:22:04

    BALZOn the Republican side, Pennsylvania may be the first example of the new, quote-unquote, Trump campaign's organizational abilities. I talked to one of their people early this morning who said they think of the unbound delegates, they're going to get at least 36 of those I think it's 54 and may get a few more than that. They had an effort underway to identify who were the delegates who were running for slots who would back Trump. They got a number of those elected yesterday.

  • 10:22:38

    BALZAnd in addition to that, there are some who said they would back, as David said, whoever won in their congressional district. So that was -- that was a little icing on the cake for the Trump campaign. It's the one example out of a whole set in which they've done well when they haven't done most of the time.

  • 10:22:58

    REHMHere's an email from Charlie. Donald Trump has been underestimated throughout the primary season. He's now winning by larger margins than he was before. Should Democrats be worried about underestimating him in the fall? How can the rigid and highly messaged Clinton campaign adapt to the loose cannon that is Donald Trump, Susan Glasser?

  • 10:23:31

    GLASSERWell, I have to say we all have to agree with Charlie that everybody underestimated Trump. If you go back a year ago, if you go back six months ago, if you go back six weeks ago, at every turn he has defied efforts to pin him down, categorize him and put a more conventional political box around a guy who just won't stay categorized, and he just won't -- he's not yet hit his ceiling, whatever that is.

  • 10:24:01

    GLASSERDemocrats do face the risk of overconfidence. For everybody who says I'm worried about Trump, he's a loose cannon, I'm sure everybody here has encountered people who say, well, gee, is it going to be a historic landslide along the lines of Goldwater losing to LBJ in 1964. My guess is that if the Hillary Clinton campaign is having that conversation right now, they would be at risk of being vastly overconfident.

  • 10:24:26

    GLASSERI do want to say one thing, though. I've noticed in the last couple weeks, as her campaign has done better against Sanders, and she's been looking more towards the general election, that Hillary Clinton has -- has seemed a little liberated at the prospect of facing Trump. I think that it will be more comfortable, more of a mission-driven kind of campaign for her in the fall to go up against Trump.

  • 10:24:47

    GLASSERClinton really likes to see herself and has a narrative of herself as, you know, sort of the end justifying the means. Well, the end of stopping Donald Trump from becoming president seems to me to be one that she's going to be more comfortable with, more of a happy warrior. You know, she said deal me in last night if Donald Trump wants to play the woman card.

  • 10:25:09

    REHMPlaying the woman card, Stan Greenberg.

  • 10:25:12

    GREENBERGWell, it would be malpractice for the Clinton campaign not to treat this as a very tough election, but I'm not -- I'm not -- count me as in the camp that this will be a landslide, earthquake election. And all you've got to look at the exit polls of the composition of this primary. The proportion white in each state that I looked at that had exits, 94 percent, 92 percent, 91 percent white. There's one percent Hispanic in Pennsylvania, two percent in the other states.

  • 10:25:42

    GREENBERGThis is a white-only primary. And if you want to understand why this party is nominate somebody who's going to face a disastrous general election, it starts there. And that also leads you to, you know, to the kinds of statements about women that Donald Trump, you know, offered, which clearly Hillary welcomed. He was weak with women amongst the Republicans in the exit polls. He was weak with Republican women.

  • 10:26:10

    GREENBERGHe's very weak with both college and working-class women in the general election. It's not the place he wants to be. And let's remember, 25 percent of the -- as this has settled in, 25 percent, one in four, Republican primary voters say they won't vote for Donald Trump.

  • 10:26:27

    REHMOn the other hand, David Winston, Hillary Clinton has been weaker among younger women. So is Trump being tactical by playing the woman card?

  • 10:26:44

    WINSTONI don't -- I have to say I was taken aback by that remark. You know, given that he just had a significant win, to rather not -- to not take the moment to say, okay, this is how I'm going to define this win, how I'm going to turn it into a positive and how I'm going to begin to deal with my negatives, right, which is substantial, that to me seemed to me -- to go after an attacker, it seemed to be sort of a default that he didn't know what else to do.

  • 10:27:08

    REHMAnd just to clarify, what he said was if Hillary Clinton were a man, she wouldn't have gotten any votes, Dan Balz.

  • 10:27:16

    BALZHe said she'd get -- she'd get no more than five percent of the vote if she were a man, the only she's got going for her is she's playing the woman card. I agree with David. I was startled when he said that. It came toward the end of a very long victory-statement-plus press conference, and I would guess that most of his advisors were probably cringing on the sideline because it's the last thing he wants to do. He took away from what was a huge night for him. He created the narrative for the next day story, which everybody is pursuing today, and he reinforced one of the biggest problems he has in a general election.

  • 10:27:53

    REHMSo here we are, you think that he will definitely change his tone, David?

  • 10:28:02

    WINSTONWell, he has to, I mean, because the bottom is look, his negatives are in the mid- to high 60s. I don't know how you can win a -- I mean, the one advantage he's got here, a break that he's got, not advantage, is that Hillary Clinton's negatives are in the mid-50s, all right. And so -- but he's got to do something to drive those numbers down, and it can't be by attacking other people. He's got to define himself in some way that people say he is the answer.

  • 10:28:23

    WINSTONNow having said that, here is the one potential threat that I think he does pose to the Clinton campaign, that -- and Republicans didn't -- the sort of traditional Republicans didn't see, either, and that is we've seen this period of right track, wrong track, that's been incredibly negative for eight years. The fact is you've got a disaffected group of people who have become despondent because for the first time they're sort of seeing that their kids' future may not be as good as their own, and truth be told, to some degree they're playing 52-card political -- 52-card pickup at a political level, right.

  • 10:28:52

    WINSTONAnd so the challenge to the Clinton campaign and the opportunity for a Republican, Trump in this case, is that that feeling is so intense that in fact you're dealing with electorate that is just all over the map, and he can win that one.

  • 10:29:05

    REHMSo how does Hillary Clinton bring in the thoughts, the feelings, the ideals that Bernie Sanders has laid out, Stan?

  • 10:29:17

    GREENBERGSo I would look at the speech, or listen to the speech, that she gave last night, which was somewhat different, where she really did look back on the campaign and did talk about the generation that's not getting there, talked about the struggles of the middle class, talked about the unbelievable crises that people are facing in their lives and don't -- people don't trust politicians. Specifically talked about Sanders, onto welcoming, you know, his, you know -- going after unaccountable money.

  • 10:29:46

    GREENBERGAnd I think -- you know, I think the path to Sanders and the path to his voters is not that complicated. They -- you know, there's very little difference between where they really stand on almost all the policy issues. And so I think, you know, she'll head there.

  • 10:30:01

    REHMDan Balz?

  • 10:30:03

    BALZI think Stan's right to a point, that there isn't that much difference in terms of their policies. There certainly is a way in the way they have delivered their messages throughout this campaign, and I think it is very hard for Hillary Clinton to pose herself in any way as an anti-establishment candidate in the way that Bernie Sanders has been able to do quite authentically. So I think that's a part of the challenge.

  • 10:30:26

    BALZAnd I think both of them, both Sanders and Clinton, will have to work at this once we get through California, and they head to the convention. They are both going to have to make some compromises ahead of the convention, whether it has to do with platform, whether it has to do with tone, whether it has to do with the way the nomination is put into practice at the convention. It's certainly not inconceivable that the Democrats will come out very united, if only because of Trump.

  • 10:30:55

    REHMAnd that's the question. Will Republicans come out of this united, Susan?

  • 10:30:59

    GLASSERNo, I don't think so. In fact I very much agree with Dan that really she's make some conciliatory gestures when it comes to the Sanders supports, but in many ways her case to the Sanders supporters is very simple. I'm the only thing standing between you and President Donald J. Trump, and that is going to be very likely a very effective message for her.

  • 10:31:20

    GLASSEROf course she doesn't have the passion of this group, and it's hard to imagine them reigniting and, you know, sort of channeling all the energy they've channeled into their Bernie campaign into Hillary in the fall. So there is a question of turnout. But the bottom line is for her, she needs to make the election a referendum on Trump.

  • 10:31:41

    REHMWill the Republican leadership get behind Donald Trump, David?

  • 10:31:45

    WINSTONI think at this point the answer to that is likely yes. There's a difference between being behind him and the level of commitment that exists. I think right now Donald Trump has got to deal with the leadership in such a way, rather than sort of going after them, figuring out some way to sort of engage them. I think the other challenge that you're seeing is you're seeing certain individuals make sure that there's sort of an issue agenda to talk about, and what I'm specifically talking about is Paul Ryan trying to put together an agenda in terms of the House to make sure there is something to be for.

  • 10:32:18

    WINSTONI think one of the things that you've seen in terms of what's happened here, particularly with the Never Trump Movement, is the problem is where the electorate is at is they want to be for something, and what's being put in front of them from the sort of traditional Republican campaigns was not Trump. And so what you've seen is, and again I think I've done this before, one of the most amazing moments in terms of this campaign was watching Jeb Bush deal with Donald Trump and his reaction, that was to drop $30 million in negative advertising on Rubio.

  • 10:32:44

    WINSTONI think that's been the problem you've seen with the political class on the Republican side, just not making sense in terms of their decisions.

  • 10:32:53

    REHMJust help me understand the margin of victory of delegates that Trump needs to win on the first ballot.

  • 10:33:05

    WINSTONAt this point, again you're looking like at California -- the June 7, there are about 300 delegates at this point. He is short about 300. He's going to -- he is going to need to capture 50 to 60 percent, at least at this point, of what's remaining, perhaps a little bit more, but...

  • 10:33:25

    REHMOkay, so if he does not...

  • 10:33:26

    WINSTONBut here's the thing. Again, you've got some of these folks who are unallocated at this point who are available, there are a variety of things, and I think this is why Indiana becomes such a big deal in terms of what Susan was saying, and that is if in fact there's a moment where things flip, and people can reassess, okay, then all of a sudden you have a very different primary process. Then if he gets 50 percent or more, then I think a first round is likely.

  • 10:33:48

    REHMAnd you're listening to the Diane Rehm Show. So if he is, say, 100 delegates short, tell me what happens.

  • 10:34:04

    WINSTONWell, and okay, I'm -- a historical perspective, but let me start off at least in terms of where people say they are when you look at the exit polls. Most people who vote in the primary, now again this is also a situation where he's won these primaries in terms of yesterday, are saying they think the person who's going in with the most delegates should win, all right, and so that's not a particularly uncommon result.

  • 10:34:24

    WINSTONI will tell you, however, that historically that hasn't always produced the best results for the Republican Party, that actually going to somebody else who wasn't coming in produced two, actually I would argue, of the best Republican presidents ever, and that would be Dwight David Eisenhower and Abraham Lincoln, who went in not having the most amount of delegates into a convention.

  • 10:34:41

    WINSTONSo having said that, the challenge to somebody like Kasich and Cruz is to make that argument, and so far they haven't made that argument effectively.

  • 10:34:47

    REHMDan Balz?

  • 10:34:49

    BALZWell, if he's 100 or more short, he'll have a little bit of a struggle, but there is an opportunity after June 7 to work on the bound -- the unbound delegates, the uncommitted delegates. And, you know, if he has a big night in California, I think he can probably get there and manage it. It also looks as though -- I mean, if he wins Indiana, I would say he's likely to get to 1,237 before the convention, even if he doesn't quite have it after California.

  • 10:35:18


  • 10:35:20

    GLASSERI agree with Dan, and I think what we're really seeing happen here, right, is an old adage coming into effect, which is you really do have to beat somebody with somebody. And Ted Cruz has not emerged as a viable, serious rival to Trump. He's been really, really smart in how he's played the hand he's been dealt in understanding the rules and understanding the calendar, but he just hasn't connected with voters in anywhere near big enough percentages to take the nomination away from Trump.

  • 10:35:51

    REHMAll right, before we open the phones and take a break here, who might Donald Trump pick as a running mate if he does go into that convention with enough delegates to tie up the nomination?

  • 10:36:11

    WINSTONI have to tell you at this point, I have absolutely no idea. And I don't mean that -- because again, I think part of the dynamic that you were sort of mentioning before in terms of where is the Republican establishment, how in fact does he go approach those individuals, what does he do in terms of tone over the next couple of weeks, is someone who's got a potential political future saying I want to tie myself to someone who's got mid-60s negatives. Or does Donald Trump manage to turn that around, and he suddenly becomes an attractive person to become a running mate to?

  • 10:36:39

    WINSTONI would suggest that all those are questions that can be posed to the Trump campaign that they're going to have to answer.

  • 10:36:42


  • 10:36:44

    GREENBERGWell, I'd be looking for a disaffected general in Afghanistan or Iraq who thinks that Barack Obama has let down the country on security.

  • 10:36:53

    REHMOf course Trump is making a foreign policy speech today. So we would not expect any other announcement until after California, Susan?

  • 10:37:07

    GLASSERWell, we'll see. I'm going to go to this speech. I'm very curious to hear Trump meeting the foreign policy establishment in Washington. So far he's hornswoggled them, along with everybody else.

  • 10:37:17

    REHMSusan Glasser, editor of Politico. When we come back after a short break, more of your emails, and we'll open the phones. Stay with us.

  • 10:40:02

    REHMWelcome back. Time to open the phones. Our guests today, Dan Balz of the Washington Post. He's the author of the book, "Collision 2012: The Future of Election Politics in a Divided America." Susan Glasser is Editor of Politico. David Winston is a Republican Strategist, President of the Winston Group. Stanley Greenberg is a Democratic pollster and political analyst. Let's go, first, to Baltimore, Maryland. Derrick, you're on the air.

  • 10:40:46

    DERRICKCan you hear me, Diane Rehm?

  • 10:40:47

    REHMCertainly can. Go right ahead.

  • 10:40:50

    DERRICKThank you. It is a singular honor to be on your show.

  • 10:40:54

    REHMThank you.

  • 10:40:54

    DERRICKI am a 30-year-old African-American and I'm concerned about the Bernie Sanders campaign. I actually think it's been rather damaging to the Democratic Party. You know, he's not -- I think it's a bit of a misconception to say that he's winning the young vote. What I really think I'm seeing is he's winning the young white vote and maybe tying Hillary Clinton or doing slightly better with the young, non-white vote. And, you know, essentially, he looks like he's running a cleaner version, a more approachable version.

  • 10:41:25

    DERRICKBut his appeal seems to be more toward white America. I know a lot of non-white voters feel this way and it's reflected in the voting. And a lot of his criticism of Hillary Clinton, you know, where she could win, has essentially been, well, she can only win where states are diverse.

  • 10:41:41

    REHMAll right. Dan Balz.

  • 10:41:43

    BALZWell, there's a lot of truth to the way the demographics have broken out in the Democratic race. I mean, she has been very, very strong among African-Americans and Latinos and Sanders has been weak. And we've seen, in states where there is a higher proportion of non-white voters that she has tended to do very, very well and Bernie Sanders has not. I mean, he tried, starting in South Carolina, to kind of break through with the African-American community, but he's not been able to do so.

  • 10:42:09

    REHMAll right, to Detroit, Michigan. Steven, you're on the air.

  • 10:42:15

    STEVENThank you so much for taking my call.

  • 10:42:16


  • 10:42:17

    STEVENI agree with the previous caller's analysis. I wanted to ask your panel if you could comment going further on that subject. We've heard a lot about the divide between the Republican establishment and the Republican base in this election, but not so much about the divide between the Democratic base and the Democratic establishment. Which I think is less so, is less apparent, but I think the Bernie Sanders campaign really highlighted that.

  • 10:42:46

    REHMStan Greenberg.

  • 10:42:48

    GREENBERGYou know, I agree with that point. And Dan, I think earlier, raised the point that, you know, that Hillary is not the -- will not be the anti-establishment candidate, no matter how, you know, tight the embrace or the -- support on, you know, policy. You know, the -- if you look at the arguments that Sanders has been raising about both inequality and the need to clean up money in politics. That is actually an establishment position on the Democratic side. Not running that way, but it's where the party is.

  • 10:43:20

    GREENBERGIt's where Hillary was when she first announced on Roosevelt Island. And therefore, I don't think this debate, battle, political battle between Hillary and Bernie has been damaging for the Democratic Party. In fact, if you look at the data, the party looks more and more attractive to voters, including young voters who see it taking up issues. If you look at the exit polls, people think the party's more energized than divided by this debate. So, I think in the end, it will strengthen the party and make the establishment relevant.

  • 10:43:48

    REHMHere's a tweet from Christina, who says lots of young people like myself do not trust Hillary Clinton, would rather not vote in November rather than giving a win to the Republican Party instead. Susan.

  • 10:44:06

    GLASSERYou know, I think she makes an important point. This was what I was trying to suggest was that these folks aren't going to be for Trump, very likely, the young Democrats who've been so inspired and turned out in very good numbers for Bernie Sanders. The question is whether Hillary Clinton can carry enough of that enthusiasm into the fall to have them still come out and vote for her. But it's very unlikely they're gonna flip and be in favor of Trump, at least this college student demographic.

  • 10:44:30

    REHMAnd David Winston, here's an email from Gary. Do you think the Republican leadership fear they can lose Congress if Trump is the nominee?

  • 10:44:44

    WINSTONI think you've heard on the Senate side, and you've actually heard this from the leadership on the Senate side, being concerned in terms of the impact his race potentially has at this point on states like Ohio, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Florida. Where you've got some key Republican seats in play at this point. And there's an -- the problem with the Trump campaign at this point for a lot of those folks doing those strategies, they don't know what the impact is going to be.

  • 10:45:09

    WINSTONAll right, but the idea that you've got somebody at the top of your ticket with negatives in the mid-60s is concerning, right? And so the other challenge that potentially emerges is you may have a situation where you have a lot of these candidates who are going to have to deal with true ticket splitters. Right? Somebody voting for somebody else besides the Republican nominee for President, and then turning around and voting for you for Senate. That is not a simple task and it also creates an interesting strategic dynamic for the Party as a whole.

  • 10:45:36

    WINSTONHow do they approach the Presidential candidate in those races when they're trying to also defend the Senator in that seat? It just opens up a whole dynamic that the leadership is concerned about.

  • 10:45:46

    REHMStan Greenberg.

  • 10:45:47

    GREENBERGWell, there are actually two dynamics at work here. One is the 25 percent, you know, of Republicans who say they won't vote for Donald Trump. What do they do? Do they vote? What do they do when it comes to these Senate races and House races? But the other piece of this is the potential resentment of Trump voters on down ballot candidates who do not embrace him strongly. And in the polling we've done, that's actually where the biggest potential threat is, anger of Trump voters with Republicans who are seen to be establishment and not aligning with this movement.

  • 10:46:20

    REHMAll right. To San Francisco. Nathan, you're on the air.

  • 10:46:26

    NATHANHi, thanks for taking my call.

  • 10:46:27


  • 10:46:29

    NATHANSo, when I initially registered to vote, I thought, you know, I don't really mesh with either party, so I'll be like the cool guy and register independent. But this primary cycle, I've heard from candidates and a lot of voters that it's not, like, fair or representative, that independent voters don't get to vote in our primaries. But putting that aside, my question is are there really any practical reasons for staying registered as an independent? I mean, you can't vote -- there's not like an independents only primary, so shouldn't I just register for whatever party I'm closest to so I can vote in that primary?

  • 10:47:02

    REHMDan Balz.

  • 10:47:03

    BALZWell, it depends on the state in which you live. I mean, there are some states that have open primaries and if you're an independent, you can come into that -- whichever primary you want to participate in on that day. Other states are closed, as we've seen in recent weeks. So I think part of that is a situational decision based on your state of residency.

  • 10:47:24

    REHMI want to ask you all about this so-called Cruz/Kasich agreement to coordinate against Donald Trump. What was that all about? And then you had Kasich denying it immediately, Dan.

  • 10:47:41

    BALZDiane, I think much of what it was about was Ted Cruz in Indiana. I think this is something that the Kasich people have wanted to do for some time. In part, because they have very limited resources. They do not have the money to wage campaigns in a lot of different places, so they would rather give up some places and let somebody else take on that battle, but I think it came together because the Cruz campaign, which had kind of been resistant to this idea, looked at what was going to happen on Tuesday night, looked ahead and saw that Indiana was becoming a must win for him.

  • 10:48:13

    BALZAnd wanted to, in some way or another, try to clear the field in Indiana so he could get a clean faceoff against Donald Trump. But as you suggest, John Kasich immediately undermined it on Monday morning by saying, well look, I still want people in Indiana to vote for me. And you know, he's tried to now kind of back off of that a little bit. But it's a, you know, it was a fragile alliance to begin with and looks even more so today.

  • 10:48:37


  • 10:48:38

    WINSTONWell, I mean, the concept behind it was pretty straightforward. That is, any delegate that doesn't go to Trump means there's a better chance of getting to a second vote in terms of when you get to the convention. And so, the idea was it really didn't matter how many delegates that Cruz or Kasich particularly picked up from here on out, just so long as they picked them up and Trump didn't. But to Dan's point, that was something that clearly was a new concept to everybody, in terms of how do you actually go out and articulate that and do that?

  • 10:49:05

    WINSTONAnd there were clearly stumbles in terms of how that evolved. But it still addresses, still the other problem, and that was that neither campaign was prepared to do the one thing that Susan was defining, and that is define why me, not Trump. It was about why not Trump and that's why I think it's really struggled a bit.

  • 10:49:22

    REHMHere's a tweet from Megan, who are Latino Republicans voting for, David?

  • 10:49:32

    WINSTONOne, I'm hoping we'll have more than we're sort of seeing in terms of -- and I think that opportunity is there and has been there. Again, I go back to one of my favorite numbers, at least in terms of at the Congressional level, 2014, granted off year election, we got 36 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2010. We got 38. And somehow, we've got to figure out how to get back to those numbers. Having said that, probably at this point, you're looking at somebody more like a Kasich, who probably would likely do better in terms of Hispanic voters.

  • 10:49:58

    WINSTONAnd I think, look, that's one of the challenges if Trump continues down this path and becomes the nominee, he's going to have to work out some way to begin to address that, because of the scale that he's at at this point and his standing with Hispanics, that is not just simply bad in terms of the particular election, but long term for the party. That's got to get addressed.

  • 10:50:15

    REHMIs he still talking about building a wall, Susan?

  • 10:50:19

    GLASSERYou know, Diane, I think he's going to keep talking about that. You know, he says there's going to be a big, beautiful door in it. It's unclear, exactly how he's going to proceed. But you know, look, Mexico is retooling its entire foreign service to address the threat to Mexico's image and the possible complications in their most important relationship. You know, these are not just idle words, and I think for the Republican Party, remember, after 2012, the Republican Party's autopsy on the Presidential election basically suggested the Party go in the exact opposite direction that Donald Trump is now taking it.

  • 10:50:53

    GLASSERWhich is to say to try to find a way to open itself up to a new generation of minority voters. It's obviously, 2016 is not going to be the year that that happens.

  • 10:51:04

    BALZDiane, there are two chants that happen at every Trump rally. The one is Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump. Which you often hear when there's a protestor, and the other is build the wall, build the wall. He will not stop talking about that issue.

  • 10:51:20

    WINSTONIf he moderates going into the general election, it can't be on immigration. That is -- that's the issue -- that actually, most voters, most Republican voters agree with him on, even the Muslim (unintelligible) . That's the core of his base of support. It's going to be defining for the party, and I think disastrous long term, but this is something he can't move away from. It's too defining.

  • 10:51:43

    REHMHow much division is there within his organization, David, for him to tone down his rhetoric?

  • 10:51:54

    WINSTONI don't think that's clear at this point. I mean, clearly, the introduction of Paul Manafort was an attempt to better understand how to do the convention process and Cory, in the perception of Lewandowski, didn't have that ability. What that did, however, is it created basically two standing operations, that I'm not sure Trump has clearly resolved who has what responsibilities and that sort of seems to emerge all the time. Although last night, you know, you saw Cory onstage and I didn't see Paul Manafort anywhere, which I thought was interesting.

  • 10:52:23

    WINSTONAnd I don't know, so is that Trump sending a signal that that's what the organization looks like? But anytime you have a situation where quite frankly, you're posing a question as part of the media saying what does this structure look like? That's not necessarily a good moment for a campaign.

  • 10:52:36


  • 10:52:38

    BALZThe -- this campaign, again, what, you know, what he does with Hispanics will be defining. Also, the independents are important to his position in the party. And I know that people have reflected on this on your questions. People have described themselves as independents, in terms of what role they should play. But we look after this election, what role independents will play will be a critical part of how the Republican Party changes.

  • 10:53:05

    REHMAnd you're listening to The Diane Rehm Show. Susan Glasser, as we said earlier, Donald Trump is making a foreign policy speech this afternoon. What will you be looking for?

  • 10:53:23

    GLASSERWell, this is much ballyhooed speech and I don't think it's necessarily going to tell us all that much about how a President Trump would govern. It's interesting as a piece of theater in this ongoing question around how he's running his campaign. Which Trump will we see today? He's said that this is going to be a speech that was written for him by a speechwriter, which is very unusual for Trump, who as we all know, by now, is a very off the cuff speaker. He's supposedly going to be using a teleprompter, and so...

  • 10:53:49

    REHMWhich he has held against Hillary Clinton, by the way.

  • 10:53:53

    GLASSER...and Barack Obama. He's mocked, for using it, very famously, several years ago. So, Donald Trump, there's this can he pivot to being quote end quote presidential? Now of course, it takes more than a speech to be Presidential, but in particular, in debates, where he's really faltered has been on the sort of basic factual questions around foreign policy, national security. Those are threshold questions, at least for some voters, in a general election. And so, he's gonna have to figure out his own vocabulary for dealing with this set of issues, even if it's clearly not going to be his strong suit going in to the election.

  • 10:54:24

    REHMWhat will you be looking for, Dan Balz?

  • 10:54:27

    BALZI will be looking for -- to see if he can resolve the contradiction in what has been his message on foreign policy. Which, on the one hand, has been very muscular. He talks about strength, he talks about we're going to have the strongest military in the world. At the same time, he talks -- he is in some ways to the left of Hillary Clinton on the use of force. And on what he would do. He's -- on Iraq, on Syria, in various places in the world, on Ukraine and Russia. And so, how does he, how does he have any sort of coherence in terms of a theory of the case, a view of what the world really is and how you manage that.

  • 10:55:07

    REHMAnd without sort of taking the whole country into another era of war.

  • 10:55:16

    BALZWell, every time he has talked specifically about that sort of thing, he has been, he has been more tentative. I mean, I recall a conversation that a few of us had with him last fall about this, about Syria, and he was very tentative about the use of force in Syria. And we said to him, you know, this sounds like leading from behind. And he, you know, he didn't exactly bristle, but he took issue with that. But nonetheless, compared to some of his Republican rivals, he has been much more tentative about the use of force.

  • 10:55:46

    REHMAll right, one last question. What do you make, Stan Greenberg, of Charles Koch, saying this week, he might consider supporting Hillary Clinton.

  • 10:55:58

    GREENBERGThat was one of the more stunning events of the week. I don't even -- it's stunning.

  • 10:56:04

    REHMBut hadn't both brothers said earlier they were not going to play any role in the Republican convention?

  • 10:56:14

    GREENBERGWell, they were not going to play a role in the primaries. They were going to wait until the nominee emerged, but it was presumed that they were going to, you know, raise a billion dollars for the Republican presidential candidate, which has the biggest impact on whether Republican wins at all levels. And so, there's talk about pulling out of the Presidential, which I think is real. And allocating your money below, but the impact from the -- how -- it's the national election. That national choice that drives who gets involved by the people who are being polarized toward for or against the party.

  • 10:56:44

    REHMSo, is he being serious, or is he threatening Republicans?

  • 10:56:51

    GREENBERGI think he's threatening, I think he's serious and I think he's threatening Republicans.

  • 10:56:54

    REHMWhat do you think, Susan?

  • 10:56:55

    GLASSERYou know, you don't know what happens inside the voting booth, but I highly doubt that he is turning into somebody who's going to vote for Hillary Clinton in November. What it suggests is a deep unease with where the Republican Party has ended up in this primary season and this is one of the party's major funders and he's not happy about...

  • 10:57:12

    REHMAll right, David Winston, I know you are financed by the Koch brothers.

  • 10:57:18

    WINSTONNo, I'm not financed. I work with a company that does -- but here's...

  • 10:57:26

    REHMOkay, we're almost out of time. Quickly, is he going...

  • 10:57:29 showed his level of dissatisfaction with the current process and he made waves with it.

  • 10:57:33

    REHM...all right. And that's it. We're out of time. Thank you all for being here. Thanks for listening. I'm Diane Rehm.

Related Links

Topics + Tags


comments powered by Disqus
Most Recent Shows