2016 RACE ROUNDUP: Cruz v. McConnell Tension Complicating GOP Unity?

Cortney O'Brien
|
Posted: Mar 17, 2016 2:55 PM
2016 RACE ROUNDUP: Cruz v. McConnell Tension Complicating GOP Unity?

Last Thursday’s presidential debate on CNN may have been the last of this election season for the remaining GOP field. After Donald Trump and John Kasich noted they would not be attending the scheduled Fox News debate on Monday, the network canceled the event. Meanwhile, Trump and Cruz want Kasich out of the way so they can focus on their head-to-head battle. In the race for delegates, some pundits are arguing why California may be the deciding factor. Despite gaining the endorsement of his predecessor John Boehner, House Speaker Paul Ryan made it loud and clear he has no plans to enter the race. 

Republican Primary

Donald Trump: Thursday offers a slew of unfriendly headlines for the GOP frontman. In a new Reuters/Ipsos poll, half of U.S. women noted they have a “very unfavorable” view of the businessman. Expect that poll to surface in negative ads. Liberal Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid criticized his Republican colleagues as “cowardly” for not denouncing the controversial candidate and Sen. Elizabeth Warren warns that Trump is a threat to the country. As for whether former First Lady Laura Bush will be voting for the GOP frontrunner, she respectfully requests you “don’t ask.”

Ted Cruz: Cruz may be Republicans’ last hope of stopping Trump, but the party leadership is not soon to forget how Cruz slammed Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the Senate floor last year. Cruz called McConnell a “very effective Democratic leader,” among other unflattering remarks, after the Senate leader signed the Bipartisan Budget Act. Republican senators are reportedly asking him to apologize for those remarks before they consider unifying behind him. Cruz did find some friends today though. He picked up the endorsement of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and heard Rubio called him “the only true conservative left in the race.” He spent most of Thursday campaigning with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

John Kasich: RedState predicts that should Kasich team up with Trump, it would be the end of Cruz.

Democratic Primary

Hillary Clinton has had a gaffe-tastic week. She made controversial comments about coal, suggested we didn’t lose a single person in Libya and admitted she’s not a “natural politician.” It’s a wonder how she won four state primaries on Tuesday night. If nothing else, the former secretary of state proved she’s not infallible.

Delegate Count

Republicans (1,237 needed to win):

Trump - 673

Cruz - 411

Kasich - 143

Dems (2,383 needed to win):

Clinton – 1,606

Sanders – 851

Primary/Debate schedule:

Tuesday, March 22 - American Samoa (R convention), Arizona, Idaho Caucus (D), Utah