2016 RACE ROUNDUP: Inconsistent Polling and Big Stakes Produce a Fascinating Indiana Contest

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: May 02, 2016 2:45 PM
2016 RACE ROUNDUP: Inconsistent Polling and Big Stakes Produce a Fascinating Indiana Contest

Inconsistent polling out of Indiana indicates that Tuesday will be anyone’s primary to win or lose. Some polls show Donald Trump cruising to a comfortable win, while others have Ted Cruz as the clear victor. The stakes are high in the Hoosier State for the first time in 40 years. A little over 24 hours from now, could we have a Republican nominee? A win for Hillary Clinton in Indiana could convince Democrats that Bernie Sanders' momentum has stalled indefinitely, but she has a harder road ahead as she enters coal country thanks to her anti-coal comments in March.

Republican Primary

Donald Trump: “If we win Indiana, it’s over,” Trump said at a campaign stop this week. The businessman is leading by 15 points in the Hoosier State over Cruz, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Another poll the businessman is likely to reference in his speeches is this Rasmussen Reports survey that shows him beating Hillary Clinton by two points nationally. Trump is urging the Republican Party to unite behind him so he can start focusing on the presumptive Democratic nominee. He has already hinted on how he’ll challenge Clinton’s credentials, accusing her of using the “women’s card” to gain votes. “If she were not a woman, she wouldn't even be in this race," Trump said. 

Ted Cruz: Cruz has plenty of endorsements heading into Indiana on Tuesday, but does he have the votes? The Texas senator received the support of 50 state clergy and faith leaders, who say he stands for family principles, not political expediency. His campaign released a few ads highlighting Gov. Mike Pence’s endorsement, including “Pence for Cruz,” which highlights Gov. Mike Pence saying he’ll vote for Cruz because the Texas senator is pursuing the “Reagan agenda.” Cruz is also reminding voters he has the governor’s support in a radio ad. A Club for Growth Action ad, meanwhile, called “Imagine,” is telling voters that Cruz is the only candidate who can plausibly repeal Obamacare. He hasn’t forgotten about his foe Donald Trump, however. The Cruz campaign just released an ad called “Lying,” accusing the businessman of lying about Cruz’s record. The senator won a majority of delegates at the Virginia GOP convention this weekend.

John Kasich: Kasich’s own state of Ohio wants him to drop out of the 2016 race. Like Cruz, the Ohio governor has no mathematical path to the nomination, but he is banking on the RNC to declare him victor at a contested convention. During a campaign stop this weekend, Kasich again condemned Trump’s policy to deport 4 million illegal immigrants. Republicans, Kasich said, will not win the general election by “scaring every Hispanic in this country to death.”

Democratic Primary

Hillary Clinton: Clinton is hoping that her pledge to put coal companies "out of business" in March is long forgotten as the 2016 primary enters coal country. Unfortunately, those scars haven't healed. Activists interrupted Bill Clinton during his speech this weekend in West Virginia, while officials in another town wrote a letter to Sen. Joe Manchin insisting the Clintons and their anti-coal agenda were "not welcome." The Wall Street Journal also weighed in on Clinton's controversial coal remarks, writing that she has some "explaining to do" before she attempts to win over voters in the region. There is some good news for Hillary on the financial front, however. For the first time in 2016, Clinton has outraised Sanders in donations. Clinton’s April totals amounted to $36 million. Clinton is averaging about 7 points higher than Bernie Sanders in Indiana.

Bernie Sanders: Sanders can force Hillary to a contested convention, pundits argue. Yet, his underdog status may be too much to overcome, at least as far as the delegates are concerned. Can momentum be enough to propel him to the nomination? His donations fell steeply from March. Sanders’ donation totals fell steeply from $44 million in March to $25.8 million in April. Judging by Sanders’ rhetoric, though, he and his team are not letting these numbers stop them. Sanders’ wife, Jane, has been making media rounds defending her husband and even telling the FBI to hurry up already with its investigation into Hillary’s emails. 

Delegate Count

Republicans

Trump - 996

Cruz - 565

Kasich - 153

Democrats

Clinton - Pledged delegates: 1,645; Super delegates: 520

Sanders - Pledged delegates: 1,318; Super delegates: 39

Primary Schedule

Tuesday - D/R Indiana primaries