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2016 RACE ROUNDUP: Rhetoric Suggests Candidates Are Beginning to Look Toward General Election Opponent

The remaining Republican contenders participated in a CNN town hall Tuesday night, where Anderson Cooper discovered that none of them are willing to declare their support to the eventual nominee. Despite signing a pledge in September to do just that, Trump said he was not beholden to it. “We’ll see who it is,” he said. In the primary race, Marco Rubio asked for his name to be taken off the ballot in California to avoid a repeat of the Arizona primary, where he ended up receiving thousands of votes even after suspending his campaign. That move could potentially hurt Trump, for former Rubio supporters have noted they would choose either Ted Cruz or John Kasich. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is giving Hillary Clinton a run for her money in Wisconsin.


Republican Primary

Donald Trump: Trump is still defending his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski after he was charged with misdemeanor battery for grabbing former Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields after a campaign event. Fields, Trump insisted, lied about the incident. Trump saved some of his fire for Hillary Clinton this week, though, vowing to appoint a Supreme Court justice who will investigate her emails. At Tuesday's town hall on CNN, Trump said he will not promise to support the eventual 2016 GOP nominee because has been treated unfairly by the Republican National Committee throughout the campaign season. During the same event, Trump said he'd evolved on the issue of abortion and is now pro-life.

Ted Cruz: A pro-Cruz group called Trusted Leadership PAC is going on the attack against John Kasich this week with a $500,000 digital, broadcast and radio ad buy in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina is joining Cruz and his wife, Heidi, on the campaign trail this week, including a “Women for Cruz” event in Madison, Wisconsin.


John Kasich: Kasich gained an endorsement from a key Wisconsin newspaper on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Ohio governor is dismissing Trump’s foreign policy proposals as the “most ridiculous” he’s ever heard.

Democratic Primary

Hillary Clinton has a right to be nervous about Wisconsin. The RealClearPolitics average has her just 2.5 points ahead of Sanders. Trying to slow down his momentum, Clinton tried to convince voters on Tuesday that Sanders’ proposals are “pie-in-the-sky.” Sanders apparently has the Clinton camp so frazzled that her husband is not even bothering to campaign in The Badger State. Instead, they are looking ahead to New York, where she is up by a comfortable margin. Other indications that Clinton is ready to move beyond the Democratic primary process is a new New York ad her team put out attacking Trump’s candidacy and urging voters, “We know better.”

As noted, Bernie Sanders may be poised to pull off an upset in Wisconsin next week. He is focusing his efforts on Madison, the second most populous city in the state where he just happens to be extremely popular. Sanders also weighed in on the GOP frontrunner – he criticized Trump this week for unfairly channeling Americans’ anger over the poor economy toward minorities.


Delegate Count

Primary Schedule

No primaries scheduled this week.

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