WASHINGTON (CNN) — An ad war twist that Donald Trump doesn’t approve of in Ohio, prominent Republicans who are MIA, “Survival Tuesday” calculations and peeks at a key Senate race — those are just some of the scoops in the “Inside Politics” forecast.
Ads Pulled — and Questions About Team Trump
Some Ohio television stations refused to run a Donald Trump ad attacking John Kasich after the Ohio governor’s allies complained the required legal disclaimer was not in the right place.
It’s a hiccup for Team Trump heading into Tuesday’s big contest in Ohio — but perhaps also a bigger lesson. The Atlantic’s Molly Ball says smart politicos see it as proof the Trump organization lacks enough experienced hands to make sure everything is done by the book.
“These are not exactly veteran political strategists running Donald Trump’s campaign. But as the Republican party increasingly seems willing to accept that Trump is the inevitable nominee, they’re going to have to figure out how to give a sort of transplant to this campaign and get them into working order, if this is going to be the campaign of the Republican nominee for president.”
The Governors Are MIA, and Trump May be the Beneficiary
Five big states vote this Tuesday, and four of them have Republican governors. Ohio’s John Kasich, of course, is a candidate and needs to win his home state to keep his struggling presidential bid going.
But what about the others? Governors normally are highly coveted allies for presidential candidates, because winning the endorsement of a governor often brings help from his or her statewide organization.
But Jonathan Martin of The New York Times noted the GOP governors of Florida, North Carolina and Illinois are on the sidelines in the presidential race.
“I think as we get closer to a Trump nomination and you hear more of this ‘Who lost China?’ talk in the Republican party, there’s going to be finger-pointing at some of the governors who stood silent while Trump marched to the nomination.”
This Could be the High Court’s Week — and One GOP Senator Gets an Extra Spotlight
President Obama is close to making his choice for the Supreme Court known, and as he tries to pressure the Republican Senate to hold hearings on whomever he nominates, one GOP veteran in particular will get some special attention.
That is Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. That important role would get Grassley a bit more of the spotlight anyway. But CNN’s Manu Raju says the fact that Grassley is up for re-election this year adds an interesting wrinkle to the White House and Democratic Party efforts to get Grassley to back down and grant the nominee a hearing.
“What Democrats are going to increasingly try to do is make it hard for him back home … potentially putting money behind his opponent. They’ve recruited his opponent, former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, to run against him. They know it will be a tough race, but they think if they put money on the air and hurt Chuck Grassley’s favorability back home … that could actually force Chuck Grassley to cave.”
Is Van Hollen vs. Edwards an Undercard to Clinton vs. Sanders?
The Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination has an echo of sorts in a big Senate primary.
In Maryland, Rep. Christopher Van Hollen is the favorite of the Democratic establishment. Rep. Donna Edwards is the underdog, and CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson reports there are more signs Edwards is taking some cues from the Sanders insurgency.
“She has been making inroads in the Baltimore County area, particularly with African-Americans, particularly with women. She’s very much running as the Sanders in this campaign, running as the outsider, running as someone who would be the second black woman to serve in the U.S. Senate; and Chris Van Hollen running on experience, on establishment endorsements.”
After “Survival Tuesday,” One or Two Big Decisions
Marco Rubio of Florida and John Kasich of Ohio need home state wins Tuesday to breathe life into struggling presidential campaigns.
Win, and they go on — hoping to find a path to the nomination or at least to get to an open GOP convention with enough delegates to give them leverage.
Lose, and the “Exit” lights will be flashing.
Inside the Kasich campaign, there is no doubt: A loss in Ohio would lead to a Kasich exit by Wednesday at the latest. But his team is hopeful enough that a little time in recent days was spent discussing how to put together a smart team to think ahead, about states to come and a strategy for an open convention.
There is more of a debate inside Team Rubio. The candidate himself, unlike Kasich, has not said his home state is win or go home. And some Rubio advisers are arguing the senator should consider staying in even if he loses Florida — and especially if Kasich loses Ohio.
They justify such talk by suggesting perhaps the focus on violence at Donald Trump’s rallies might finally create an opening, and by noting many of the contests ahead are in places where Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas might be too conservative to have broad appeal.
There is pushback, though, from members of Rubio’s finance team; CNN is told the mood inside the finance team is that if Rubio loses at home, the money will dry up fast and make it difficult to continue.