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Monday, March 14, 2016

The Morning Roundup: Can I Have My Extra Hour of Sleep Back?

Posted by on Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 9:10 AM

click to enlarge TRUMP RALLY
  • Trump rally

Lots of stuff happened this weekend: Hillary made an oopsie at Nancy Reagan’s funeral; Hillary apologized profusely and at length the next day; Donald Trump’s Chicago rally turned into a melee (who could have seen that coming?); Trump threatened to send his brownshirts to Bernie Sanders’s rally, and Bernie (or at least his social media team) Berned him well and good (then deleted the tweet, which is a shame); UNC prevailed at the ACC Tournament; and Daylight Saving Time remains a thoroughly pointless and annoying endeavor

Today is also the last day before tomorrow’s presidential primaries—in North Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri—so you can expect a metric ton of new polls to drop this morning. And that’s where we’ll begin.

1. Clinton, Trump in good shape in North Carolina. PPP’s new presidential primary poll, out early this morning, has Hillary up on Bernie 56–37 in North Carolina—and she has an even larger lead among those who have already voted. She’s also up about twenty points in Florida, continuing a pretty much unbroken pattern in the South. 

But take heart, Bernie fans: 


The races in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois are all very tight. PPP has Sanders up a point in Missouri, down three in Illinois, and down five in Ohio. Given that Sanders has proven himself a closer, and given that, unlike Florida and North Carolina, all three of those states allow independents and Republicans to vote in Dem primaries, I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes at least two of these tomorrow. 

On the other hand, even with a Midwestern sweep, he’d run into a familiar problem: math. Sanders is further behind in the delegate count today than Hillary was to Obama eight years ago at any point during their long, drawn-out battle. Because Democrats allocate delegates proportionally, it doesn’t matter so much who “wins” each state—if Bernie takes Illinois 52–47 tomorrow, he’ll still more or less split the delegates—but by margins. So if Clinton romps in the South and loses narrowly in the Midwest, she’ll net more delegates than him, making his road to the White House a very difficult terrain.

Subtract superdelegates — Clinton is dominating even among this group of elected officials and party luminaries — and she has 766 delegates to Sanders’s 551, a margin of 215. (Worth noting: That is a wider lead than the margin by which Clinton ever trailed then-Sen. Barack Obama in the long slog of the 2008 primary race.)

That lead may not seem momentous. After all, almost 3,000 delegates are yet to be allocated in the primaries and caucuses to come. The problem for Sanders is that Democrats allocate their delegates proportionally in every state — meaning that between now and when the process ends June 7, there is no state where Clinton will be shut out.

Winning, then, is not enough for Sanders. He has to win by a lot to make up any real ground.

(Flip side to this: because margins matter, if you’re a Sanders’s support, the fact that he’s probably going to “lose” North Carolina shouldn’t deter you from voting; if he narrows his delegate loss, that would be a victory in itself.) 

On the other side of the aisle, where we’ve stopped pretending that the inmates haven’t taken over the asylum, Trump is up on Ted Cruz 44–33, with Rubio and Kasich well behind. 

Compared to a month ago Trump's support is up 15 points and Cruz's is up 14 points. Kasich's remained in place, and Rubio has seen his support collapse 9 points. Trump appears to already be building up a lead among early voters- he's at 46% to 38% for Cruz, 11% for Kasich, and 4% for Rubio. Among those planning to vote on election day Trump gets 43% to 32% for Cruz, 11% for Kasich, and 8% for Rubio. 

North Carolina, PPP notes, was the first state where they found Trump with a lead, back in June. Sigh. 

2. There are other races on the ballot, too. While the presidential numbers will get most (OK, all) of the attention, PPP did the people of North Carolina—at least the people of North Carolina who obsess over such things, and there must be tens of us—a solid, releasing a snapshot for the various statewide and Council of State offices on the ballot tomorrow, most of which have received little polling love. 

Here’s the rundown: 

NC Connect Bond: 67–18 in favor. 
US Senate (D): Deborah Ross 40, Chris Rey and Ernest Reeves 8, Kevin Griffin 4. 
US Senate (R): Richard Burr 48, Greg Brannon 20. (PPP notes that Burr, the incumbent, has a smaller primary lead than Ross, a relative unknown.)
Governor: It’s gonna be Cooper vs. McCrory. 
AG: Jim O’Neill has a small lead over Buck Newton for the Rs, Josh Stein is up on Marcus Williams for the Ds. Lots of undecideds. 
LG: Linda Coleman looks set for a rematch against Dan Forest. 
Labor: Charles Meeker is up 33–22 over Mazie Ferguson, and has a much bigger lead among early voters, which is a good sign for his candidacy. 
Treasurer: Dan Blue III is up 36–22 over Ron Elmer. 
Agriculture (R): Incumbent Steve Troxler is up big for the Republicans. 
Insurance (R): This one’s a muddle, with 46 percent undecided.  

3. Feature, not a bug: The state’s new voter ID law is making it harder for college students to vote

In the state’s first use of the voter ID law, some college students’ ballots may end up filling the discard piles. As of Friday, 717 people had cast provisional ballots because they didn’t have acceptable photo identification. Four of the five counties with the highest concentrations of provisional ballots from voters without approved ID were Durham, Orange, Watauga and Wake, where those voters had home addresses on or near campuses. […]

The state’s voter ID law is still being argued in federal court, with opponents claiming it suppresses minority and youth voting. In addition to requiring photo identification, the law restricted the early voting period and eliminated preregistration of teenagers before their 18th birthdays.

It also gets rid of same-day registration during early voting and disallows ballots cast by people outside their assigned precincts, but those two established practices are allowed for this year’s primary while the lawsuit is active.

Legislators, who said the ID law was needed to guard against voter fraud, excluded student ID cards as acceptable identification. A state House bill in 2013 would have recognized IDs from public universities, but it was negated by a more stringent version from the state Senate.

While opponents were suing over the law, legislators last year loosened the ID requirements by allowing voters to claim a “reasonable impediment” to obtaining an acceptable voter ID. But college IDs stayed off the accepted list.

Young people, not coincidentally, are much, much more likely to vote for progressives. (See Sanders, Bernie.) 

4. Darryl Hunt, once wrongly convicted of murder, found dead at fifty-one. 


darrly_hunt.jpg


Darryl Hunt, imprisoned for more than 19 years for a murder he did not commit, was found dead in a car in Winston-Salem early Sunday.

In 1984 at age 19, Hunt was charged with the rape and murder of a newspaper copy editor. The case was racially charged. Hunt was black and the murder victim was white.

Hunt spoke against the death penalty for years after his exoneration, exhibiting a calm that made an impression on friends and strangers.

He traversed the the state with People of Faith Against the Death Penalty and traveled overseas with the documentary “The Trials of Darryl Hunt,” speaking about abolishing the death penalty and improving the justice system. […]

In a statement, police said that officers received a call early Sunday of a person believed to be dead inside a car near the Wake Forest University campus. Officers found a man identified as Hunt, unresponsive inside the car.

Hunt had been diagnosed with cancer. A cause of death was not released.

5. Hundred-car pileup on I-40. 

More than 100 vehicles were involved in a series of crashes Sunday on Interstate 40 in Alamance County, but there were no fatalities and no arrests as of 9:30 p.m. Sunday, the Highway Patrol said.

Spokesman Jordan Pack said officers were not sure how the series of accidents got started. The Highway Patrol was in the process of clearing in the interstate of wrecked cars and hoped to have it open by 10 p.m.

“There were 20 minor injuries and in excess of 100 vehicles involved,” Pack said. “We still don’t know what caused the first pileup.”

The first accident took place at about 5:45 p.m., according to ABC-11.

6. UNC gets a number one seed

Fresh off their ACC Tournament title, North Carolina earned the No. 1 seed in the East Region of the 2016 NCAA Tournament and will stay close to home as they open in Raleigh.

UNC will meet the play-in game winner of Florida Gulf Coast and Fairleigh Dickinson on Thursday at 7:20 p.m. at PNC Arena.

That’s all for Monday’s Roundup. I’m going back to bed. 

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