Elections

Stu Johnson, WEKU News

Child care issues were front and center for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a visit to Lexington Tuesday. The former Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady held an almost hour-long round table talk with parents and staff at Lexington’s Family Care Center.

Clinton announced a proposal to increase federal investments so families would not pay more than ten percent of their income for child care. The Democratic frontrunner says a 60 percent turnover in child care workers needs attention.

“We’ve got this dilemma. Families can’t pay more, but child care workers have to have a decent income in order to stay in the field to get the skills that will make them even better in their jobs.”

She said existing government subsidies could help cover that cost.

“Some of them flow directly to the states and to other entities and some are more direct, but mostly through the states. We already have a system--it’s just not kept up with the times. It hasn’t kept up with the cost,” Clinton said.

John Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images and Matt Rourke/AP

Hillary Clinton would have a significant electoral advantage over Donald Trump in the general election, based on an NPR analysis.

The Democratic former secretary of state would start out with already exactly enough electoral votes to win the presidency, 270-191, based on states considered safe, likely and to lean toward either candidate. The ratings, which will be updated at least monthly until Election Day, are based on fundamentals — historical trends and demographics, plus reporting and polling (both public and private).

But there is also the potential that this fall's presidential battlegrounds could be re-sorted — pitting white, working-class voters, whom Trump is appealing to, against Latino voters, who appear to be in Clinton's corner. Traditional ways of thinking about the map should and will be challenged. So in addition to our current ratings, we also explore several possibilities and scenarios, including Trump's potential path and even two potential ties, based on Trump doing well in the Upper Midwest and Clinton racking up wins in competitive states where the Latino vote is important.

Jewel Samad /AFP/Getty Images

The general election unofficially began on Wednesday as Donald Trump became the de facto GOP nominee. And, boy, is it going to be ugly.

Likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton premiered an unsurprising line of attack in an online ad against her probable November opponent — throwing back some of the choice words from his now-vanquished Republican rivals just as the real estate mogul now has the daunting task of trying to unite the GOP behind him.

"Con artist," said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. "The most vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency."

"He's a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot," said South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

"A narcissist at a level I don't think this country has ever seen," Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said about Trump on Tuesday, just hours before he dropped his own bid.

"He needs therapy," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said exasperatedly in the ad's final kicker.

McConnell Calls On Trump To Unite Party

May 5, 2016
J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Donald Trump, as the Republican Party’s apparent presidential nominee, has the “opportunity and the obligation” to unite the GOP.

In a statement, McConnell said he committed to supporting the nominee chosen by Republican voters and noted that Trump is on the verge of clinching that nomination. He said Trump now must unite the party around “our goals.”

The Kentucky Republican said his party is committed to “restoring economic and national security” and preventing what he characterized as a “third term of Barack Obama” if Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton wins the White House.

“I have committed to supporting the nominee chosen by Republican voters, and Donald Trump, the presumptive nominee, is now on the verge of clinching that nomination,” McConnell said in the statement. “Republicans are committed to preventing what would be a third term of Barack Obama and restoring economic and national security after eight years of a Democrat in the White House. As the presumptive nominee, he now has the opportunity and the obligation to unite our party around our goals.”

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump is the apparent GOP presidential nominee after his two remaining rivals ended their White House bids.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will suspend his presidential campaign at a 5 p.m. press conference Wednesday in Ohio, campaign sources tell NPR. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz dropped out of the race Tuesday night after a disappointing loss in Indiana.

The rapid moves in the past 24 hours bring to a close a wild GOP primary season that leaves the one-time unlikely candidate as the party's apparent nominee.

Trump was widely discounted when he announced his bid on June 16 last year after publicly flirting with a White House run for many years but not following through. The real estate mogul dominated the news cycles and was impervious to ramifications from controversial statements and missteps that would have doomed any other nominee. The GOP electorate, fed up with a Republican Party they felt had too often capitulated to Democratic demands, was angry, and Trump became the vehicle for that anger and desire for an outsider candidate.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Republican Ted Cruz has ended his presidential candidacy, after Donald Trump won Indiana to all but clinch victory. Bernie Sanders also won, with 52 percent of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 47 percent — but he only saw a net gain of less than a dozen delegates.

Here are five stories that tell us where we are right now:

Ted Cruz suspends presidential campaign, clears way for Donald TrumpHouston Chronicle

"In a potentially decisive and at times bizarre Midwestern showdown that Cruz had called 'favorable' ground, Trump won a delegate haul that eased his path toward the Republican presidential nomination, raising questions about the future of the Texas senator's campaign.

"Cruz answered those questions in concession speech in Indianapolis invoking America's greatness and the need for Republican unity.

" 'We are suspending our campaign,' Cruz told stunned supporters. 'But hear me now, I am not suspending our fight for liberty.' "

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump dealt Ted Cruz's campaign a fatal loss with his victory in the Indiana GOP primary. Later on Tuesday night, The Texas senator suspended his bid for the White House.

In the Democratic race, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton, but his victory still won't be enough to close the yawning gap between the two.

Indiana proved decisive in the GOP contest. With his Indiana victory, Trump crossed the 1,000-delegate threshold. He's 84 percent of the way to getting the 1,237 delegates he needs, and he needs just 37 percent of the remaining delegates to get there. It was already mathematically impossible for either Cruz or Ohio Sen. John Kasich to get a majority of delegates on the first convention ballot.

After Cruz suspended his campaign, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted that Trump would be the GOP's presumptive nominee and that the party should unite behind him.

Ariel Zambelich/NPR

Ted Cruz is suspending his presidential bid after a disappointing Indiana loss, clearing the way for Donald Trump to be the likely Republican nominee.

"From the beginning I've said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory," Cruz told supporters gathered in the Hoosier State. "Tonight I'm sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed.

"With a heavy heart but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign," he continued.

The Texas senator's exit is a major blow for #NeverTrump forces who had hoped to stop the controversial real estate mogul's march to the nomination. But as the primary slog wore on, both Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — who remains in the race though he is far behind in delegates — were mathematically eliminated from getting the 1,237 delegates on the first convention ballot.

Paul Sancya/AP

Every week, we say the next race is pivotal, perhaps decisive even. Every week, it's... true, but in different ways.

This week really could be decisive for Donald Trump and potentially the last stand for the #NeverTrump movement. That's because if Trump sweeps all 57 Indiana delegates Tuesday (the second most delegates in any remaining GOP contest behind California), his path to the nomination would be very clear. He would have crossed the 1,000-delegate threshold and be 85 percent of the way to the magic number of 1,237 needed for the Republican nomination with nine contests remaining.

For the Democrats, even a Bernie Sanders win in Indiana, which is possible, won't do much to change the reality of the trajectory of the race. Sanders would likely wake up the next day with a steeper hill to climb and needing two-thirds of all remaining pledged delegates just for a majority of pledged delegates (and that's to say nothing of superdelegates).

Here's how this week's primary — Indiana — could shift things, by the numbers:

Darron Cummings/AP

Political attention turns to the Hoosier State on Tuesday night, where both the Indiana Republican and Democratic presidential primary contests could be especially consequential.

Ted Cruz needs a victory over Donald Trump to stop the latter's march to the GOP nomination, but he's trailing in polls. The Democratic contest is closer, with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton running neck and neck.

There's an important Republican Senate primary to keep an eye on, too. Here are four things we'll be watching on Tuesday night:

1. How much will Donald Trump grow his delegate lead?

This could well be the last stand for the #NeverTrump forces. They've poured millions into the Hoosier State but may well still come up short in one of their last best hopes to scramble Trump's delegate math equations.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders brought his call for a political revolution to Evansville Monday.

Speaking a day before Indiana’s primary, Sanders told an estimated crowd of more than 3,000 people that the country will be watching tomorrow to see who the Hoosier State supports.

The Evansville Courier and Press reports Sanders told the crowd at Old National Events Plaza that America needs less corporate greed, and a $15-an-hour minimum wage.

Sanders is trailing Hillary Clinton by about 300 pledged delegates.

But Clinton has a huge advantage in support among superdelegates---the Democratic Party leaders who can back any candidate they like at the party’s nominating convention.

Taylor Glascock for NPR

Many manufacturing towns dot the cornfields and highways of Indiana, which holds its presidential primary Tuesday, but two in particular tell the story of very different economic fortunes, and political ties.

Kokomo is an old auto town touched by President Obama's push to bail out the auto industry. And Gary is a rundown steel city with unusual ties to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, who tried to jump start the city's economy in the '90s and '00s.

But, that doesn't mean the presidential politics there line up with their benefactors.

Indiana is the country's leading manufacturing state per capita — more than 17 percent of Hoosiers work in the industry. And despite recent global trends, manufacturing remains a major influence in the state's economy — as well as its presidential politics.

As Gary got rusty, Trump came ... and went

Gary, Ind. is a city built by U.S. steel on the south shore of Lake Michigan.

Hillary Clinton to Campaign in Appalachia

Apr 29, 2016
Hillary Clinton campaign

Hillary Clinton will campaign in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio next week.

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination is scheduled to visit Ashland, Kentucky, and Williamson, West Virginia, on Monday. She will visit West Virginia and Ohio on Tuesday, but details of those stops are not yet available.

In a news release, the campaign said Clinton will meet with voters and discuss her plans to raise incomes for people in overlooked or underserved communities. The Appalachian region has been economically devastated by the decline in the coal industry.

Republicans have criticized Clinton for her comments earlier this year that her policies would put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business. Clinton later said she was mistaken and said she is committed to coalfield workers and communities.

Darron Cummings/AP

Ahead of the potentially pivotal Indiana primary Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced he will be voting for Republican candidate Ted Cruz.

"This is a time for choosing," Pence said on WIBC radio in Indianapolis. He called Cruz, a senator from Texas, a "principled conservative" who "stood up for taxpayers" in fighting spending in Washington, said he was "very impressed" with his "knowledge and devotion" to the Constitution and his "strong, unwavering stand" against abortion rights.

But Pence seemed to go out of his way to praise Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He also stressed that his endorsement was not intended to sway the votes of Indiana Republicans.

"I respect the right of every Hoosier in making their determination," Pence said, adding, "I encourage everyone to make up their own mind."

In fact, Pence mentioned Trump before mentioning his endorsement of Cruz.

Ryland Barton, WKU Public Radio

Ahead of Kentucky’s May 17 Democratic presidential primary, Chelsea Clinton stopped in Lexington on Friday to stump for her mother, Hillary Clinton.

Speaking to about 200 people crowded into Clinton’s storefront field office, the younger Clinton called this year’s presidential election the most important of her lifetime.

“If I think about healthcare or education or our economy or women’s rights, I worry that all of that is currently under threat,” she said.

During her 2008 presidential run, Hillary Clinton took 65 percent of the vote over Barack Obama in the Kentucky primary election, though Obama was already the presumed nominee.

Hillary has a big lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the delegate count: 2,165 to 1,357, with 1,243 still available. The candidates need to get 2,383 delegates to secure the nomination. Kentucky is expected to send 60 delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

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