Four things to watch at Dennis Hastert's sentencing – Washington Post

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Former U.S. House speaker Dennis Hastert is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday for violating federal banking laws as he attempted to pay off someone who alleged the Illinois Republican sexually abused him decades ago. The hearing in federal district court in Chicago will mark another low point for Hastert — a once revered high-school teacher and wrestling coach in Illinois who ascended to the highest levels of American politics.

The previous hearings in the case have been relatively tame, mostly void of the shocking allegations that have been leveled against Hastert. Wednesday will be different. Prosecutors revealed in a recent court filing that five people alleged Hastert molested them or at least touched them in inappropriate, questionable ways. One is expected to testify at the hearing, as is the sister of another who has since died.

[The details on Dennis Hastert’s alleged sexual abuse of teenagers]

Here are the four critical questions we’ll be looking to answer as we watch the proceedings. The hearing begins at 10 a.m. central time.

1) Will Hastert get prison time, and if so, how much?

This is, of course, the question at any sentencing, but predicting a sentence in Hastert’s case is particularly tricky. At Hastert’s plea, prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed that federal sentencing guidelines in the case call for a prison term between zero and six months. Prosecutors said they would recommend a term in that range, and in pre-sentence filings, they did exactly that — not suggesting a more specific figure. Hastert’s defense attorneys argued a sentence of probation would be appropriate.

[Dennis Hastert pleads guilty to lying to the FBI in hush-money case]

But U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin is not bound by any of those recommendations. He could sentence Hastert to as many as five years behind bars. And in other hearings, Durkin has not proved himself to be especially sympathetic to Hastert’s point of view on narrowing what should be fair game to consider.

Durkin agreed, over the objection of defense attorneys, to let a purported victim testify at the sentencing, saying such testimony “informs my decision about the history and characteristics of the defendant.” He also said he would take into consideration that Hastert initially told FBI agents one of the alleged victims of sexual abuse was extorting him — a claim investigators later found to be false.

“That’s not conduct that’s 40 years old. That’s conduct that’s less than a year old,” Durkin said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “Among the aggravating factors in this case, that’s a big one.”

2) What will the victims (or their representatives) say?

Prosecutors have said they expect at least one man who alleged he was abused by Hastert decades ago to testify at the sentencing, and they also expect testimony from Jolene Burdge, a woman who has claimed publicly her brother was abused by Hastert. Burdge has already told her story to ABC News, but Wednesday would mark the first time that a man known as “Individual D” has publicly shared his experience with Hastert.

His testimony would surely be emotional. In sentencing papers, prosecutors wrote that Hastert abused Individual D when he was just 17 years old and a member of the Yorkville High School wrestling team. By their account, the teen asked Hastert for help cutting weight, and Hastert told him “that a massage could take some pounds off.”

Hastert had the teen to lie down on a table, then took off the teen’s pants and performed a sex act on him, prosecutors wrote. The Chicago Tribune, citing an anonymous source, reported that Hastert called Individual D’s relatives, hoping they would write a letter asking for leniency at sentencing, and Individual D then called federal prosecutors offering a statement about what Hastert did to him.

3) How will Hastert look?

According to Hastert’s defense attorneys, Hastert is in poor health. The 74-year-old, they have written, needs help getting out of bed, using the bathroom and dressing himself. He can walk short distances with a walker and an assistant, though he is mostly wheelchair bound, they have asserted. They have asked that his medical condition be considered as a part of his sentencing.

At Hastert’s plea in October, he seemed to be moving around fine — albeit with his iconic hunch. Defense attorneys wrote that his health deteriorated rapidly after that. It will be interesting to see how he looks Wednesday.

4) What, if anything, will Hastert say?

In court filings, Hastert’s defense attorneys have asserted that Hastert is thoroughly sorry and ashamed. They have, in general terms, acknowledged the sexual misconduct of which Hastert is accused.

Thomas Green, Hastert’s attorney, said in a recent statement: “Mr. Hastert acknowledges that as a young man he committed transgressions for which he is profoundly sorry. He earnestly apologizes to his former students, family, friends, previous constituents and all others affected by the harm his actions have caused.”

But Hastert himself hasn’t truly addressed the darkness at the center of his case — either to reporters or in court. At his plea, he addressed the financial charge of which he was convicted but did not comment on the underlying, sexual allegations.

“I didn’t want them to know how I intended to spend the money,” Hastert said then, when asked to describe his misdeeds.

Hastert will be offered the opportunity to speak on Wednesday, and demonstrating remorse could help him win a lighter sentence. We’ll be watching closely to see what he says.

Read more:

Hastert indictment is related to old allegations of sexual misconduct, law enforcement official says

Citing health issues, Dennis Hastert’s lawyers ask to delay sentencing

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Terror suspect Salah Abdeslam extradited to France – CNN

Story highlights

  • Lawyer for victims’ families says extradition is “kind of a relief”
  • Abdeslam is sole survivor of group accused in Paris terror attacks
  • He is due to appear before a French magistrate Wednesday
The 26-year-old arrived on French territory early Wednesday, and was handed over to authorities, the Paris prosecutor’s office said. He was then taken to the Palais de Justice in central Paris to appear before the investigating magistrate, CNN’s French affiliate BFM-TV reported.
The Belgian-born French citizen will be detained under “maximum security conditions,” French Justice Minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas told reporters.
Abdeslam, the only survivor of the group of men accused of carrying out the November 13 attacks in Paris, was Europe’s most wanted man before he was captured in Brussels following a shootout with Belgian authorities last month.
Samia Maktouf, a lawyer representing the families of 16 of the 130 victims of the attacks, said the extradition is “good news.”
“It is a first step to knowing the truth. Today, the families are looking to know what happened on November 13, and even though we don’t trust Salah Abdeslam to tell the truth, we’re still hoping,” she said.
“It’s a kind of relief for them to know he’s here.”

Charges in Belgium too

Last week, Belgian authorities charged Abdeslam with attempted murder for his alleged role in another shootout with police in Brussels days before his capture.
Four police officers were wounded in the March 15 shootout in the Brussels suburb of Forest.
The fugitive was eventually captured three days later in Molenbeek, another district of the Belgian capital, in a gunfight during which he was shot in the leg.
It ended his four months on the run. Days later, a terror cell struck at the airport and a metro station in Brussels, killing 32 people.
Investigators says the same ISIS network carried out the Paris and Brussels attacks.

Role in Paris attacks

French investigators believe Abdeslam may have been the driver of the black Renault Clio that dropped off three suicide bombers near the Stade de France, one of the attack sites on November 13.
They also think he wore a suicide belt that was later found on a Paris street after the attacks. Sweat found on the belt matched Abdeslam’s DNA, a source close to the investigation told CNN.
Police stopped Abdeslam at checkpoints after the Paris attacks but did not detain him, as he had not yet been identified as a suspect.
His brother Ibrahim was one of the suicide bombers who blew himself up at a cafe during the attacks.
Another of his brothers, Mohammed, subsequently told Belgian state broadcaster RTBF that he thought Abdeslam at the “last minute … decided to reconsider” carrying out a suicide attack in Paris — possibly accounting for the discarded belt.
ISIS claimed responsibility for both the Paris and Brussels attacks.

CNN’s Sandrine Amiel, Lindsay Isaac, Ralph Ellis and Saeed Ahmed contributed to this report.

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Dennis Hastert Sentencing: Here's What You Need to Know About Scandal – NBCNews.com

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert will be sentenced in federal court Wednesday morning, capping a sex-abuse scandal that unspooled last May with an indictment detailing financial funny business — and hinting at a far more sordid secret.

Here’s what you need to know about the case — from why they call Hastert the “Accidental Speaker” to the easy chair he positioned in front of a high-school boys’ locker room.

Who is Dennis Hastert anyway?

Hastert, 74, was the longest-serving GOP Speaker of the House in history, presiding from 1999 to 2007. He was nicknamed the “Accidental Speaker” because he was catapulted from a junior position to a job two heartbeats away from the Oval Office after Newt Gingrich was forced out and a likely successor was doomed by an extramarital affair.

On Capitol Hill, Hastert was more often called “Coach,” a nod to his humble beginnings as a teacher and wrestling instructor at Yorkville High School in Illinois before he became a state legislator and ran for Congress. Married since 1973, Hastert has two sons — both of whom joined pols like Tom DeLay and Porter Goss in writing letters asking the judge to spare him prison.

Will Hastert go to jail?

There’s a good chance he will. Under the terms of Hastert’s plea deal, prosecutors are recommending a six-month sentence. The defense, citing his statements of “remorse” as well as some serious health problems, is asking for probation.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin — who donated to Hastert‘s 2002 and 2004 re-election campaigns — has signaled that he’s not inclined to go easy on the former politician, blasting him during one hearing for a lie he told federal agents.

Wait — only six months for sexually abusing four boys?

Here’s where it gets complicated. Although prosecutors allege in court filings that Hastert molested four students decades ago, he isn’t charged with any sexual crime because the statute of limitations has long passed.

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Trump and Clinton: Bring on the general election – CNN

Story highlights

  • Trump, Clinton clash over women
  • Trump: ‘I consider myself the presumptive nominee’
The two presidential front-runners celebrated a victorious night Tuesday, each notching major wins in East Coast primaries and taking significant leaps towards their party’s nominations. And in dueling victory speeches that showcased their starkly contrasting tone and style, Trump and Clinton had one thing in common: an eye on November.
At a news conference at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, Trump declared that the GOP primary was “over.”
“I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” Trump said, as he blistered his two remaining rivals for making a deal to work against him. “Gov. (John) Kasich and Sen. (Ted) Cruz have really, really hurt themselves with a faulty deal that was defaulted on before it was even started.”
Clinton, who has been looking to shake off Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for months, signaled at a campaign rally in Philadelphia that she would work to win over the senator’s supporters and unite the Democratic base.
“Whether you support Sen. Sanders or you support me, there’s much more that unites us than divides us,” Clinton said.
No one secured enough delegates to win the nomination of either party Tuesday. Still, the night marked a major turning point in a primary season that has already had plenty of twists and turns.
Trump had a clean sweep of the five states where voters went to the polls: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. CNN projected that the New Yorker would win all of the states before 9 p.m. ET — a mere one hour after polls had closed. His dominance quelled — though didn’t snuff out — talk that the nomination might be decided at a contested convention.
Clinton, meanwhile, defeated her rival in each state except Rhode Island — the state the Sanders campaign had felt most optimistic about heading into Tuesday. It was also the only state that was an open party that allowed voters who aren’t Democrats to participate in the primary.
The front-runners offered a preview of the personally charged, identity-politics battle that could come if they wind up in a general election clash. Clinton and Trump took aim at each other in their victory speeches Tuesday, and especially clashed on the issue of women.
When asked about Clinton by a reporter, Trump declared that the former secretary of state would make a “horrible president.”
“If Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5% of the vote,” he said. “The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card and the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.”
Clinton addressed Trump’s accusations head-on.
“The other day, Mr. Trump accused me of playing the woman card. Well, if fighting women’s healthcare and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in,” she said to a roaring crowd.
She also responded over Twitter.
Trump’s clean sweep on Tuesday comes just days after Cruz and Kasich announced a joint effort to strategically divide some of the upcoming races to stall Trump’s momentum. It also dealt a serious blow to the so-called “Never Trump” movement — an anti-Trump faction within the GOP that’s launched a campaign to stop the New York businessman from becoming the party’s nominee.
“Even if the media yearns to declare this race over, the path to 1,237 delegates remains narrow for Trump, and he just left the most favorable part of the map for him in the northeast,” the movement said in a statement.
If Cruz and Kasich are showing no signs of backing down, across the aisle, Sanders sent a more conciliatory message.
Although he told supporters in West Virginia that he polled better against Trump than Clinton, in a separate statement, the senator signaled that his primary goal moving forward would be issues and having a say in the Democratic platform.
“The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as President and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be,” Sanders said. “That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast. That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform.”
Trump was more blunt in his triumphant speech surrounded by family and supporters and speaking to a throng of gathered reporters.
“As far as I am concerned it’s over,” he said.

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Trump, Clinton score major victories – CNN

Story highlights

  • Voters in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island vote
  • 172 GOP delegates up for grabs; 384 pledged delegates at stake for Democrats
Trump’s political strength was on display with a clean sweep of races in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Clinton delivered big wins in Maryland and Pennsylvania — the biggest prizes of the night — along with Delaware.
The wins — following a massive victory last week in New York — move Trump significantly closer to the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the nomination outright heading into the vote in July. In the process, he inflicted serious blows to efforts by rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich, who are mounting a last-ditch effort to block Trump in some upcoming states.
Clinton’s big wins, meanwhile, help bolster her campaign’s argument that it is time for Sanders to make a decision to stop personal and political attacks on the former secretary of state that could weaken her ahead of a showdown in November with Republicans.

Not backing down

But Trump and Clinton’s challengers showed no sign of backing down Tuesday despite a rapidly narrowing path to the nomination.
Cruz, speaking before polls closed in the east in a clear sign that he expected a bad night, slammed the media for what he said was a premature judgment that the general election nominees would be Clinton and Trump, who he branded “New York liberals.”
But he predicted things would change next week.
“I’ve got good news for you tonight, this campaign moves back to more favorable terrain,” Cruz told a crowd in Indiana.
Sanders also spoke early in West Virginia, which holds its primary next month, and made clear he is not leaving the race. He said he had a “significantly larger” lead in match-up polls over Trump than Clinton — hinting that he would press on with his bid to convince superdelegates to back him instead of Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in July.
He said he was winning independent voters and some Republicans and added: “That is a point that I hope the delegates to the Democratic convention fully understand.”
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski offered a preview earlier Tuesday of how Trump capitalize on his east coast victories to build pressure on Cruz and Kasich to get out of the race.
“What it comes down to is after tonight, Ted Cruz is mathematically eliminated from being the Republican nominee on the first ballot. John Kasich is already mathematically eliminated. So in order to unite the party after tonight, Ted Cruz and John Kasich should support Donald Trump so that we are clearly focused on …. putting (a) Republican back in the White House,” Lewandowski told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”
Republicans are battling for 172 delegates, and Trump goes into the night needing to win 58% of delegates available in remaining primaries to capture the nomination, according to CNN estimates.
The always complicated science of delegate allocation is even more arcane than usual because of Pennsylvania’s one-of-a-kind system, where 54 of the state’s 71 delegates are unbound. That means they can vote for who they like in the first round of voting in the Republican convention in Cleveland in July and will be a key voting bloc if Trump doesn’t win 1,237 delegates.
In the event that Trump falls short of that magic number, unbound delegates could be crucial in deciding the fate of the Republican nomination. Cruz has mounted an especially sophisticated operation to fill delegate slates with sympathetic activists who could desert Trump in later rounds of voting in Cleveland should the billionaire fall short on the first ballot.

Clinton banking on a big night

In the Democratic race, Clinton is banking on a big night to build on her resounding success in New York, which stunted Sanders’ momentum and left the senator — for all his fundraising muscle and large rallies — fending off calls from Clinton supporters to fold his campaign so that she can start exclusively targeting Republicans.
Clinton did not even mention Sanders during the final rally of her Pennsylvania campaign in Philadelphia on Monday night — instead taking aim at Trump’s rhetoric.
She said it was important for voters to “send a really strong message here in Pennsylvania that we’re not going to be intimidated or deterred by the demagoguery.”
Sanders and Clinton are competing for 384 pledged delegates on Tuesday. Clinton currently leads Sanders by 253 pledged delegates, according to a CNN estimate, and is dominating the count among superdelegates — party officials and activists who also have a convention vote.
Since the Democratic primary race is decided by proportionally allocated delegates, Clinton is unlikely to reach the 2,383 delegates need to clinch the nomination until future states vote. But that system also means that without lopsided primary wins, it is nearly impossible for Sanders to catch her. As it is, Sanders would have to win 82% of remaining delegates available to capture the nomination.

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Hillary Clinton projected to win Democratic primaries in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware – Los Angeles Times

Hillary Clinton was projected to win primaries in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, three of the five states voting Tuesday, as the Democratic front-runner seeks to build an insurmountable lead over rival Bernie Sanders.

Clinton is expected to expand her lead of 275 pledged delegates when ballots are counted in the five Eastern states at stake. Results were still pending in Connecticut and Rhode Island.  

But the delegate haul from Pennsylvania and Maryland, the two largest states voting, could make it close to impossible for Sanders to catch up, even with voting on June 7 in the biggest prize of the campaign, California. Polls show he faces an uphill race there as well.

Sanders signaled again Tuesday that he would stay in the race until the Democratic Party convention in July so his delegates can mount a vigorous effort to push the platform left on the issues that fueled his insurgent campaign.

Speaking shortly after polls closed at 8 p.m., Sanders argued that he would be the stronger candidate in the fall election.

“Almost every national poll and every state poll has us defeating Trump, and that margin for us is significantly larger” than Clinton has, he told cheering supporters in Huntington, W.Va. The state holds its primary in two weeks.

He highlighted the enthusiasm driving his campaign: “Look at this room tonight. We have over 6,000 people. And the reason we are generating this enthusiasm is because we are doing something very unusual in contemporary American politics: we are telling the truth.”

Election 2016 | Live coverage on Trail Guide | April 26 primary election results | Track the delegate race | Sign up for the newsletter  

Sanders has won caucuses or primaries in 16 states, an impressive performance by a democratic socialist who began far down in the polls. But he has struggled in more densely populated, diverse parts of the country that are crucial to winning the Democratic nomination.

His winning streak came to an abrupt halt in delegate-rich New York last week, when his weak performance among minorities and women resulted in a rout by Clinton that dramatically boosted her delegate lead.

The same demographics that tripped up Sanders in New York were at play in the two most important contests Tuesday, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

In a predominantly black neighborhood in West Philadelphia on Tuesday, Clinton’s decades-long ties to the black community were evident in interviews with voters streaming into a polling station.

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“This is a loyalty thing,” said Rob Troy, 69, a lifelong Democrat who worked for 25 years removing asbestos from the city’s aging row houses. “The Clintons have been loyal to Democrats, to the black community. They’ve been with us.”

Jamil Glover, a 28-year-old school counselor, also was swayed by Clinton’s long history with black voters. Sanders remains a relative unknown to him.

“I know that with Hillary comes Bill, and we’re good,” Glover said.

In Connecticut, where Sanders, the senator from Vermont, arguably has some measure of home-court advantage, he has been battered for his more centrist position on gun control.

The state is still struggling to heal from the mass shooting of 26 children and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, and Sanders drew ire from local leaders when he said he did not support the rights of families of victims to sue the manufacturer of the rifle used in the massacre.

Sanders is under pressure to refocus his energy to help unite the party and boost the Democratic front-runner’s prospects in a general election.

Party leaders caution that attacks on Clinton at this point serve little purpose other than to weaken her for the fall. Clinton is continually reminding voters that her 2.7 million vote lead over Sanders far exceeds the biggest lead Barack Obama had over her when the two competed in the 2008 primary.

Yet Sanders made clear Tuesday that he won’t yield to Clinton, even after the last primary ballot is counted in June.

Instead, he envisions a continued battle at the convention in Philadelphia in an effort to ensure the Democratic platform embraces such policy goals as the European-style government-run healthcare system that Clinton has rejected as an achievable goal.

“I think what the Democratic process is about,” Sanders said on CNN Tuesday, “is going to the convention and arguing about what the platform should be. … We are going to have — if we don’t win this thing — we’re going to have a lot of delegates in Philadelphia fighting that fight.”

Sanders said he will not hesitate to push an agenda on the convention floor that primary voters already have rejected.

“You don’t know what the delegates there will do,” he said to CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “If you do, please tell me, but you don’t. So we are going to go to the American people and say, ‘This is the agenda for the working people.’ … I think that we can win some of these platform fights.”

Sanders’ strategy could backfire. If his effort falls short in Philadelphia — or if it goes too far — he could lose leverage with Clinton if she wins the White House in the fall.

On Monday, Clinton expressed irritation with Sanders’ warnings that she needs to embrace more of his agenda if she wins the nomination and hopes to draw his voters to her side in November. Clinton said she set no such conditions when she endorsed Obama in 2008 and campaigned for him.

“We got to the end in June, and I did not put down conditions,” Clinton said at an MSNBC Town Hall on Monday night.

“I didn’t say, ‘You know what, if Sen. Obama does x, y and z, maybe I’ll support him.’ I said, ‘I am supporting Sen. Obama because no matter what our differences might be, they pale in comparison to the differences between us and the Republicans.’ That’s what I did.”

But Clinton is also treading cautiously. While polls consistently show Democratic voters are far more willing to unite behind their eventual nominee than they were at this stage of the bitter 2008 contest, the voters turning out for Sanders are a unique bunch.

Many are involved in politics for the first time. They skew young, and they express frustration with a nominating process that the Sanders campaign has argued is rigged for establishment favorites like Clinton. She is trying hard not to alienate them.

That is no easy task. Many of those voters have no plans to give up on the Sanders agenda any time soon.

“I want to plant my flag over there to keep the Democratic Party leaning left,” said Adam Woolley, a 31-year-old acrobatics coach, who voted in downtown Philadelphia with his husband, Jefferson Grubbs, 27, a writer. “It’s been a long time since I’ve voted or wanted to vote in a Democratic primary.”

Both men cast ballots for Sanders but are well aware of the long odds he faces.

“I just feel like I can’t not support him,” Grubbs said. “I can’t vote for the status quo any more.”

Halper reported from Washington and Lee from Philadelphia. Times staff writer Kate Linthicum contributed to this report from Philadelphia.

evan.halper@latimes.com

kurtis.lee@latimes.com

Follow me: @evanhalper

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The Daily 202: Down-ballot women hope to ride the Hillary Clinton train in today's Acela Primary – Washington Post

Hillary Clinton held a pre-election rally last night at City Hall Park in Philadelphia. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

THE BIG IDEA: Pennsylvania is notoriously inhospitable to women politicians. But both Hillary Clinton and Katie McGinty are considered the favorites to win primaries here today, positioning them to possibly shatter significant glass ceilings come November.

PHILADELPHIA — Arlen Specter came off as badly as any other senator — if not worse — during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

The way he pilloried Anita Hill from his perch of authority on the Senate Judiciary Committee helped lead to “the Year of the Woman” in 1992. California, Washington and Illinois elected female senators. In Pennsylvania, Lynn Yeakel — the daughter of a former congressman — was able to capture the Democratic nod in a primary. But she narrowly lost to Specter.

That was the last time either major party in Pennsylvania nominated a woman for Senate or governor. Today all 20 members of the commonwealth’s congressional delegation are men.

“All women candidates have different expectations placed upon them,” said Dana Brown, executive director of the nonpartisan Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics. “One of the greatest challenges that women have running in Pennsylvania is the incumbency advantage. We have a long history of incumbents winning time and again.”

Supporters watch Hillary speak at City Hall park in Philadelphia last night. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

— Clinton’s big win in New York last week seems to have given her some meaningful momentum. Hillary’s coattails might help other female candidates down ballot.

The 189 Democratic delegates available in Pennsylvania make it the biggest prize in the presidential race on a day when four other states are also voting. It is being called the “Acela Primary,” though some are dubbing it “the I-95 primary.” Polls close everywhere at 8 p.m.

McGinty ran for governor in 2014 and finished fourth in the Democratic primary. The man who won, Tom Wolf, hired her as his chief of staff. She was then recruited by national Democrats to take on Joe Sestak. The retired admiral and former congressman toppled Specter in a 2010 Democratic primary after the now-deceased senator switched parties. Party leaders believe Sestak would once again lose to Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in a general election. McGinty is getting heavy support from President Obama, Emily’s List and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Katie McGinty (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

— McGinty is a strong supporter of Clinton (she worked on environmental issues in the Clinton administration) and her messaging closely echoes Hillary’s. Both are running as progressive pragmatists who won’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good and can break through gridlock. Each talks a great deal about “breaking down barriers.”

— Clinton could also be a factor in Maryland. Both Clinton and Democratic Senate candidate Donna Edwards, an African American single mother, received 16 points greater support among likely women voters than male voters in a Washington Post poll conducted earlier this month. Clinton got 63 percent among women vs. 47 percent among men, while Edwards got 50 percent among women vs. 34 percent among men, per pollster Scott Clement.

— State Sen. Jamie Raskin was the early front-runner to pick up the House seat in Montgomery County that belongs to the other Senate candidate, Chris Van Hollen, but an influx of suburban female voters in a fractured field may give it to Kathleen Matthews, a former Marriott executive and MSNBC host Chris Matthews’s wife. (A third candidate, wine store owner David Trone, has spent more than $12 million on ads.)

Barbara Mikulski, center left, is neutral in the primary. At a Maryland Democratic Party reception in her honor last fall, that’s Donna Edwards on the right. (Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

— Maryland could be the only state currently represented by a woman in the Senate that will no longer be next year. The dean of congressional women, Barbara Mikulski, is retiring after 30 years. The demographics would seem to favor Edwards over Van Hollen, but he seems to have gotten the upper hand over the past few weeks in what remains a tight and fluid race. Martin O’Malley yesterday joined Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in supporting CVH, as he’s known.

Senate women are making gains elsewhere: The Democratic favorite to succeed the retiring Harry Reid is former Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto. Barbara Boxer will almost certainly be succeeded by Kamala Harris or Loretta Sanchez in California. Vulnerable Sen. Kelly Ayotte is being challenged by New Hampshire’s female governor, Maggie Hassan.

“Edwards has put race and gender at the forefront of her campaign, emphasizing that only one black woman has ever served in the U.S. Senate,” Rachel Weiner writes in a curtain-raiser on the primary. “I thought the Republican Party was full of dog whistles, but the Democratic Party has a foghorn,” the congresswoman told BuzzFeed.

Bernie Sanders campaigns yesterday in Hartford, Connecticut. (Reuters/Mike Segar)

Here are other things to watch as returns come in today—

— Will Bernie Sanders be mathematically eliminated? Last night, he predicted victory in Pennsylvania during a rally at Drexel University that drew a crowd of 3,000. “Sanders aides initially thought they could win here but are now facing polls showing Clinton with a double-digit lead,” John Wagner writes. “Sanders has been running strongest in Rhode Island, which has only 24 delegates at stake. Because Democratic delegates are awarded proportionately, a win in Rhode Island would likely only yield Sanders a pick up of a couple of delegates. The large crowds that turned out for Sanders on Sunday seem to have boosted the campaign’s spirits about its prospects in Connecticut, which has 55 delegates in play. But a win in Maryland — with 95 delegates, the second biggest prize on Tuesday — is probably out of reach. Meanwhile, only 21 delegates are at stake in Delaware, the other state on the calendar.”

Four closed primaries work against Bernie: “Throughout the race, Sanders has performed far better in states that allow independent voters to participate in their Democratic primaries. Only one of the five on the calendar on Tuesday — Rhode Island — falls into that category. Clinton has routinely outpaced Sanders among registered Democrats, while Sanders … cleans up with unaffiliated voters,” Wagner adds.

Trump rallies in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., yesterday. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

— Donald Trump is poised to sweep all five states today, but how many delegates will he get? “Depending on results, Rhode Island and Connecticut could end up awarding delegates to a mix of contenders while the final results from Pennsylvania may not be known until votes are cast on the convention floor,” Ed O’Keefe reports. Here is Ed’s state-by-state breakdown of how it works:

  • PA: The 14 at-large delegates all go to the winner of the state. The 54 congressional district delegates are directly elected by voters and are officially unbound to a candidate. Winners do not need to announce their intentions, but in most cases, the candidates have said they’ll vote for whoever wins their district.
  • MD: Like Pennsylvania, the 24 Maryland delegates from the congressional districts are also directly elected. But they must vote for the winner in their congressional district. The 11 at-large delegates will be chosen at the Maryland Republican State Convention on May 13 and 14.
  • DE is winner-take-all.
  • CT: A candidate gets all 13 at-large and the RNC/leader delegates if he wins a majority statewide. If not, delegates are doled out proportionally to candidates getting at least 20 percent. Congressional district delegates are awarded to whoever wins the district.
  • RI: This is an open primary – independents can participate. It’s also proportional for anyone who gets more than 10 percent, which means all three candidates should get some delegates.

John Kasich uses a cellphone as a prop to make a point about how technology has changed the way of life in the United States during a rally yesterday in Rockville, Md. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

— How many states will John Kasich finish second in? It is harder and harder for Ted Cruz to say that he’s in a two-way race with Trump each time he finishes third behind the Ohio governor, as he did in New York last week. A few of these Mid-Atlantic states fit Kasich’s politics better than Cruz’s. He may not come away with a ton of delegates, or a win, but it will give him an added rationale to fight on through the convention in Cleveland.

Before every previous election, including the March 15 primary in his home state of Ohio, Kasich was pretty far down the list of candidates getting buzzed about on social media. Yesterday, however, our analytics partners at Zignal Labs relay that he was second only to Trump in total mentions. (To be sure, some of this might be a result of the front-runner attacking him over his pact with Cruz.) 

— Will any congressional incumbents go down? Despite the outsider, anti-establishment mood in both parties, no sitting member has lost a primary yet this year. Two Pennsylvanians are vulnerable today.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R) is dating Airlines for America lobbyist Shelley Rubino. He denies wrongdoing or a conflict of interest, but his tea party challenger has made hay of this and other issues to portray him as an out-of-touch creature of Washington.

Rep. Chaka Fattah, an 11-term Democrat, is going on trial in the coming weeks for 29 criminal counts, from bribery to racketeering and mail fraud, related to his 2007 run for mayor of Philadelphia. This has obviously made him vulnerable, But he faces three primary challengers so may be able to win with a plurality.

Chaka Fattah (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

— Does Obama have juice? I wrote yesterday about the president’s efforts to help McGinty beat Sestak in the Democratic primary. Joe Biden campaigned with her yesterday in the Keystone State. The president has also endorsed Josh Shapiro for Pennsylvania attorney general. The White House was also widely seen as tipping the scales in Van Hollen’s favor when it strongly condemned an attack ad against him that used the president’s image – but did not say anything about his response ad, which also used the president’s image.

Biden, charming a 93 year old woman at a Philadelphia diner pic.twitter.com/wJQ6KSmc1c

— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) April 25, 2016

— How Democrats get out the vote in Philadelphia: A pub crawl through “the Gayborhood.” I spent Saturday night going with McGinty to four gay bars. It’s actually a four-decade-old tradition in the City of Brotherly Love, begun by Ed Rendell when he was a 33-year-old looking to topple an incumbent district attorney. Read my full account of the experience here.

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. The city of Cleveland paid $6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the relatives of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old shot and killed by police in 2014. The settlement does not include any admission of wrongdoing. (Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery)
  2. A federal judge upheld North Carolina’s voter ID law, dealing a blow to Democrats. (Sari Horwitz)
  3. An appeals court reinstated the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over allegations that footballs he used in a 2015 playoff game were under-inflated. (Mark Maske)
  4. Afghanistan’s president said he is stepping back from attempts to engage in peace talks with the Taliban, vowing that his country will instead “execute” enemies of the state and prepare for an extended war. (Tim Craig and Sayed Salahuddin)
  5. Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo (R) decided not to challenge Sen. Jerry Moran in a primary, clearing the way for Moran’s reelection. (Wichita Eagle)
  6. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, the only Democratic incumbent who might have faced a competitive reelection this fall, caught a big break. The GOP’s best recruit against him failed to collect enough signatures to earn a place on the primary ballot. Former state Rep. Jon Keyser promised to protest the decision, but the Denver Post calls it “a stunning blow that threatens to sink a campaign once hyped as the best in the Republican field.”
  7. Newspaper publisher Gannett offered to buy Tribune publishing in an $815 million deal that would give the USA Today owner control of the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune. (Renae Merle)
  8. Former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill and his wife will donate $185 million to create a neuroscience institute at University of California-San Francisco. One of its main goals will be to find drugs for Alzheimer’s. (Ariana Eunjung Cha)
  9. Oklahoma police took $53,000 from a Christian band raising money for an orphanage, after pulling over a band member and seizing the cash under the state’s forfeiture law. (Christopher Ingraham)
  10. Dozens of racist and homophobic texts were discovered on the phone of a former San Francisco police officer as part of a probe into a sexual assault investigation. (CNN)
  11. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced an initiative to get IDs for inmates once they’re released from prison, part of an effort to lower recidivism. (Matt Zapotosky)
  12. A friend of the accused gunman in last year’s Charleston massacre, Joey Meek, pleaded guilty to two charges related to the attack. Under a plea agreement, Meek could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. (Mark Berman)
  13. A former Navy SEAL, who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, accused lawmakers of harboring “deep disrespect” for military leaders. William H. McRaven condemned senators of both parties for their treatment of a former SEAL commander, who was forced to retire after retaliating against multiple whistleblowers. (Craig Whitlock)
  14. A second U.S. Naval Academy instructor is being removed from his position for his role in a 2013 sexual misconduct scandal. (John Woodrow Cox)
  15. A city in Germany embedded traffic lights into their sidewalks so that smartphone users don’t have to look up before crossing the street. (Rick Noack)
  16. A man trying to roll across the Atlantic Ocean in a blown-up bubble has been rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard – for a second time! He said he’s trying to “trace the Bermuda triangle” in his hydro pod. (Lindsey Bever)
  17. Austin officials may regret their decision to task the public with renaming a local school, after “Donald J. Trump Elementary” received the most votes. Among the other choices were “Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance,” “John Cena Elementary School,” and “Schoolie McSchoolFace.” (KXAN)

MORE ON THE REPUBLICAN RACE:

Cruz and Kasich before the last Republican debate (EPA/Cristobal Herrera) 

— The Cruz-Kasich alliance quickly hit speed bumps and seems to be falling apart. “In their unconventional last-ditch scheme, Kasich said he would clear the way for Cruz to face Trump in Indiana while Cruz would return the favor in Oregon and New Mexico … But less than 12 hours after the pact was announced, Kasich undercut the idea by declaring that his supporters in Indiana should still vote for him. The Ohio governor also plans to keep raising money in the state and to meet Tuesday with Republican Gov. Mike Pence,” Sean Sullivan and Dave Weigel report. “’I’ve never told ’em not to vote for me,’ Kasich said. ‘They ought to vote for me. But I’m not over there campaigning and spending resources.’ Just hours earlier, Kasich’s campaign co-chair in Indiana was saying the opposite.”

The tumult did nothing to soothe the worries of voters and Republican elites, who worry that Cruz and Kasich have handed Trump a “ready-made argument” that the establishment is plotting against him. And Trump said as much in a series of stump speeches Tuesday: “Honestly, it shows such total weakness, and it’s pathetic when two longtime insider politicians … have to collude, have to get together to try to beat a guy that really speaks what the people want.”

— The GOP front-runner will appear at party conventions in California and Virginia later this week to personally court activists and address gatherings. “Trump will stop by the Hyatt Regency hotel near the San Francisco International Airport on Friday for the opening day of the California GOP’s state convention. A day later, he will visit Harrisonburg, Va., for the Republican Party of Virginia’s convention,” Robert Costa reports. “The stops are part of an evolving strategy with Trump’s inner circle about how to counter the Texas senator’s highly organized efforts at recent state Republican conventions, where [Cruz] accumulated a growing number of delegates because of his team’s ability to navigate the events and rules. Alarmed by Cruz’s success in states where Trump has done well, Trump is said to have personally requested his high command to add these two state conventions to his schedule, confident that his presence and overtures could convince some delegates to get behind his campaign.”

— Trump agreed to a one-on-one interview on May 17 with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, who he has routinely attacked since the first debate. (Callum Borcher)

— Trump hired former Chris Christie campaign manager Ken McKay as a senior adviser. (Bloomberg Politics)

— The Trump campaign quietly opened a new office in Alexandria, Va. High-ranking staffers gathered there Monday morning for the first time. (Robert Costa)

— Bobby Knight, the legendary Indiana University basketball coach, will appear with Trump tomorrow at an Indianapolis rally. (Watch The Post’s John Feinstein talk on C-SPAN about the time that Knight told him maybe Hitler was right about the Jews…)

— The Two Trumps: Walter Pincus wonders which Trump will show up at the National Press Club tomorrow for what’s being billed as “a major address on foreign policy.” The vicious campaigner or the guy who keeps promising to become presidential? On April 21, Trump called in to Laura Ingraham’s radio program to say, “I’ll be presidential at the right time, and I have my presidential moments, but people are going to be so bored.” Then, two days later in Connecticut, Campaigner Trump was back. He openly mocked the idea of being “presidential.”

Putting more meat on the bones of his rhetoric is the only way to be taken more seriously, Pincus argues in his column for Cipher Brief: “Will Presidential Trump put some figures to how big the military ought to be…Will he continue the $1 trillion makeover of the strategic nuclear forces? What’s his plan for Cyber Command? How much will all this cost and how is he planning to pay for it? … Does he realize Saudi Arabia is the second-largest source of U.S crude oil imports?”

Carly Fiorina stumps for Cruz in Philly last week. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

— Cruz’s team let it be known that they are vetting Carly Fiorina for vice president. The Weekly Standard reports that the former Hewlett Packard CEO has turned over financial disclosures and other documents. Cruz is trying to expand his appeal with women, and he wants to seem like he’s preparing to be the nominee — not just engaged in some last-ditch effort to block Trump.

From Cruz’s manager:

We have narrowed our VP candidates to a short list and are going thru the normal processes associated with picking a running mate.#CruzCrew

— Jeff Roe (@jeffroe) April 25, 2016

MORE ON THE DEMOCRATIC RACE:

Clinton in Philadelphia last night (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

— Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer announced that his super PAC will spend $25 million this year to mobilize young voters in battleground states. The campaign represents a new focus for NextGen Climate Action, which hopes to use global warming as a galvanizing issue on college campuses. It could help Clinton activate college-aged Sanders supporters in a general. (Matea Gold)

A Harvard poll of Americans between 18 and 29 suggests that millennials are taking Sanders’ ideas to heart:

  • The number of millenials who agreed that “basic health insurance is a right for all people” increased from 42 percent in 2014 to 48 percent in the survey released Monday.
  • The share who agreed that “basic necessities, such as food and shelter, are a right that government should provide to those unable to afford them” increased from 43 percent last year to 47 percent.
  • And those who agreed that “the government should spend more to reduce poverty” increased from 40 to 45 percent.

— Sanders ripped Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D), a Hillary supporter, for recent cuts to mental health services. “Now I don’t want to get too involved in local government here in Connecticut, but I understand that your governor has been cutting mental health treatment,” he said, eliciting a round of boos. It’s another signal that he is nowhere near ready to become a unifying figure in the party. (John Wagner)

— Clinton and Sanders sat down for back-to-back town halls on MSNBC last night:

  • Clinton called her 2008 battle with Obama “so much closer” than her race with Sanders: “I have a bigger lead in pledged delegates than Senator Obama, when I ran against him in 2008, ever had over me,” she told Rachel Maddow. Clinton knocked Sanders for suggesting it’s up to her to win over his voters, again drawing a comparison from eight years ago. “We got to the end in June and I did not put down conditions. I didn’t say, ‘You know what, if Sen. Obama does W, Y, and Z maybe I’ll support him.”
  • Sanders admitted he’s “unlikely” to flip superdelegates: “At the end of the process, frankly, if we are behind in the pledged delegates, I think it’s very hard for us to win,” Sanders conceded to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. The Vermont senator reiterated his pledge to stay in the race through the California primary in June, however: “Hundreds of hundreds of superdelegates, parts of the Democratic establishment, voted for Hillary Clinton, or chose to come on board her campaign, before I even announced my candidacy.”

— In a new line of attack, the millionaire Clinton knocked the billionaire Trump as out of touch: “At some point, if you want to be president of the United States, you’ve got to get familiar with the United States,” she said. “Don’t just fly that big jet in and land it … go make a big speech and insult everyone you can think of and then go back, get on that big jet and go back to your country club house in Florida or your penthouse in New York.” (Abby Phillip) 

Supporters scream their excitement at President Obama as he works the rope line during a campaign event in Richmond, Va., on Thursday, October 25, 2012. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

WAPO HIGHLIGHTS:

— “Obama, who once stood as a party outsider, now works to strengthen Democrats,” by Juliet Eilperin: “Obama rose to prominence as a different kind of Democrat, an outsider who was not part of the establishment and who would chart a separate course. Eight years later, the president finds himself working hard to restore a party from which he was once eager to stand apart … Between 2008 and 2015, Democrats lost 13 Senate seats, 69 House seats, 913 state legislative seats, 11 governorships and 32 state legislative chambers.”

— “As McDonnell awaits Supreme Court, another governor watches from prison,” by Robert Barnes: “Along with the state officials and law professors who are happy that the Supreme Court this week is reviewing the corruption conviction of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell, add … Don E. Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama, whom many of those same people supported when the justices decided — twice — that his conviction did not warrant an extended review. The longtime Alabama officeholder was the cause celebre — still is, really — for those who believe vague federal corruption laws give politically ambitious prosecutors too much leeway in deciding what and whom to investigate. ‘There was no personal benefit,’ [Siegelman said], ‘not a penny of any financial gain. There wasn’t any self-enrichment scheme.’ Andrew P. Miller, a former Virginia attorney general, agrees with Siegelman, a Democrat, and McDonnell, a Republican. The similarity he sees is that both men were rising stars in their respective parties brought down by prosecutors appointed by the president of the opposite party.”

POLLING ROUNDUP:

— Half of Americans say they are “REPULSED” by the language being used on the campaign trail. GWU Battleground Poll finds an additional 36 percent saying the heated rhetoric makes them “less likely” to vote for a particular candidate.

  • Only Sanders and Kasich have unfavorable ratings below 50 percent, with Sanders at 44 percent and Kasich at 29 percent. BUT majorities of voters also say they would not consider voting for either of them.
  • Obama’s job approval rating rose above 50 percent for the first time since a Battleground poll in 2012.

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

The Huffington Post ran this photo with its piece, “Trump at War“:

Trump at War https://t.co/55YkX57nFO pic.twitter.com/IPF9Cqb2bc

— Dan Froomkin (@froomkin) April 26, 2016

Social media was still joking about the Kasich-Cruz deal:

New terms in Cruz-Kasich agreement. Cruz to control prostitution, trucking, Kasich labor racketeering, gambling pic.twitter.com/J2wFI2wmY0

— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) April 25, 2016

Sanders said his supporters might not listen if he backs Clinton:

Asked if he’d back Clinton if she wins, Sanders says on MSNBC town hall he can’t “snap my fingers” & turn voters to her bc they won’t listen

— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) April 26, 2016

Sanders’ message is clear: he’d do all he can to stop the GOP but his voters won’t easily be convinced to vote Clinton, that that’s on her.

— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) April 26, 2016

Clinton allies were angry:

TBH I don’t remember at end of 2008 primary too many people arguing then-Sen Obama had to move to Hillary’s positions to woo her supporters1

— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) April 26, 2016

Cruz and his daughters enjoyed ice cream on the campaign trail:

Amal Clooney met with Ben Cardin:

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) sponspored a chili cook-off:

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) threw out a “Miss Congeniality” joke:

It’s a beautiful, high-70 degree day in DC – all you need is a light jacket. #April25th #PerfectDate pic.twitter.com/uCDNWZnCBg

— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) April 25, 2016

Bryce Harper spent the day at the Natural History Museum:

HOT ON THE LEFT: 

“Bangladesh LGBT editor hacked to death,” from BBC: “Bangladesh police say a top gay rights activist and editor at the country’s only LGBT magazine is one of two people who have been hacked to death. The US ambassador to Bangladesh condemned the killing of Xulhaz Mannan, who also worked at the US embassy. Homosexuality is technically illegal in Bangladesh and remains a highly sensitive issue in society.”

 

HOT ON THE RIGHT: 

“Michelle Obama Lunch Rules Ban Fried Foods, Frosted Flakes in Daycare,” from Washington Free Beacon: “New rules stemming from the school lunch law championed by the first lady are banning popular children’s cereals like Frosted Flakes in daycare centers. The [USDA’s] Food and Nutrition Service issued a final rule Monday that will affect more than 3 million kids … The regulation will only allow daycare centers to serve juice once a day, will ban fried foods, and encourages centers to not add honey to a child’s yogurt.”

DAYBOOK:

For planning purposes: We expect exit polling from Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland.

On the campaign trail: Here’s the rundown:

  • Clinton: Hammond, Mishawaka, Ind.; Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Sanders: Huntington, W.Va.
  • Trump: New York, N.Y.
  • Cruz: Knightstown, Ind.

At the White House: President Obama has no public events scheduled. Vice President Biden holds meetings with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno. In the afternoon, Biden administers the ceremonial swearing-in of Secretary of Education John King.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to work on the energy bill. The House meets at 2 p.m. for legislative business, with 15 suspension votes expected around 6:30 p.m.

Coming May 4 at The Post: We’re bringing in Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, White House drug czar Michael Botticelli and those on the front lines of addiction to discuss the opioid crisis in the U.S. It’s our latest Coffee@WaPo event. Details here.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion,” Trump said of Kasich. “This guy takes a pancake, and he’s shoving it in his mouth. It’s disgusting! Do you want that for your president? I don’t think so.” (Jose A. DelReal)

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

— Warm morning temps with some PM showers. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Partly to mostly sunny skies greet us this morning with temperatures starting much warmer than yesterday, but we’ll have a touch more humidity in the air too (actually a good thing for allergy sufferers..!) Temperatures ascend to the very warm middle to even upper 80s by the afternoon skies gradually become mostly cloudy. A line or two of showers and storms sweeps the area by mid to late afternoon.”

— Investigators said the track fire on Metro’s Red Line this weekend was caused by a “foreign object” touching the rail. Metro said it has eliminated power cables as a contributing factor. (Paul Duggan)

— Fairfax County firefighter Nicole Mittendorff killed herself in Shenandoah National Park, and some believe cyberbulliying from her coworkers may have played a part. (Petula Dvorak)

The Washington Redskins asked the Supreme Court to review their appeal of a federal judge’s ruling upholding the cancelation of their trademark. But they only want the court to consider its case if it takes up a one involving a band called ‘The Slants,'” Des Bieler reports. “In December, a federal appeals court ruled that a provision of the 1946 Lanham Act, which holds that trademarks could be canceled if they ‘may disparage … persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols …’ was an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. That ruling came about after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) rejected a trademark for the Oregon-based band because it felt that ‘The Slants’ disparaged Asian Americans. Monday’s petition wants the Supreme Court, if it takes up Tam, to also hear the Redskins’ case because that would allow the justices to consider the question of the Lanham Act provision’s unconstitutionality ‘presented in a wider range of circumstances’ … and avoid piecemeal review.’”

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

The most painful-to-watch moment on the campaign trail yesterday came when Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) tried to get a crowd at a Hillary rally in Wilmington to sing along to Donna Summer’s song “She works hard for the money.”

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So that version does not get stuck in your head, here is Summer performing the original version on Johnny Carson’s show:

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College Humor poked fun at Sanders supporters trying to figure out his path forward:

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Is Captain Kirk a Republican or a Democrat? Here’s William Shatner’s answer:

Elton John paid tribute to Prince:

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Watch a sinkhole open up in the middle of a Chinese street during rush hour:

A woman in Youngstown painted her property red, white, and blue to drum up support for Trump ahead of Pennsylvania’s primary. “I needed to make a statement,” she said. Watch a two-minute video of her talking about it:

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

The Daily 202: Down-ballot women hope to ride the Hillary Clinton train in today's Acela Primary – Washington Post

Hillary Clinton held a pre-election rally last night at City Hall Park in Philadelphia. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

THE BIG IDEA: Pennsylvania is notoriously inhospitable to women politicians. But both Hillary Clinton and Katie McGinty are considered the favorites to win primaries here today, positioning them to possibly shatter significant glass ceilings come November.

PHILADELPHIA — Arlen Specter came off as badly as any other senator — if not worse — during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

The way he pilloried Anita Hill from his perch of authority on the Senate Judiciary Committee helped lead to “the Year of the Woman” in 1992. California, Washington and Illinois elected female senators. In Pennsylvania, Lynn Yeakel — the daughter of a former congressman — was able to capture the Democratic nod in a primary. But she narrowly lost to Specter.

That was the last time either major party in Pennsylvania nominated a woman for Senate or governor. Today all 20 members of the commonwealth’s congressional delegation are men.

“All women candidates have different expectations placed upon them,” said Dana Brown, executive director of the nonpartisan Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics. “One of the greatest challenges that women have running in Pennsylvania is the incumbency advantage. We have a long history of incumbents winning time and again.”

Supporters watch Hillary speak at City Hall park in Philadelphia last night. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

— Clinton’s big win in New York last week seems to have given her some meaningful momentum. Hillary’s coattails might help other female candidates down ballot.

The 189 Democratic delegates available in Pennsylvania make it the biggest prize in the presidential race on a day when four other states are also voting. It is being called the “Acela Primary,” though some are dubbing it “the I-95 primary.” Polls close everywhere at 8 p.m.

McGinty ran for governor in 2014 and finished fourth in the Democratic primary. The man who won, Tom Wolf, hired her as his chief of staff. She was then recruited by national Democrats to take on Joe Sestak. The retired admiral and former congressman toppled Specter in a 2010 Democratic primary after the now-deceased senator switched parties. Party leaders believe Sestak would once again lose to Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in a general election. McGinty is getting heavy support from President Obama, Emily’s List and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Katie McGinty (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

— McGinty is a strong supporter of Clinton (she worked on environmental issues in the Clinton administration) and her messaging closely echoes Hillary’s. Both are running as progressive pragmatists who won’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good and can break through gridlock. Each talks a great deal about “breaking down barriers.”

— Clinton could also be a factor in Maryland. Both Clinton and Democratic Senate candidate Donna Edwards, an African American single mother, received 16 points greater support among likely women voters than male voters in a Washington Post poll conducted earlier this month. Clinton got 63 percent among women vs. 47 percent among men, while Edwards got 50 percent among women vs. 34 percent among men, per pollster Scott Clement.

— State Sen. Jamie Raskin was the early front-runner to pick up the House seat in Montgomery County that belongs to the other Senate candidate, Chris Van Hollen, but an influx of suburban female voters in a fractured field may give it to Kathleen Matthews, a former Marriott executive and MSNBC host Chris Matthews’s wife. (A third candidate, wine store owner David Trone, has spent more than $12 million on ads.)

Barbara Mikulski, center left, is neutral in the primary. At a Maryland Democratic Party reception in her honor last fall, that’s Donna Edwards on the right. (Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

— Maryland could be the only state currently represented by a woman in the Senate that will no longer be next year. The dean of congressional women, Barbara Mikulski, is retiring after 30 years. The demographics would seem to favor Edwards over Van Hollen, but he seems to have gotten the upper hand over the past few weeks in what remains a tight and fluid race. Martin O’Malley yesterday joined Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in supporting CVH, as he’s known.

Senate women are making gains elsewhere: The Democratic favorite to succeed the retiring Harry Reid is former Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto. Barbara Boxer will almost certainly be succeeded by Kamala Harris or Loretta Sanchez in California. Vulnerable Sen. Kelly Ayotte is being challenged by New Hampshire’s female governor, Maggie Hassan.

“Edwards has put race and gender at the forefront of her campaign, emphasizing that only one black woman has ever served in the U.S. Senate,” Rachel Weiner writes in a curtain-raiser on the primary. “I thought the Republican Party was full of dog whistles, but the Democratic Party has a foghorn,” the congresswoman told BuzzFeed.

Bernie Sanders campaigns yesterday in Hartford, Connecticut. (Reuters/Mike Segar)

Here are other things to watch as returns come in today—

— Will Bernie Sanders be mathematically eliminated? Last night, he predicted victory in Pennsylvania during a rally at Drexel University that drew a crowd of 3,000. “Sanders aides initially thought they could win here but are now facing polls showing Clinton with a double-digit lead,” John Wagner writes. “Sanders has been running strongest in Rhode Island, which has only 24 delegates at stake. Because Democratic delegates are awarded proportionately, a win in Rhode Island would likely only yield Sanders a pick up of a couple of delegates. The large crowds that turned out for Sanders on Sunday seem to have boosted the campaign’s spirits about its prospects in Connecticut, which has 55 delegates in play. But a win in Maryland — with 95 delegates, the second biggest prize on Tuesday — is probably out of reach. Meanwhile, only 21 delegates are at stake in Delaware, the other state on the calendar.”

Four closed primaries work against Bernie: “Throughout the race, Sanders has performed far better in states that allow independent voters to participate in their Democratic primaries. Only one of the five on the calendar on Tuesday — Rhode Island — falls into that category. Clinton has routinely outpaced Sanders among registered Democrats, while Sanders … cleans up with unaffiliated voters,” Wagner adds.

Trump rallies in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., yesterday. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

— Donald Trump is poised to sweep all five states today, but how many delegates will he get? “Depending on results, Rhode Island and Connecticut could end up awarding delegates to a mix of contenders while the final results from Pennsylvania may not be known until votes are cast on the convention floor,” Ed O’Keefe reports. Here is Ed’s state-by-state breakdown of how it works:

  • PA: The 14 at-large delegates all go to the winner of the state. The 54 congressional district delegates are directly elected by voters and are officially unbound to a candidate. Winners do not need to announce their intentions, but in most cases, the candidates have said they’ll vote for whoever wins their district.
  • MD: Like Pennsylvania, the 24 Maryland delegates from the congressional districts are also directly elected. But they must vote for the winner in their congressional district. The 11 at-large delegates will be chosen at the Maryland Republican State Convention on May 13 and 14.
  • DE is winner-take-all.
  • CT: A candidate gets all 13 at-large and the RNC/leader delegates if he wins a majority statewide. If not, delegates are doled out proportionally to candidates getting at least 20 percent. Congressional district delegates are awarded to whoever wins the district.
  • RI: This is an open primary – independents can participate. It’s also proportional for anyone who gets more than 10 percent, which means all three candidates should get some delegates.

John Kasich uses a cellphone as a prop to make a point about how technology has changed the way of life in the United States during a rally yesterday in Rockville, Md. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

— How many states will John Kasich finish second in? It is harder and harder for Ted Cruz to say that he’s in a two-way race with Trump each time he finishes third behind the Ohio governor, as he did in New York last week. A few of these Mid-Atlantic states fit Kasich’s politics better than Cruz’s. He may not come away with a ton of delegates, or a win, but it will give him an added rationale to fight on through the convention in Cleveland.

Before every previous election, including the March 15 primary in his home state of Ohio, Kasich was pretty far down the list of candidates getting buzzed about on social media. Yesterday, however, our analytics partners at Zignal Labs relay that he was second only to Trump in total mentions. (To be sure, some of this might be a result of the front-runner attacking him over his pact with Cruz.) 

— Will any congressional incumbents go down? Despite the outsider, anti-establishment mood in both parties, no sitting member has lost a primary yet this year. Two Pennsylvanians are vulnerable today.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R) is dating Airlines for America lobbyist Shelley Rubino. He denies wrongdoing or a conflict of interest, but his tea party challenger has made hay of this and other issues to portray him as an out-of-touch creature of Washington.

Rep. Chaka Fattah, an 11-term Democrat, is going on trial in the coming weeks for 29 criminal counts, from bribery to racketeering and mail fraud, related to his 2007 run for mayor of Philadelphia. This has obviously made him vulnerable, But he faces three primary challengers so may be able to win with a plurality.

Chaka Fattah (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

— Does Obama have juice? I wrote yesterday about the president’s efforts to help McGinty beat Sestak in the Democratic primary. Joe Biden campaigned with her yesterday in the Keystone State. The president has also endorsed Josh Shapiro for Pennsylvania attorney general. The White House was also widely seen as tipping the scales in Van Hollen’s favor when it strongly condemned an attack ad against him that used the president’s image – but did not say anything about his response ad, which also used the president’s image.

Biden, charming a 93 year old woman at a Philadelphia diner pic.twitter.com/wJQ6KSmc1c

— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) April 25, 2016

— How Democrats get out the vote in Philadelphia: A pub crawl through “the Gayborhood.” I spent Saturday night going with McGinty to four gay bars. It’s actually a four-decade-old tradition in the City of Brotherly Love, begun by Ed Rendell when he was a 33-year-old looking to topple an incumbent district attorney. Read my full account of the experience here.

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. The city of Cleveland paid $6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the relatives of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old shot and killed by police in 2014. The settlement does not include any admission of wrongdoing. (Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery)
  2. A federal judge upheld North Carolina’s voter ID law, dealing a blow to Democrats. (Sari Horwitz)
  3. An appeals court reinstated the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over allegations that footballs he used in a 2015 playoff game were under-inflated. (Mark Maske)
  4. Afghanistan’s president said he is stepping back from attempts to engage in peace talks with the Taliban, vowing that his country will instead “execute” enemies of the state and prepare for an extended war. (Tim Craig and Sayed Salahuddin)
  5. Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo (R) decided not to challenge Sen. Jerry Moran in a primary, clearing the way for Moran’s reelection. (Wichita Eagle)
  6. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, the only Democratic incumbent who might have faced a competitive reelection this fall, caught a big break. The GOP’s best recruit against him failed to collect enough signatures to earn a place on the primary ballot. Former state Rep. Jon Keyser promised to protest the decision, but the Denver Post calls it “a stunning blow that threatens to sink a campaign once hyped as the best in the Republican field.”
  7. Newspaper publisher Gannett offered to buy Tribune publishing in an $815 million deal that would give the USA Today owner control of the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune. (Renae Merle)
  8. Former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill and his wife will donate $185 million to create a neuroscience institute at University of California-San Francisco. One of its main goals will be to find drugs for Alzheimer’s. (Ariana Eunjung Cha)
  9. Oklahoma police took $53,000 from a Christian band raising money for an orphanage, after pulling over a band member and seizing the cash under the state’s forfeiture law. (Christopher Ingraham)
  10. Dozens of racist and homophobic texts were discovered on the phone of a former San Francisco police officer as part of a probe into a sexual assault investigation. (CNN)
  11. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced an initiative to get IDs for inmates once they’re released from prison, part of an effort to lower recidivism. (Matt Zapotosky)
  12. A friend of the accused gunman in last year’s Charleston massacre, Joey Meek, pleaded guilty to two charges related to the attack. Under a plea agreement, Meek could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. (Mark Berman)
  13. A former Navy SEAL, who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, accused lawmakers of harboring “deep disrespect” for military leaders. William H. McRaven condemned senators of both parties for their treatment of a former SEAL commander, who was forced to retire after retaliating against multiple whistleblowers. (Craig Whitlock)
  14. A second U.S. Naval Academy instructor is being removed from his position for his role in a 2013 sexual misconduct scandal. (John Woodrow Cox)
  15. A city in Germany embedded traffic lights into their sidewalks so that smartphone users don’t have to look up before crossing the street. (Rick Noack)
  16. A man trying to roll across the Atlantic Ocean in a blown-up bubble has been rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard – for a second time! He said he’s trying to “trace the Bermuda triangle” in his hydro pod. (Lindsey Bever)
  17. Austin officials may regret their decision to task the public with renaming a local school, after “Donald J. Trump Elementary” received the most votes. Among the other choices were “Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance,” “John Cena Elementary School,” and “Schoolie McSchoolFace.” (KXAN)

MORE ON THE REPUBLICAN RACE:

Cruz and Kasich before the last Republican debate (EPA/Cristobal Herrera) 

— The Cruz-Kasich alliance quickly hit speed bumps and seems to be falling apart. “In their unconventional last-ditch scheme, Kasich said he would clear the way for Cruz to face Trump in Indiana while Cruz would return the favor in Oregon and New Mexico … But less than 12 hours after the pact was announced, Kasich undercut the idea by declaring that his supporters in Indiana should still vote for him. The Ohio governor also plans to keep raising money in the state and to meet Tuesday with Republican Gov. Mike Pence,” Sean Sullivan and Dave Weigel report. “’I’ve never told ’em not to vote for me,’ Kasich said. ‘They ought to vote for me. But I’m not over there campaigning and spending resources.’ Just hours earlier, Kasich’s campaign co-chair in Indiana was saying the opposite.”

The tumult did nothing to soothe the worries of voters and Republican elites, who worry that Cruz and Kasich have handed Trump a “ready-made argument” that the establishment is plotting against him. And Trump said as much in a series of stump speeches Tuesday: “Honestly, it shows such total weakness, and it’s pathetic when two longtime insider politicians … have to collude, have to get together to try to beat a guy that really speaks what the people want.”

— The GOP front-runner will appear at party conventions in California and Virginia later this week to personally court activists and address gatherings. “Trump will stop by the Hyatt Regency hotel near the San Francisco International Airport on Friday for the opening day of the California GOP’s state convention. A day later, he will visit Harrisonburg, Va., for the Republican Party of Virginia’s convention,” Robert Costa reports. “The stops are part of an evolving strategy with Trump’s inner circle about how to counter the Texas senator’s highly organized efforts at recent state Republican conventions, where [Cruz] accumulated a growing number of delegates because of his team’s ability to navigate the events and rules. Alarmed by Cruz’s success in states where Trump has done well, Trump is said to have personally requested his high command to add these two state conventions to his schedule, confident that his presence and overtures could convince some delegates to get behind his campaign.”

— Trump agreed to a one-on-one interview on May 17 with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, who he has routinely attacked since the first debate. (Callum Borcher)

— Trump hired former Chris Christie campaign manager Ken McKay as a senior adviser. (Bloomberg Politics)

— The Trump campaign quietly opened a new office in Alexandria, Va. High-ranking staffers gathered there Monday morning for the first time. (Robert Costa)

— Bobby Knight, the legendary Indiana University basketball coach, will appear with Trump tomorrow at an Indianapolis rally. (Watch The Post’s John Feinstein talk on C-SPAN about the time that Knight told him maybe Hitler was right about the Jews…)

— The Two Trumps: Walter Pincus wonders which Trump will show up at the National Press Club tomorrow for what’s being billed as “a major address on foreign policy.” The vicious campaigner or the guy who keeps promising to become presidential? On April 21, Trump called in to Laura Ingraham’s radio program to say, “I’ll be presidential at the right time, and I have my presidential moments, but people are going to be so bored.” Then, two days later in Connecticut, Campaigner Trump was back. He openly mocked the idea of being “presidential.”

Putting more meat on the bones of his rhetoric is the only way to be taken more seriously, Pincus argues in his column for Cipher Brief: “Will Presidential Trump put some figures to how big the military ought to be…Will he continue the $1 trillion makeover of the strategic nuclear forces? What’s his plan for Cyber Command? How much will all this cost and how is he planning to pay for it? … Does he realize Saudi Arabia is the second-largest source of U.S crude oil imports?”

Carly Fiorina stumps for Cruz in Philly last week. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

— Cruz’s team let it be known that they are vetting Carly Fiorina for vice president. The Weekly Standard reports that the former Hewlett Packard CEO has turned over financial disclosures and other documents. Cruz is trying to expand his appeal with women, and he wants to seem like he’s preparing to be the nominee — not just engaged in some last-ditch effort to block Trump.

From Cruz’s manager:

We have narrowed our VP candidates to a short list and are going thru the normal processes associated with picking a running mate.#CruzCrew

— Jeff Roe (@jeffroe) April 25, 2016

MORE ON THE DEMOCRATIC RACE:

Clinton in Philadelphia last night (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

— Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer announced that his super PAC will spend $25 million this year to mobilize young voters in battleground states. The campaign represents a new focus for NextGen Climate Action, which hopes to use global warming as a galvanizing issue on college campuses. It could help Clinton activate college-aged Sanders supporters in a general. (Matea Gold)

A Harvard poll of Americans between 18 and 29 suggests that millennials are taking Sanders’ ideas to heart:

  • The number of millenials who agreed that “basic health insurance is a right for all people” increased from 42 percent in 2014 to 48 percent in the survey released Monday.
  • The share who agreed that “basic necessities, such as food and shelter, are a right that government should provide to those unable to afford them” increased from 43 percent last year to 47 percent.
  • And those who agreed that “the government should spend more to reduce poverty” increased from 40 to 45 percent.

— Sanders ripped Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D), a Hillary supporter, for recent cuts to mental health services. “Now I don’t want to get too involved in local government here in Connecticut, but I understand that your governor has been cutting mental health treatment,” he said, eliciting a round of boos. It’s another signal that he is nowhere near ready to become a unifying figure in the party. (John Wagner)

— Clinton and Sanders sat down for back-to-back town halls on MSNBC last night:

  • Clinton called her 2008 battle with Obama “so much closer” than her race with Sanders: “I have a bigger lead in pledged delegates than Senator Obama, when I ran against him in 2008, ever had over me,” she told Rachel Maddow. Clinton knocked Sanders for suggesting it’s up to her to win over his voters, again drawing a comparison from eight years ago. “We got to the end in June and I did not put down conditions. I didn’t say, ‘You know what, if Sen. Obama does W, Y, and Z maybe I’ll support him.”
  • Sanders admitted he’s “unlikely” to flip superdelegates: “At the end of the process, frankly, if we are behind in the pledged delegates, I think it’s very hard for us to win,” Sanders conceded to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. The Vermont senator reiterated his pledge to stay in the race through the California primary in June, however: “Hundreds of hundreds of superdelegates, parts of the Democratic establishment, voted for Hillary Clinton, or chose to come on board her campaign, before I even announced my candidacy.”

— In a new line of attack, the millionaire Clinton knocked the billionaire Trump as out of touch: “At some point, if you want to be president of the United States, you’ve got to get familiar with the United States,” she said. “Don’t just fly that big jet in and land it … go make a big speech and insult everyone you can think of and then go back, get on that big jet and go back to your country club house in Florida or your penthouse in New York.” (Abby Phillip) 

Supporters scream their excitement at President Obama as he works the rope line during a campaign event in Richmond, Va., on Thursday, October 25, 2012. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

WAPO HIGHLIGHTS:

— “Obama, who once stood as a party outsider, now works to strengthen Democrats,” by Juliet Eilperin: “Obama rose to prominence as a different kind of Democrat, an outsider who was not part of the establishment and who would chart a separate course. Eight years later, the president finds himself working hard to restore a party from which he was once eager to stand apart … Between 2008 and 2015, Democrats lost 13 Senate seats, 69 House seats, 913 state legislative seats, 11 governorships and 32 state legislative chambers.”

— “As McDonnell awaits Supreme Court, another governor watches from prison,” by Robert Barnes: “Along with the state officials and law professors who are happy that the Supreme Court this week is reviewing the corruption conviction of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell, add … Don E. Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama, whom many of those same people supported when the justices decided — twice — that his conviction did not warrant an extended review. The longtime Alabama officeholder was the cause celebre — still is, really — for those who believe vague federal corruption laws give politically ambitious prosecutors too much leeway in deciding what and whom to investigate. ‘There was no personal benefit,’ [Siegelman said], ‘not a penny of any financial gain. There wasn’t any self-enrichment scheme.’ Andrew P. Miller, a former Virginia attorney general, agrees with Siegelman, a Democrat, and McDonnell, a Republican. The similarity he sees is that both men were rising stars in their respective parties brought down by prosecutors appointed by the president of the opposite party.”

POLLING ROUNDUP:

— Half of Americans say they are “REPULSED” by the language being used on the campaign trail. GWU Battleground Poll finds an additional 36 percent saying the heated rhetoric makes them “less likely” to vote for a particular candidate.

  • Only Sanders and Kasich have unfavorable ratings below 50 percent, with Sanders at 44 percent and Kasich at 29 percent. BUT majorities of voters also say they would not consider voting for either of them.
  • Obama’s job approval rating rose above 50 percent for the first time since a Battleground poll in 2012.

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

The Huffington Post ran this photo with its piece, “Trump at War“:

Trump at War https://t.co/55YkX57nFO pic.twitter.com/IPF9Cqb2bc

— Dan Froomkin (@froomkin) April 26, 2016

Social media was still joking about the Kasich-Cruz deal:

New terms in Cruz-Kasich agreement. Cruz to control prostitution, trucking, Kasich labor racketeering, gambling pic.twitter.com/J2wFI2wmY0

— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) April 25, 2016

Sanders said his supporters might not listen if he backs Clinton:

Asked if he’d back Clinton if she wins, Sanders says on MSNBC town hall he can’t “snap my fingers” & turn voters to her bc they won’t listen

— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) April 26, 2016

Sanders’ message is clear: he’d do all he can to stop the GOP but his voters won’t easily be convinced to vote Clinton, that that’s on her.

— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) April 26, 2016

Clinton allies were angry:

TBH I don’t remember at end of 2008 primary too many people arguing then-Sen Obama had to move to Hillary’s positions to woo her supporters1

— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) April 26, 2016

Cruz and his daughters enjoyed ice cream on the campaign trail:

Amal Clooney met with Ben Cardin:

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) sponspored a chili cook-off:

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) threw out a “Miss Congeniality” joke:

It’s a beautiful, high-70 degree day in DC – all you need is a light jacket. #April25th #PerfectDate pic.twitter.com/uCDNWZnCBg

— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) April 25, 2016

Bryce Harper spent the day at the Natural History Museum:

HOT ON THE LEFT: 

“Bangladesh LGBT editor hacked to death,” from BBC: “Bangladesh police say a top gay rights activist and editor at the country’s only LGBT magazine is one of two people who have been hacked to death. The US ambassador to Bangladesh condemned the killing of Xulhaz Mannan, who also worked at the US embassy. Homosexuality is technically illegal in Bangladesh and remains a highly sensitive issue in society.”

 

HOT ON THE RIGHT: 

“Michelle Obama Lunch Rules Ban Fried Foods, Frosted Flakes in Daycare,” from Washington Free Beacon: “New rules stemming from the school lunch law championed by the first lady are banning popular children’s cereals like Frosted Flakes in daycare centers. The [USDA’s] Food and Nutrition Service issued a final rule Monday that will affect more than 3 million kids … The regulation will only allow daycare centers to serve juice once a day, will ban fried foods, and encourages centers to not add honey to a child’s yogurt.”

DAYBOOK:

For planning purposes: We expect exit polling from Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland.

On the campaign trail: Here’s the rundown:

  • Clinton: Hammond, Mishawaka, Ind.; Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Sanders: Huntington, W.Va.
  • Trump: New York, N.Y.
  • Cruz: Knightstown, Ind.

At the White House: President Obama has no public events scheduled. Vice President Biden holds meetings with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno. In the afternoon, Biden administers the ceremonial swearing-in of Secretary of Education John King.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to work on the energy bill. The House meets at 2 p.m. for legislative business, with 15 suspension votes expected around 6:30 p.m.

Coming May 4 at The Post: We’re bringing in Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, White House drug czar Michael Botticelli and those on the front lines of addiction to discuss the opioid crisis in the U.S. It’s our latest Coffee@WaPo event. Details here.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion,” Trump said of Kasich. “This guy takes a pancake, and he’s shoving it in his mouth. It’s disgusting! Do you want that for your president? I don’t think so.” (Jose A. DelReal)

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

— Warm morning temps with some PM showers. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Partly to mostly sunny skies greet us this morning with temperatures starting much warmer than yesterday, but we’ll have a touch more humidity in the air too (actually a good thing for allergy sufferers..!) Temperatures ascend to the very warm middle to even upper 80s by the afternoon skies gradually become mostly cloudy. A line or two of showers and storms sweeps the area by mid to late afternoon.”

— Investigators said the track fire on Metro’s Red Line this weekend was caused by a “foreign object” touching the rail. Metro said it has eliminated power cables as a contributing factor. (Paul Duggan)

— Fairfax County firefighter Nicole Mittendorff killed herself in Shenandoah National Park, and some believe cyberbulliying from her coworkers may have played a part. (Petula Dvorak)

The Washington Redskins asked the Supreme Court to review their appeal of a federal judge’s ruling upholding the cancelation of their trademark. But they only want the court to consider its case if it takes up a one involving a band called ‘The Slants,'” Des Bieler reports. “In December, a federal appeals court ruled that a provision of the 1946 Lanham Act, which holds that trademarks could be canceled if they ‘may disparage … persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols …’ was an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. That ruling came about after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) rejected a trademark for the Oregon-based band because it felt that ‘The Slants’ disparaged Asian Americans. Monday’s petition wants the Supreme Court, if it takes up Tam, to also hear the Redskins’ case because that would allow the justices to consider the question of the Lanham Act provision’s unconstitutionality ‘presented in a wider range of circumstances’ … and avoid piecemeal review.’”

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

The most painful-to-watch moment on the campaign trail yesterday came when Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) tried to get a crowd at a Hillary rally in Wilmington to sing along to Donna Summer’s song “She works hard for the money.”

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So that version does not get stuck in your head, here is Summer performing the original version on Johnny Carson’s show:

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College Humor poked fun at Sanders supporters trying to figure out his path forward:

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Is Captain Kirk a Republican or a Democrat? Here’s William Shatner’s answer:

Elton John paid tribute to Prince:

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Watch a sinkhole open up in the middle of a Chinese street during rush hour:

A woman in Youngstown painted her property red, white, and blue to drum up support for Trump ahead of Pennsylvania’s primary. “I needed to make a statement,” she said. Watch a two-minute video of her talking about it:

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

The Daily 202: Down-ballot women hope to ride the Hillary Clinton train in today's Acela Primary – Washington Post

Hillary Clinton held a pre-election rally last night at City Hall Park in Philadelphia. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

THE BIG IDEA: Pennsylvania is notoriously inhospitable to women politicians. But both Hillary Clinton and Katie McGinty are considered the favorites to win primaries here today, positioning them to possibly shatter significant glass ceilings come November.

PHILADELPHIA—Arlen Specter came off as badly, if not worse, than any other senator during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

The way he pilloried Anita Hill from his perch of authority on the Senate Judiciary Committee helped lead to “the Year of the Woman” in 1992. California, Washington and Illinois elected female senators. In Pennsylvania, Lynn Yeakel – the daughter of a former congressman – was able to capture the Democratic nod in a primary. But she narrowly lost to Specter.

That was the last time either major party in Pennsylvania nominated a woman for Senate or governor. Today all 20 members of the commonwealth’s congressional delegation are men.

“All women candidates have different expectations placed upon them,” said Dana Brown, executive director of the nonpartisan Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics. “One of the greatest challenges that women have running in Pennsylvania is the incumbency advantage. We have a long history of incumbents winning time and again.”

Supporters watch Hillary speak at City Hall park in Philadelphia last night. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

— Clinton’s big win in New York last week seems to have given her some meaningful momentum. Hillary’s coattails might help other female candidates down ballot.

The 189 Democratic delegates available in Pennsylvania make it the biggest prize in the presidential race on a day when four other states are also voting. It is being called the “Acela Primary,” though some are dubbing it “the I-95 primary.” Polls close everywhere at 8 p.m.

McGinty ran for governor in 2014 and finished fourth in the Democratic primary. The man who won, Tom Wolf, hired her as his chief of staff. She was then recruited by national Democrats to take on Joe Sestak. The retired admiral and former congressman toppled Specter in a 2010 Democratic primary after the now-deceased senator switched parties. Party leaders believe Sestak would once again lose to Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in a general election. McGinty is getting heavy support from President Obama, EMILY’s List and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Katie McGinty (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

— McGinty is a strong supporter of Clinton (she worked on environmental issues in the Clinton administration) and her messaging closely echoes Hillary’s. Both are running as progressive pragmatists who won’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good and can break through gridlock. Each talks a great deal about “breaking down barriers.”

— Clinton could also be a factor in Maryland. Both Clinton and Democratic Senate candidate Donna Edwards, an African American single mother, received 16-points greater support among likely women voters than male voters in a Washington Post poll conducted earlier this month. Clinton got 63 percent among women vs. 47 percent among men, while Edwards got 50 percent among women vs. 34 percent among men, per pollster Scott Clement.

— State Sen. Jamie Raskin was the early front-runner to pick up the House seat in Montgomery County that belongs to the other Senate candidate, Chris Van Hollen, but an influx of suburban female voters in a fractured field may give it to Kathleen Matthews, a former Marriott executive and MSNBC host Chris Matthews’s wife. (A third candidate, wine store owner David Trone, has spent more than $12 million on ads.)

Barbara Mikulski, center left, is neutral in the primary. At a Maryland Democratic Party reception in her honor last fall, that’s Donna Edwards on the right. (Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

— Maryland could be the only state currently represented by a woman in the Senate that will no longer be next year. The dean of congressional women, Barbara Mikulski, is retiring after 30 years. The demographics would seem to favor Edwards over Van Hollen, but he seems to have gotten the upper hand over the past few weeks in what remains a tight and fluid race. Martin O’Malley yesterday joined Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in supporting CVH, as he’s known.

Senate women are making gains elsewhere: The Democratic favorite to succeed the retiring Harry Reid is former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. Barbara Boxer will almost certainly be succeeded by Kamala Harris or Loretta Sanchez in California. Vulnerable Sen. Kelly Ayotte is being challenged by New Hampshire’s female governor, Maggie Hassan.

“Edwards has put race and gender at the forefront of her campaign, emphasizing that only one black woman has ever served in the U.S. Senate,” Rachel Weiner writes in a curtain-raiser on the primary. “I thought the Republican Party was full of dog whistles, but the Democratic Party has a foghorn,” the congresswoman told BuzzFeed.

Bernie Sanders campaigns yesterday in Hartford, Connecticut. (Reuters/Mike Segar)

Here are other things to watch as returns come in today—

— Will Bernie Sanders be mathematically eliminated? Last night, he predicted victory in Pennsylvania during a rally at Drexel University that drew a crowd of 3,000. “Sanders aides initially thought they could win here but are now facing polls showing Clinton with a double-digit lead,” John Wagner writes. “Sanders has been running strongest in Rhode Island, which has only 24 delegates at stake. Because Democratic delegates are awarded proportionately, a win in Rhode Island would likely only yield Sanders a pick up of a couple of delegates. The large crowds that turned out for Sanders on Sunday seem to have boosted the campaign’s spirits about its prospects in Connecticut, which has 55 delegates in play. But a win in Maryland — with 95 delegates, the second biggest prize on Tuesday — is probably out of reach. Meanwhile, only 21 delegates are at stake in Delaware, the other state on the calendar.”

Four closed primaries work against Bernie: “Throughout the race, Sanders has performed far better in states that allow independent voters to participate in their Democratic primaries. Only one of the five on the calendar on Tuesday — Rhode Island — falls into that category. Clinton has routinely outpaced Sanders among registered Democrats, while Sanders … cleans up with unaffiliated voters,” Wagner adds.

Trump rallies in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, yesterday. (Reuters/Brendan McDermid)

— Donald Trump is poised to sweep all five states today, but how many delegates will he get? “Depending on results, Rhode Island and Connecticut could end up awarding delegates to a mix of contenders while the final results from Pennsylvania may not be known until votes are cast on the convention floor,” Ed O’Keefe reports. Here is Ed’s state-by-state breakdown of how it works:

  • PA: The 14 at-large delegates all go to the winner of the state. The 54 congressional district delegates are directly elected by voters and are officially unbound to a candidate. Winners do not need to announce their intentions, but in most cases, the candidates have said they’ll vote for whoever wins their district.
  • MD: Like Pennsylvania, the 24 Maryland delegates from the congressional districts are also directly elected. But they must vote for the winner in their congressional district. The 11 at-large delegates will be chosen at the Maryland Republican State Convention on May 13 and 14.
  • DE is winner-take-all.
  • CT: A candidate gets all 13 at-large and the RNC/leader delegates if he wins a majority statewide. If not, delegates are doled out proportionally to candidates getting at least 20 percent. Congressional district delegates are awarded to whoever wins the district.
  • RI: This is an open primary – independents can participate. It’s also proportional for anyone who gets more than 10 percent, which means all three candidates should get some delegates.

John Kasich uses a cell phone as a prop to make a point about how technology has changed the way of life in the United States during a rally yesterday in Rockville, Maryland. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

— How many states will John Kasich finish second in? It is harder and harder for Ted Cruz to say that he’s in a two-way race with Trump each time he finishes third behind the Ohio governor, as he did in New York last week. A few of these Mid-Atlantic states fit Kasich’s politics better than Cruz’s. He may not come away with a ton of delegates, or a win, but it will give him an added rationale to fight on through the convention in Cleveland.

Before every previous election, including the March 15 primary in his home state of Ohio, Kasich was pretty far down the list of candidates getting buzzed about on social media. Yesterday, however, our analytics partners at Zignal Labs relay that he was second only to Trump in total mentions. (To be sure, some of this might be a result of the front-runner attacking him over his pact with Cruz.) 

— Will any congressional incumbents go down? Despite the outsider, anti-establishment mood in both parties, no sitting member has lost a primary yet this year. Two Pennsylvanians are vulnerable today.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R) is dating Airlines for America lobbyist Shelley Rubino. He denies wrongdoing or a conflict of interest, but his tea party challenger has made hay of this and other issues to portray him as an out-of-touch creature of Washington.

Rep. Chaka Fattah, an 11-term Democrat, is going on trial in the coming weeks for 29 criminal counts, from bribery to racketeering and mail fraud, related to his 2007 run for mayor of Philadelphia. This has obviously made him vulnerable, But he faces three primary challengers so may be able to win with a plurality.

Chaka Fattah (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

— Does Obama have juice? I wrote yesterday about the president’s efforts to help McGinty beat Sestak in the Democratic primary. Joe Biden campaigned with her yesterday in the Keystone State. The president has also endorsed Josh Shapiro for Pennsylvania Attorney General. The White House was also widely seen as tipping the scales in Van Hollen’s favor when it strongly condemned an attack ad against him that used the president’s image – but did not say anything about his response ad, which also used the president’s image.

Biden, charming a 93 year old woman at a Philadelphia diner pic.twitter.com/wJQ6KSmc1c

— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) April 25, 2016

— How Democrats get out the vote in Philadelphia: A pub crawl through “the Gayborhood.” I spent Saturday night going with McGinty to four gay bars. It’s actually a four-decade-old tradition in the City of Brotherly Love, begun by Ed Rendell when he was a 33-year-old looking to topple an incumbent district attorney. Read my full account of the experience here.

GET SMART FAST:​​

  1. The city of Cleveland paid $6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the relatives of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old shot and killed by police in 2014. The settlement does not include any admission of wrongdoing. (Mark Berman and Wesley Lowery)
  2. A federal judge upheld North Carolina’s voter ID law, dealing a blow to Democrats. (Sari Horwitz)
  3. An appeals court reinstated the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over allegations that footballs he used in a 2015 playoff game were under-inflated. (Mark Maske)
  4. Afghanistan’s president said he is stepping back from attempts to engage in peace talks with the Taliban, vowing that his country will instead “execute” enemies of the state and prepare for an extended war. (Tim Craig and Sayed Salahuddin)
  5. Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo (R) decided not to challenge Sen. Jerry Moran in a primary, clearing the way for Moran’s reelection. (Wichita Eagle)
  6. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, the only Democratic incumbent who might have faced a competitive reelection this fall, caught a big break. The GOP’s best recruit against him failed to collect enough signatures to earn a place on the primary ballot. Former state Rep. Jon Keyser promised to protest the decision, but the Denver Post calls it “a stunning blow that threatens to sink a campaign once hyped as the best in the Republican field.”
  7. Newspaper publisher Gannett offered to buy Tribune publishing in an $815 million deal that would give the USA Today owner control of the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune. (Renae Merle)
  8. Former Citigroup CEO Sandy Weill and his wife will donate $185 million to create a neuroscience institute at University of California-San Francisco. One of its main goals will be to find drugs for Alzheimer’s. (Ariana Eunjung Cha)
  9. Oklahoma police took $53,000 from a Christian band raising money for an orphanage, after pulling over a band member and seizing the cash under the state’s forfeiture law. (Christopher Ingraham)
  10. Dozens of racist and homophobic texts were discovered on the phone of a former San Francisco police officer as part of a probe into a sexual assault investigation. (CNN)
  11. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced an initiative to get IDs for inmates once they’re released from prison, part of an effort to lower recidivism. (Matt Zapotosky)
  12. A friend of the accused gunman in last year’s Charleston massacre, Joey Meek, pleaded guilty to two charges related to the attack. Under a plea agreement, Meek could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. (Mark Berman)
  13. A former Navy SEAL, who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, accused lawmakers of harboring “deep disrespect” for military leaders. William H. McRaven condemned senators of both parties for their treatment of a former SEAL commander, who was forced to retire after retaliating against multiple whistleblowers. (Craig Whitlock)
  14. A second U.S. Naval Academy instructor is being removed from his position for his role in a 2013 sexual misconduct scandal. (John Woodrow Cox)
  15. A city in Germany embedded traffic lights into their sidewalks so that smartphone users don’t have to look up before crossing the street. (Rick Noack)
  16. A man trying to roll across the Atlantic Ocean in a blown-up bubble has been rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard – for a second time! He said he’s trying to “trace the Bermuda triangle” in his hydro pod. (Lindsey Bever)
  17. Austin officials may regret their decision to task the public with renaming a local school, after “Donald J. Trump Elementary” received the most votes. Among the other choices were “Adolf Hitler School for Friendship and Tolerance,” “John Cena Elementary School,” and “Schoolie McSchoolFace.” (KXAN)

MORE ON THE REPUBLICAN RACE:

Cruz and Kasich before the last Republican debate (EPA/Cristobal Herrera) 

— The Cruz-Kasich alliance quickly hit speed bumps and seems to be falling apart. “In their unconventional last-ditch scheme, Kasich said he would clear the way for Cruz to face Trump in Indiana while Cruz would return the favor in Oregon and New Mexico … But less than 12 hours after the pact was announced, Kasich undercut the idea by declaring that his supporters in Indiana should still vote for him. The Ohio governor also plans to keep raising money in the state and to meet Tuesday with Republican Gov. Mike Pence,” Sean Sullivan and Dave Weigel report. “’I’ve never told ’em not to vote for me,’ Kasich said. ‘They ought to vote for me. But I’m not over there campaigning and spending resources.’ Just hours earlier, Kasich’s campaign co-chair in Indiana was saying the opposite.”

The tumult did nothing to soothe the worries of voters and Republican elites, who worry that Cruz and Kasich have handed Trump a “ready-made argument” that the establishment is plotting against him. And Trump said as much in a series of stump speeches Tuesday: “Honestly, it shows such total weakness, and it’s pathetic when two longtime insider politicians … have to collude, have to get together to try to beat a guy that really speaks what the people want.”

— The GOP front-runner will appear at party conventions in California and Virginia later this week to personally court activists and address gatherings. “Trump will stop by the Hyatt Regency hotel near the San Francisco International Airport on Friday for the opening day of the California GOP’s state convention. A day later, he will visit Harrisonburg, Va., for the Republican Party of Virginia’s convention,” Robert Costa reports. “The stops are part of an evolving strategy with Trump’s inner circle about how to counter the Texas senator’s highly organized efforts at recent state Republican conventions, where [Cruz] accumulated a growing number of delegates because of his team’s ability to navigate the events and rules. Alarmed by Cruz’s success in states where Trump has done well, Trump is said to have personally requested his high command to add these two state conventions to his schedule, confident that his presence and overtures could convince some delegates to get behind his campaign.”

— Trump agreed to a one-on-one interview on May 17 with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, who he has routinely attacked since the first debate. (Callum Borcher)

— Trump hired former Chris Christie campaign manager Ken McKay as a senior adviser. (Bloomberg Politics)

— The Trump campaign quietly opened a new office in Alexandria, Va. High-ranking staffers gathered there Monday morning for the first time. (Robert Costa)

— Bobby Knight, the legendary Indiana University basketball coach, will appear with Trump tomorrow at an Indianapolis rally. (Watch The Post’s John Feinstein talk on C-SPAN about the time that Knight told him maybe Hitler was right about the Jews…)

— The Two Trumps: Walter Pincus wonders which Trump will show up at the National Press Club tomorrow for what’s being billed as “a major address on foreign policy.” The vicious campaigner or the guy who keeps promising to become presidential? On April 21, Trump called in to Laura Ingraham’s radio program to say, “I’ll be presidential at the right time, and I have my presidential moments, but people are going to be so bored.” Then, two days later in Connecticut, Campaigner Trump was back. He openly mocked the idea of being “presidential.”

Putting more meat on the bones of his rhetoric is the only way to be taken more seriously, Pincus argues in his column for Cipher Brief: “Will Presidential Trump put some figures to how big the military ought to be…Will he continue the $1 trillion makeover of the strategic nuclear forces? What’s his plan for Cyber Command? How much will all this cost and how is he planning to pay for it? … Does he realize Saudi Arabia is the second-largest source of U.S crude oil imports?”

Carly Fiorina stumps for Cruz in Philly last week. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)

— Cruz’s team let it be known that they are vetting Carly Fiorina for vice president. The Weekly Standard reports that the former Hewlett Packard CEO has turned over financial disclosures and other documents. Cruz is trying to expand his appeal with women, and he wants to seem like he’s preparing to be the nominee — not just engaged in some last-ditch effort to block Trump.

From Cruz’s manager:

We have narrowed our VP candidates to a short list and are going thru the normal processes associated with picking a running mate.#CruzCrew

— Jeff Roe (@jeffroe) April 25, 2016

MORE ON THE DEMOCRATIC RACE:

Clinton in Philadelphia last night (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

— Billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer announced that his super PAC will spend $25 million this year to mobilize young voters in battleground states. The campaign represents a new focus for NextGen Climate Action, which hopes to use global warming as a galvanizing issue on college campuses. It could help Clinton activate college-aged Sanders supporters in a general. (Matea Gold)

A Harvard poll of Americans between 18 and 29 suggests that millennials are taking Sanders’ ideas to heart:

  • The number of millenials who agreed that “basic health insurance is a right for all people” increased from 42 percent in 2014 to 48 percent in the survey released Monday.
  • The share who agreed that “basic necessities, such as food and shelter, are a right that government should provide to those unable to afford them” increased from 43 percent last year to 47 percent.
  • And those who agreed that “the government should spend more to reduce poverty” increased from 40 to 45 percent.

— Sanders ripped Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D), a Hillary supporter, for recent cuts to mental health services. “Now I don’t want to get too involved in local government here in Connecticut, but I understand that your governor has been cutting mental health treatment,” he said, eliciting a round of boos. It’s another signal that he is nowhere near ready to become a unifying figure in the party. (John Wagner)

— Clinton and Sanders sat down for back-to-back town halls on MSNBC last night:

  • Clinton called her 2008 battle with Obama “so much closer” than her race with Sanders: “I have a bigger lead in pledged delegates than Senator Obama, when I ran against him in 2008, ever had over me,” she told Rachel Maddow. Clinton knocked Sanders for suggesting it’s up to her to win over his voters, again drawing a comparison from eight years ago. “We got to the end in June and I did not put down conditions. I didn’t say, ‘You know what, if Sen. Obama does W, Y, and Z maybe I’ll support him.”
  • Sanders admitted he’s “unlikely” to flip superdelegates: “At the end of the process, frankly, if we are behind in the pledged delegates, I think it’s very hard for us to win,” Sanders conceded to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. The Vermont senator reiterated his pledge to stay in the race through the California primary in June, however: “Hundreds of hundreds of superdelegates, parts of the Democratic establishment, voted for Hillary Clinton, or chose to come on board her campaign, before I even announced my candidacy.”

— In a new line of attack, the millionaire Clinton knocked the billionaire Trump as out of touch: “At some point, if you want to be president of the United States, you’ve got to get familiar with the United States,” she said. “Don’t just fly that big jet in and land it … go make a big speech and insult everyone you can think of and then go back, get on that big jet and go back to your country club house in Florida or your penthouse in New York.” (Abby Phillip) 

Supporters scream their excitement at President Obama as he works the rope line during a campaign event in Richmond, Va., on Thursday, October 25, 2012. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)

WAPO HIGHLIGHTS:

— “Obama, who once stood as a party outsider, now works to strengthen Democrats,” by Juliet Eilperin: “Obama rose to prominence as a different kind of Democrat, an outsider who was not part of the establishment and who would chart a separate course. Eight years later, the president finds himself working hard to restore a party from which he was once eager to stand apart … Between 2008 and 2015, Democrats lost 13 Senate seats, 69 House seats, 913 state legislative seats, 11 governorships and 32 state legislative chambers.”

— “As McDonnell awaits Supreme Court, another governor watches from prison,” by Robert Barnes: “Along with the state officials and law professors who are happy that the Supreme Court this week is reviewing the corruption conviction of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell, add … Don E. Siegelman, the former governor of Alabama, whom many of those same people supported when the justices decided — twice — that his conviction did not warrant an extended review. The longtime Alabama officeholder was the cause celebre — still is, really — for those who believe vague federal corruption laws give politically ambitious prosecutors too much leeway in deciding what and whom to investigate. ‘There was no personal benefit,’ [Siegelman said], ‘not a penny of any financial gain. There wasn’t any self-enrichment scheme.’ Andrew P. Miller, a former Virginia attorney general, agrees with Siegelman, a Democrat, and McDonnell, a Republican. The similarity he sees is that both men were rising stars in their respective parties brought down by prosecutors appointed by the president of the opposite party.”

POLLING ROUNDUP:

— Half of Americans say they are “REPULSED” by the language being used on the campaign trail. GWU Battleground Poll finds an additional 36 percent saying the heated rhetoric makes them “less likely” to vote for a particular candidate.

  • Only Sanders and Kasich have unfavorable ratings below 50 percent, with Sanders at 44 percent and Kasich at 29 percent. BUT majorities of voters also say they would not consider voting for either of them.
  • Obama’s job approval rating rose above 50 percent for the first time since a Battleground poll in 2012.

SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:

The Huffington Post ran this photo with its piece, “Trump at War“:

Trump at War https://t.co/55YkX57nFO pic.twitter.com/IPF9Cqb2bc

— Dan Froomkin (@froomkin) April 26, 2016

Social media was still joking about the Kasich-Cruz deal:

New terms in Cruz-Kasich agreement. Cruz to control prostitution, trucking, Kasich labor racketeering, gambling pic.twitter.com/J2wFI2wmY0

— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) April 25, 2016

Sanders said his supporters might not listen if he backs Clinton:

Asked if he’d back Clinton if she wins, Sanders says on MSNBC town hall he can’t “snap my fingers” & turn voters to her bc they won’t listen

— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) April 26, 2016

Sanders’ message is clear: he’d do all he can to stop the GOP but his voters won’t easily be convinced to vote Clinton, that that’s on her.

— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) April 26, 2016

Clinton allies were angry:

TBH I don’t remember at end of 2008 primary too many people arguing then-Sen Obama had to move to Hillary’s positions to woo her supporters1

— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) April 26, 2016

Cruz and his daughters enjoyed ice cream on the campaign trail:

Amal Clooney met with Ben Cardin:

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) sponspored a chili cook-off:

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) threw out a “Miss Congeniality” joke:

It’s a beautiful, high-70 degree day in DC – all you need is a light jacket. #April25th #PerfectDate pic.twitter.com/uCDNWZnCBg

— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) April 25, 2016

Bryce Harper spent the day at the Natural History Museum:

HOT ON THE LEFT: 

“Bangladesh LGBT editor hacked to death,” from BBC: “Bangladesh police say a top gay rights activist and editor at the country’s only LGBT magazine is one of two people who have been hacked to death. The US ambassador to Bangladesh condemned the killing of Xulhaz Mannan, who also worked at the US embassy. Homosexuality is technically illegal in Bangladesh and remains a highly sensitive issue in society.”

 

HOT ON THE RIGHT: 

“Michelle Obama Lunch Rules Ban Fried Foods, Frosted Flakes in Daycare,” from Washington Free Beacon: “New rules stemming from the school lunch law championed by the first lady are banning popular children’s cereals like Frosted Flakes in daycare centers. The [USDA’s] Food and Nutrition Service issued a final rule Monday that will affect more than 3 million kids … The regulation will only allow daycare centers to serve juice once a day, will ban fried foods, and encourages centers to not add honey to a child’s yogurt.”

DAYBOOK:

For planning purposes: We expect exit polling from Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Maryland.

On the campaign trail: Here’s the rundown:

  • Clinton: Hammond, Mishawaka, Ind.; Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Sanders: Huntington, W.Va.
  • Trump: New York, N.Y.
  • Cruz: Knightstown, Ind.

At the White House: President Obama has no public events scheduled. Vice President Biden holds meetings with Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno. In the afternoon, Biden administers the ceremonial swearing-in of Secretary of Education John King.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to work on the energy bill. The House meets at 2 p.m. for legislative business, with 15 suspension votes expected around 6:30 p.m.

Coming May 4 at The Post: We’re bringing in Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, White House drug czar Michael Botticelli and those on the front lines of addiction to discuss the opioid crisis in the U.S. It’s our latest Coffee@WaPo event. Details here.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

“I have never seen a human being eat in such a disgusting fashion,” Trump said of Kasich. “This guy takes a pancake, and he’s shoving it in his mouth. It’s disgusting! Do you want that for your president? I don’t think so.” (Jose A. DelReal)

NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:

— Warm morning temps with some PM showers. The Capital Weather Gang forecasts: “Partly to mostly sunny skies greet us this morning with temperatures starting much warmer than yesterday, but we’ll have a touch more humidity in the air too (actually a good thing for allergy sufferers..!) Temperatures ascend to the very warm middle to even upper 80s by the afternoon skies gradually become mostly cloudy. A line or two of showers and storms sweeps the area by mid to late afternoon.”

— Investigators said the track fire on Metro’s Red Line this weekend was caused by a “foreign object” touching the rail. Metro said it has eliminated power cables as a contributing factor. (Paul Duggan)

— Fairfax County firefighter Nicole Mittendorff killed herself in Shenandoah National Park, and some believe cyberbulliying from her coworkers may have played a part. (Petula Dvorak)

The Washington Redskins asked the Supreme Court to review their appeal of a federal judge’s ruling upholding the cancelation of their trademark. But they only want the court to consider its case if it takes up a one involving a band called ‘The Slants,'” Des Bieler reports. “In December, a federal appeals court ruled that a provision of the 1946 Lanham Act, which holds that trademarks could be canceled if they ‘may disparage … persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols …’ was an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. That ruling came about after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) rejected a trademark for the Oregon-based band because it felt that ‘The Slants’ disparaged Asian Americans. Monday’s petition wants the Supreme Court, if it takes up Tam, to also hear the Redskins’ case because that would allow the justices to consider the question of the Lanham Act provision’s unconstitutionality ‘presented in a wider range of circumstances’ … and avoid piecemeal review.’”

VIDEOS OF THE DAY:

The most painful-to-watch moment on the campaign trail yesterday came when Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) tried to get a crowd at a Hillary rally in Wilmington to sing along to Donna Summer’s song “She works hard for the money.”

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So that version does not get stuck in your head, here is Summer performing the original version on Johnny Carson’s show:

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College Humor poked fun at Sanders supporters trying to figure out his path forward:

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Is Captain Kirk a Republican or a Democrat? Here’s William Shatner’s answer:

Elton John paid tribute to Prince:

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Watch a sinkhole open up in the middle of a Chinese street during rush hour:

A woman in Youngstown painted her property red, white, and blue to drum up support for Trump ahead of Pennsylvania’s primary. “I needed to make a statement,” she said. Watch a two-minute video of her talking about it:

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Why Cruz's deal with Kasich could fizzle-and fuels Trump's anti-party argument – Fox News

'MediaBuzz' host reacts to alliance between Ted Cruz and John Kasich to slow GOP rival Donald Trump

 

With Donald Trump heading for a five-state sweep today, his two top rivals have cut a deal that carries a whiff of desperation.

Just as Trump’s campaign is adjusting to the realities of delegate warfare, Ted Cruz and John Kasich are colluding—and yes, that’s the only honest word—to stop splitting the anti-Trump vote.

The agreement struck by their campaign aides is that Kasich will stop campaigning in Indiana, which votes next week, and Cruz won’t show up in Oregon and New Mexico.

The fact that the deal is hard to defend is evident in how the candidates responded when reporters got a crack at them.

Cruz pivoted away from whether this was a Hail Mary pass and, oddly, called Trump a “fringe candidate”—who just happens to be beating him by hundreds of delegates and a couple of million votes.

Kasich said the agreement was “not a big deal” and that he wants people in Indiana to vote for him; he just won’t be campaigning there because of limited resources. So if Kasich’s fans do what he is asking, it won’t help Cruz in Indiana.

The latest headlines on the 2016 elections from the biggest name in politics. See Latest Coverage →

Trump’s reaction? Sad!

“It is sad that two grown politicians have to collude against one person who has only been a politician for ten months in order to try and stop that person from getting the Republican nomination,” his campaign said. The statement said Cruz and Kasich are “puppets of donors and special interests,” adding: “Collusion is often illegal in many other industries and yet these two Washington insiders have had to revert to collusion in order to stay alive.”

The alliance between the Texas senator and Ohio governor merely makes explicit what had been obviously implicit: Neither one has a shot at a first-ballot victory, so their only hope is to stop Trump short of the magic 1,237 and peel off delegates on subsequent ballots.

There’s nothing inherently awful about two rivals dividing up states to derail a common enemy; I just question whether it will have much practical impact. The Cruz camp sees Indiana as one state where the senator can slow down the Trump express and is only trailing by 6 points in the latest Fox poll, as opposed to double digits.

But the media may be far more interested than actual voters. Are Republicans going to go along with strategic voting? If they like Kasich, would they vote for Cruz just because the governor isn’t holding rallies in their state? If they like Cruz, are they going to side with Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico for the same reason? I have my doubts. It’s hard to imagine two candidates who are more different.

Trump, meanwhile, is trying to create the perception that this thing is over. In the wake of his New York landslide, and expected wins in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island, the media are certainly treating him as the likely nominee. By bringing on Paul Manafort, whose experience dates to the Ford-Reagan convention in 1976, he is taking seriously the grubby business of courting delegates under arcane state-by-state rules that Trump denounces as rigged.

Manafort came aboard too late to influence the last several caucuses, but is leading an effort to make sure more of those running for delegate are Trump loyalists who can’t be flipped before Cleveland. In New York, Manafort’s emphasis on playing in each congressional district meant that Trump won not only 60 percent of the vote, but about 90 of the state’s 95 delegates.

The talk inside the Trump camp is about winning smart—that is, winning the popular vote but then not losing delegates after the fact to Cruz’s more organized ground operation.

In effect, you have to win twice—and Trump was a bit late to that game before hiring Manafort and now others from the much-derided Washington establishment.

The Cruz-Kasich alliance—could there be a running mate offer down the road?—may be the last shot for the #NeverTrump crowd. Cruz recently told Politico that “one of the greatest risks of a contested convention is, if you come out with a party fractured, it potentially makes you vulnerable going into the general election.”

But fracture is now his strategy–and the only sure way for the GOP to avoid it is for Trump to wrap things up before the convention in Kasich’s home state.

Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and the host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET). He is the author of five books and is based in Washington. Follow him at @HowardKurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz. 

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