It Doesn’t Matter If You Think It’s Nice Out

… When we encourage people to look to the weather for evidence of climate change, we’re inadvertently asking them to retreat from the pursuit of a more global understanding. …

Making sense of the weather and what it means about our changing climate may entail studying it in aggregate, attending to patterns rather than the flux of feelings. We might, for example, look to the group of Shinto priests who spent centuries recording the timing of ice melt on Lake Suwa, inadvertently recording the progression of global warming in the process, not that they knew it. Or we might simply strive to see beyond our own immediate contexts, remembering that even when they’re instructive, local weather patterns are puzzle pieces rather than pictures. CONT.

Jacob Brogan, Slate

Ted Cruz’s Path to the Presidency

Prematurely announcing the rest of his cabinet. … Using puppets to create the illusion of friends. … Holding a shadow convention to distract from the real one. CONT.

Brian McFadden, The Strip, New York Times

Brian McFadden (NYT)

Brian McFadden (NYT)

Insults and Ads: How Gender Hurts Trump but Doesn’t Lift Clinton

Donald Trump thinks Hillary Clinton is playing “the women’s card.” But evidence suggests that if anything is making gender a potent issue in this campaign, it’s Mr. Trump’s words, not Mrs. Clinton’s.

How do we know? New data on the emotional engagement and effectiveness of different campaign messages suggests that it’s far easier to drive down support for Mr. Trump by highlighting the derogatory things he has said about women than it is to drive up support for Mrs. Clinton by talking about her as a strong woman. CONT.

Lynn Vavreck (UCLA), New York Times

Why the GOP Could Leave Cleveland Even More Fractured Than Before the Convention

A majority of Republican primary voters believe that if no candidate wins enough delegates to secure the nomination before the convention, the candidate with the most votes in the primaries should be the nominee, rather than letting convention delegates choose, Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling found this month. …

In the event of a contested convention, what kind of Republican Party will the country see? CONT.

Jeff Horwitt (Hart Research), Wall Street Journal

In Democratic nomination race, psychology lags reality

The Democratic nomination race hasn’t been competitive for over a month: Hillary Clinton has an insurmountable delegate lead. But what’s remarkable is that the psychology of Democratic voters and most media outlets is detached from the reality of the math: Bernie Sanders’s share of the vote doesn’t seem to be eroding, even as his campaign gradually transitions from a competitive effort to a symbolic and cathartic one. …

Clinton’s nomination is not in doubt. But when and how strongly Sanders closes ranks behind her will go a long way towards determining how thoroughly Clinton can unite the party for an epic fall campaign. CONT.

David Wasserman, Cook Political Report

Following Trump’s romp through the Northeast corridor, odds of a contested convention have dramatically declined

Donald Trump’s breathtaking romp through the Northeast corridor on Tuesday points to a fundamental shift in the GOP race. Once thought of as a candidate with a low ceiling, Trump won all but eight of the 119 bound delegates at stake in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. …

For the first time since mid-March, he’s ahead of where we estimate he needs to be to reach 1,237 delegates and clinch the GOP nomination. In fact, current polling in the remaining ten states is consistent with a scenario in which Trump could capture as many as 1,400 delegates by June 7. CONT.

David Wasserman, Cook Political Report

Donald Trump is trying hard to woo Bernie Sanders supporters, but it probably won’t work

Donald Trump appears to be making a concerted effort to reach out to supporters of Bernie Sanders, in the way that Trump makes concerted efforts to do anything: He’s talking about it a lot. …

So how likely is it that Sanders’s supporters will jump to Trump in a general election? …

First of all, Sanders supporters view Trump much less favorably than they do Clinton. CONT.

Philip Bump, Washington Post

The most under-appreciated fact of the election: Americans feel good about the economy

In an election season about voter anger, one important thing is underappreciated: voter optimism. And in particular, optimism about the economy.

“Wait, what?” you may be thinking. Isn’t the election defined by the country’s “economic blues“? Isn’t the election being shaped by “anger over a ‘failed economy’“?

This is not the full story. Or even a very correct story. CONT.

John Sides (GWU), The Monkey Cage

Republican Party Down

As the Trump campaign steamrolls ahead, most of us are still scratching our heads. How could this have happened? The usual answer focuses on the grievances of the Trump voter: economic anxiety, frustration with the status quo in politics, the desire to see somebody “tell it like it is,” and so on.

But that’s only part of the story. While it is important to appreciate the frustrations of those at the base of the party pyramid, we should not overlook problems nearer the top of the party architecture. Systemic institutional weaknesses, combined with a lack of leadership, have facilitated Trump in his takeover of the Republican party. The GOP is in grim shape, and Trump is a consequence of the party’s debility as much as he is a cause. CONT.

Jay Cost, The Weekly Standard

How Majority Rule Might Have Stopped Donald Trump

… In the early contests, Mr. Trump attracted less than 50 percent of the vote (in Arkansas he got only 33 percent); a majority of voters rejected him. But he faced more than one opponent every time, so that the non-Trump vote was split. That implies he could well have been defeated in most (given his extreme views on many subjects) had the opposition coalesced around one of his leading rivals. In such a scenario, he might have been out of contention long before he could ride his plurality victories toward his first outright majority win — in New York, last month. …

The Marquis de Condorcet, the great 18th-century political theorist and mathematician, proposed a system for electing candidates who truly command majority support. In this system, a voter has the opportunity to rank candidates. CONT.

Eric Maskin & Amartya Sen (Harvard), New York Times