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Long IslandPolitics

Your politics briefing: Lots of voters don’t like the options

Bernie Sanders has a right to stay in

Bernie Sanders has a right to stay in the primary race, Hillary Clinton said recently, confident of her party nomination. Sanders is seen here at Kimball Park in National City, Calif., on Saturday, May 21, 2016. Credit: TNS / Howard Lipin

Polls: Voters want another choice

There is data aplenty in the latest polls to show the depth of voters’ dislike for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but this stands out: 44% want a third-party candidate to run.

Both an ABC News/Washington Post survey and the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed a tight race — Trump leading by 2 points in the former and Clinton up by three points in the latter, writes Newsday’s Emily Ngo.

The results are consistent with others in the past week. The ABC survey found Clinton with higher rankings among registered voters on experience (65% to 26%), temperament (59% to 33%) and realistic policies (57% to 34%). But Trump had the edge as a strong leader (49% to 45%) who would bring needed change (53% to 39%).

In the NBC survey, 58% had a negative opinion about the New York billionaire and 54% felt that way about the former secretary of state. The ABC poll found that if Mitt Romney was added to a hypoethical three-way race, the ranking would be Clinton 37%, Trump 35% and Romney 22%.

Bernie Sanders led Trump in the NBC poll by 15 points — 54% to 39%. In Sunday talk show appearances, he argued he would be the “stronger candidate” for the Democrats.

“We appeal to independents, people who are not in love with either the Democratic or the Republican Party, often for very good reasons,” Sanders said. However, he also did not rule out agreeing to be Clinton’s running mate if offered, saying, “It’s a little bit early to talk about that.”

Jumping the Shark Tank?

Dallas billionaire Mark Cuban says he’d consider an invitation from either Clinton or Trump to be a running mate. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the “Shark Tank” star offered praise and criticism for both.

Trump, he said “opened the door to non-traditional candidates” but “he’s looking for shortcuts. And this is just not a job where there’s shortcuts.” Clinton, he said, has offered “thought-out proposals” but “Senator Sanders has dragged her a little bit too far to the left.”

Clinton, interviewed separately, said she was “very interested” in looking at “successful businesspeople” and “I appreciate his openness to it.”

Hillary: No harm from Bernie

Though many of her supporters complain Sanders’ insistence on staying in the primary race until the end is helping Trump, Clinton said she has no such worries.

“I don’t think so. I think that Sen. Sanders has every right to finish off his campaign however he chooses,” said Clinton, who has also said there is no way she can lose the nomination.

Her husband Bill Clinton's message was clear in terms of Sanders when he spoke in Delano, Calif. over the weekend: "We need to send her to that convention with the wind at her back with a united progressive front to go after the conflict between her and Mr. Trump."

The take-away: insiders in both tents

The dynamics are very different inside the Trump and Clinton campaigns, but the party establishments aren’t shut out from either, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.

Trump’s rise still has the feel of a hostile takeover, but more old Republican hands who once opposed him are coming aboard. Clinton started out with plenty of party veterans in her inner circle. Getting the Sanders insurgents to assimilate remains a challenge.

Crossfire: Trump vs. Trump

When Clinton said Saturday that Trump is “talking about more guns in our schools,” the Republican tweeted his umbrage: “Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!”

But on the phone with “Fox & Friends” Sunday, Trump came down on both sides of the issue — twice:

“I don’t want to have guns in classrooms although in some cases teachers should have guns in classrooms, frankly, because teachers are, you know, things that are going on in our schools are unbelievable...but I’m not advocating guns in classrooms, but remember, in some cases, and a lot of people have made this case...trained teachers should be able to have guns in classrooms.”

Real estate thought bubble

Trump is meeting resistance from some Republican mega-donors to writing big checks for his campaign, according to The New York Times. Self-funding through the end is an alternative, but the candidate isn’t sure it’s a good one.

“Now to finance a billion dollars, I would have to sell a building,” Trump said. “Will I do that? I could...But would I do that? I don’t know.”

Positions not wanted

John Weaver, who was senior strategist for John Kasich’s White House bid, told The Wall Street Journal [pay site] that none of the Ohio governor’s former senior or mid-level campaign aides will work for Trump. He emphasized that point with blunt hyperbole.

“The very things that attracted them to John are the things that would keep them from working for Trump. Plus, they would be shot,” he said.

What else is happening:

  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), long one of Trump’s harshest critics, is now calling on Republicans to support their presumptive nominee, CNN reports....
  • The Clinton Foundation seems to pose a conflict if the former Secretary of State is elected no matter how they slice it...
  • Trump's tax returns are a real issue to independent voters, those surveyed said...
  • Sanders supporters are suing to extend voter registration deadlines for the June 7 California primary...
  • Obama's Vietnam trip could become fodder against Clinton the more the current president's silence on human rights is played up...
  • Will Clinton agree to debate Sanders in California? “I haven’t thought about it. We’ll consider it,” she said on “Meet the Press”...
  • Trump’s golf club in Briarcliff Manor, Westchester County, last week won Labor Department approval to hire 10 foreign guest workers as waiters and waitresses, BuzzFeed reports...
  • Clinton will speak Monday to the Service Employees International Union convention in Detroit. Sanders has two rallies in the Los Angeles area...
  • Being Trump should grow less fun as the general-election campaign fully kicks in, Ed Kilgore writes in New York magazine....
  • Sanders has endorsed DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's opponent for her Florida Congressional seat....
  • Clinton (Kate McKinnon) and Sanders (Larry David) were sitting in a bar in the latest “Saturday Night Live” spoof. “I’ll have whatever beer no one likes but gets the job done,” said Clinton. (Click here for video)...

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