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Mitch Perry Report for 3.22.16 – Time for Sanders to put up some results

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

To anyone paying attention, it’s apparent that it would take some seismic shift for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to not end up being their party’s standard-bearer this November.

The Trump battle with the GOP establishment will continue to play out with maximum media attention, but until he starts losing more states (which could happen tonight in Utah), he looks like your Republican nominee at the moment.

The Bernie Sanders campaign insists that tonight begins the third quarter, and even though they admit they’re losing, the second half favors them when it comes to the upcoming states and caucuses.

There are 149 delegates up for grabs tonight in Arizona, Utah and Idaho, and with Clinton leading Sanders by 219 pledged delegates, he needs to win, and by significant margins, to have a shot at catching her.

Specifically, he has to win by an average of 58 percent to 42 percent to be able to catch her on June 7, the last night of primaries and caucuses.

It ain’t going to be easy, but, judging by a conference call held last week by chief strategist Tad Devine, the Sanders camp really thinks they have a chance.

The Vermont Senator is expected to do well in Arizona and Idaho (a caucus state) tonight. He can’t afford not to.

Meanwhile, when you talk to Bernie fans, they boast about how well their guy will do against Trump in November. And if you thought they were talking a lot of smack before, wait until this — a new CNN/ORC poll has Sanders up by 20 points over Trump, 58 percent to 38 percent. Clinton also leads, but just by 12 points.

To state the obvious, though, you have to win the primaries to get to the general, and Clinton is still the queen until knocked off her throne.

In other news …

Kathy Castor says the business community are going to have to be agents that persuade Republicans in Congress to overturn the economic sanctions against Cuba.

Bob Graham has become the latest big-name Democrat to endorse Patrick Murphy in the U.S. Senate Primary election.

Alan Grayson, Murphy’s top foe in the contest, insists he doesn’t mind the fact that so many Democrats are supporting Murphy over him, saying that his opponent is getting the best endorsements that “money can buy.”

The NFL said the other day that Atlanta might lose out in hosting an upcoming Super Bowl if they pass a religious freedom bill that sanctions discrimination against the LGBT community. No such worries in Florida, where the Pastor Protection Act explicitly does not contain such language, says the bill sponsor and one if its chief critics.

Pat Frank and Kevin Beckner will battle it at a Tiger Bay event scheduled in Tampa next month.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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