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Mitch Perry Report for 5.11.16 — Hillary’s weak close

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

For the last week, the political news media has been obsessed with the likely Donald Trump/Hillary Clinton general election confrontation. Although he has been the front-runner throughout 2016, Trump’s big victory over Ted Cruz in Indiana last week prompted Cruz and John Kasich to quit the race, and by last Wednesday, Trump was your GOP nominee.

It’s been a week of taking stock just on that.

But concurrent with that is the fact that it’s felt for awhile that while Bernie Sanders has given Clinton more than a run for her money for the nomination, “the math doesn’t add up,” as they say, and the Democratic Party’s system of issuing out their delegates proportionately make it extremely difficult for Sanders to catch Clinton — and forget about the superdelegates.

While that’s all still likely true, the fact is, Clinton is closing poorly. Sanders won last night’s primary in West Virginia. However, his victory doesn’t change the trajectory of the race. Clinton still enjoys a lead of nearly 300 pledged delegates.

But this is not good, despite what any Clintonista might tell you otherwise. Clinton all but ignored campaigning in West Virginia, but she was in Louisville last night, the site of the Kentucky primary next week. She ought to stop focusing on Trump for a few more weeks and end strongly.

Much was made yesterday about how competitive Trump is against Clinton in Florida, as well as Pennsylvania and Ohio in a series of Quinnipiac polls. Whether they are truly accurate at this time is irrelevant — they should be enough to show Team Clinton that it ain’t going to be a cakewalk in November.

And, oh yeah, those same polls show Sanders doing much better against Trump. Nobody wants to take that too seriously.

Kentucky, Oregon, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, District of Columbia all remain before the primary calendar over the next month, with the Golden State being the plum prize.

Clinton is in danger of limping to the nomination, hardly the boost of confidence she or her supporters should want against the most unlikely GOP presidential contender ever.

In other news …

After two years of bickering, will the Hillsborough County PTC be able to find common cause with ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft — and the taxicab companies?

David Jolly has been ambitious about his support for Donald Trump for president. But his senate campaign manager insists there’s no ambiguity regarding Hillary Clinton — Jolly will not be voting for her.

Lots of fundraising news to report.

Shawn Harrison leads all candidates in raising money in the House District 63 race.

Newbie Pinellas Democrats announced their totals yesterday. In HD 68, Ben Diamond raised more than $28,000, while Jennifer Webb raised more than $20,000.

Brian Willis leads all the Democrats in fundraising in the highly competitive Hillsborough County Commission District 6 race.

And David Jolly gets another big platform to discuss his Stop Act, this time at the National Press Club next Monday in Washington.

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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