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Political Strategy Notes

NYT's Trip Gabriel explains why "Ohio Looms Large in Both Races on Tuesday," and notes, "Ohio has emerged as a critical contest, the one large state voting this week where Mr. Trump appears vulnerable. A victory here by Gov. John Kasich would complicate Mr. Trump's attempt to gather a majority of delegates needed for the nomination...On the Democratic side, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont hoped for a repeat of his stunning upset over Hillary Clinton last week in Michigan, as he hopscotched the Midwest to push his central message that American workers have suffered too much under trade deals."

In the wake of the Clinton-Sanders debates, Jared Bernstein has a NYT Op-Ed explaining why "The Era of Free Trade Might Be Over. That's a Good Thing."

Alan I. Abramowitz offers "A Simple Model for Predicting Hillary Clinton's Vote in the March 15 Democratic Primaries" at Crsytal Ball. Abramowitz notes, "A simple model based on two predictors -- the racial composition of the Democratic primary electorate and a dummy variable for region -- explain over 90% of the variance in Hillary Clinton's vote share in this year's Democratic primaries through March 8." Abramowitz evaluates outcomes based on this model.

From Daily Kos Elections "Morning Digest: Can Team Blue retake the House in 2016? Only if they completely run the table": "We rate just 52 seats as potentially competitive as of today, and the Democrats hold 16 of them. In other words, if Democrats hold all their vulnerable seats, they'll need to sweep 29 of the 36 GOP-held districts we have on the big board to retake the House. Needless to say, this is an extremely tough task...However, a Donald Trump nomination could scramble the general election outlook in unexpected ways--just as he's upended the Republican primary--so we could see more revisions to our ratings than we would in a typical election year."

James Hohman's Daily 202 notes "Obama could announce his Supreme Court pick as early as this week" and "sources tell The Post that the president has narrowed his choice down to three finalists," including Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; Sri Srinivasan, a judge on the same court; and Paul Watford, a judge on the federal Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

At The New Yorker, Ryan Lizza ponders "The Great Divide: Clinton, Sanders, and the future of the Democratic Party." Lizza quotes Simon Rosenberg, president anad founder of New Democratic network, who adds "Sanders is speaking to a rising generation who want both a better and more responsible capitalism and a better and more ethical politics...Unrigging the system will be a central focus of Democratic politics for years to come--as it should be."

Michael J. Mishak's TNR post, "Have Republicans Already Lost Florida?" takes a clear-eyed look at GOP prospects in the November election the Sunshine state: "Once dominated by conservative Cubans in South Florida, the Latino electorate is growing more diverse and more Democratic--driven in large part by a booming Puerto Rican diaspora in the central part of the state. Nearly 400,000 Puerto Ricans have settled in the Orlando area, with thousands coming from the island each month. Still others are relocating from the Northeastern U.S., and they now make up 27 percent of Florida's Hispanic vote. (Hispanics of other ancestry, such as Mexico and South America, now make up 42 percent, while just 31 percent are Cuban American.) Puerto Ricans in Central Florida played a key role in helping put Barack Obama over the top in 2012, though they also have a strong independent streak...Among these folks, the Trump message comes across like a warning siren."

Eric Bradner of CNN Politics provides "Your guide to Super Tuesday 3," and notes, "Clinton is all but assured of finishing her sweep of the South by picking up wins in Florida and North Carolina...The real battleground will be the Midwest. Sanders will try to replicate his stunning victory in Michigan last week by winning similar big, manufacturing-heavy, states: Illinois, Missouri and Ohio."

Daily Beast columnist Olivia Nuzzi raises an issue Trump's fellow Republican candidates would rather forget in her post, "Weak GOP Rivals Fail to Condemn Donald Trump's Thugs."