NATION POLITICS TRAIL GUIDE

Bernie Sanders' supporters in California say they'll get behind Clinton in a general election

Bernie Sanders swept up delegates in three states over the weekend.

Marco Rubio asks California to pull his name off the ballot

 (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)
(Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

Former Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has officially asked the California secretary of state to remove him from the June 7 presidential primary ballot.

Thus far, Rubio is the only former GOP candidate who has asked California to remove his name. Rubio made the request, in writing, to Secretary of State Alex Padilla.

Rubio's request could help Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, both of whom desperately need to make up ground against GOP front-runner Donald Trump. 

Hillary Clinton says Republicans have only themselves to blame for Donald Trump

 (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Republican leaders alarmed by the prospect of Donald Trump as their presidential nominee have only themselves to blame, Hillary Clinton said Monday, seeking to cast the party’s elite as extremists now trying to undercut President Obama’s constitutional obligation to fill out the Supreme Court.

Clinton recalled how the Senate majority leader had once said the party’s primary purpose should be to make Obama a one-term president. She noted that a leading Republican presidential contender, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, sparked a 2013 government shutdown in his drive to unravel Obama’s signature health law.

“What the Republicans have sown with their extremist tactics, they are now reaping with Donald Trump’s candidacy,” Clinton said.

Bernie Sanders has a plan to hijack Hillary Clinton's superdelegates

 (Andy Manis / Associated Press)
(Andy Manis / Associated Press)

As the Bernie Sanders campaign accepts the reality that securing enough votes at this point to win the Democratic nomination outright is impossible, it has moved on to a new phase in its long-shot bid for the White House: hijack Hillary Clinton’s so-called superdelegates.

Sanders' advisors are targeting these party leaders and elected officials who have outsized influence in deciding who gets to be the Democratic nominee, and whom Clinton moved swiftly and aggressively to lock down early in the race. Each one of their votes at the convention in July is weighted as heavily as those of thousands of voters.

Clinton has 469 of them in her corner. Sanders has just 29.

Big endorsement coming Tuesday ahead of Wisconsin's primaries next week

Petitioners want guns allowed at GOP convention, but it's hard to tell if they're serious

Cleveland is the site of this summer's Republican convention. (Mark Duncan / Associated Press)
Cleveland is the site of this summer's Republican convention. (Mark Duncan / Associated Press)

A petition seeking to allow firearms to be openly carried inside the arena for this summer's Republican National Convention is sparking debate, attracting tens of thousands of signatures in a matter of days. But is it for real? And who actually started it?

It's one of those 21st century mysteries that involves online petitions and the Twittersphere, against the backdrop of a presidential campaign that has been volatile and unpredictable.

The petition was created on change.org last week, billing itself as an “open letter” asking the Republican National Committee, the National Rifle Assn., GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, the three remaining GOP presidential candidates and Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to allow firearms to be openly carried at the July convention.

Bernie Sanders wants a debate before the New York primary

Bernie Sanders said he wants to debate Hillary Clinton in New York ahead of the state's primary next month, but he worries she won’t agree.

In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press" on Sunday, the Vermont senator said he hopes that Clinton will agree to square off again as the state’s April 19 primary nears.

“I would hope very much that ... we will have a debate — New York City, upstate, wherever — on the important issues facing New York and in fact the country,” Sanders told host Chuck Todd.

Sanders said he and Clinton differ on Wall Street, foreign policy and energy.

After a sweep of Saturday's primaries in Washington state, Hawaii and Alaska, Sanders said he remains confident in his ability to challenge Clinton for the Democratic nomination. 

“Right now, we have a lot of momentum …” he said. “We have a path to victory. We are going to win this nomination.”

Trump tombstone pops up in New York

Someone tried to bury Donald Trump’s campaign Sunday — literally, with a tombstone in New York City’s Central Park.

Pictures of the stone with Donald J. Trump (1946 — ), “Made America hate again,” surfaced on Twitter, Instagram and other social sites. The grave marker didn’t include a death date.

City parks workers removed the tombstone Sunday night. A parks spokesperson said no one knows who left the stone. 

As California primary nears, state Democrats are uniting behind Clinton and against a common enemy: Trump

A Democratic voter at a Washington state caucus on Saturday. In the California primary race, Hillary Clinton holds a modest lead over Bernie Sanders, 45% to 37%, among all Democrats and independent voters eligible to vote. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
A Democratic voter at a Washington state caucus on Saturday. In the California primary race, Hillary Clinton holds a modest lead over Bernie Sanders, 45% to 37%, among all Democrats and independent voters eligible to vote. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)

Most of Sen. Bernie Sanders' supporters in California say they expect that come November, Hillary Clinton will be elected president — and, by and large, they're OK with that.

While both Democratic camps prepare for a final battle in the state’s June 7 primary, the latest USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times statewide poll found that just over half of Sanders’ supporters said they expected Clinton to be the next president. About a third of Sanders’ backers said they expected the Vermont senator to emerge the winner, and 12% said they thought Donald Trump would prevail.

Close to eight in 10 Sanders supporters said in the survey that they would vote for Clinton in a race against Trump, although many said they would do so reluctantly.

Those findings show the reality underlying the still-heated rhetoric of the Democratic primaries: By contrast with the civil war that divides Republicans, Democrats in the country’s largest state have begun to coalesce behind their front-runner.

By the numbers

All things Clinton | All things Trump

First debate scorecard: Our analysts say Clinton outpunched Trump

How does Clinton or Trump get to 270 electoral votes? Play with our map.

Who's endorsing who? Find out which celebrities support each candidate.

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