Quick Takes

* This is one of those days when you feel naive for thinking that the Republican presidential primary hit rock bottom with a discussion about the size of Trump’s “hands.” Benjy Sarlin sums up the worst of it.

* One of the Quick Take items the other day was about how Donald Trump is losing the Cuban American vote in Florida. Our friend Ed Kilgore builds on that to suggest the possibility of a GOP Impending Florida Apocalypse.

The darkening prospects for Republicans among Florida Latinos isn’t the only reason Trump would struggle against Clinton in this state; he has the same problems in Florida among young voters, women, and well-educated swing voters that he does everywhere else. But the bottom line is that if a Trump-led GOP begins the general election with no rational chance of winning Florida’s 29 electoral votes, all of the fantasies of a Trump surge in the Rust Belt may not matter all that much.

* Frankly, I find it a bit sad to watch the Sanders campaign jump from one excuse to another to explain why he is losing this presidential primary to Hillary Clinton.

In recent months, for example, Bernie Sanders’ campaign has put forward a variety of arguments intended to shift the focus away from the fight for pledged delegates: maybe blue-state contests matter more; perhaps Southern victories “distort reality”; maybe successes in closed primaries are less impressive, and so on.

That is Steve Benen’s introduction to a discussion about the latest argument from Tad Devine.

“Let’s suppose that in the next six weeks, Bernie Sanders goes on a tear like he has gone on before. And let’s suppose in the 10 states and the four other contests that are out there, he wins the vast majority of them – he wins California by a huge margin, he racks up an impressive set of victories,” said Devine. “Should we then say the only benchmark is who has got more pledged delegates? Shouldn’t those superdelegates take into consideration a totality of the circumstances?”

Asked if he believed that later contests were more important than earlier ones, Devine didn’t flinch. “I think they are,” he said.

* This is one of those times when I’ve got to say that I love the new data journalists. Jed Kolko takes on an argument recently made by Jim VandeHei in order to promote the idea of a third party candidacy.

“Normal America is right that Establishment America has grown fat, lazy, conventional and deserving of radical disruption,” he [VandeHei] wrote, citing his regular visits to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Lincoln, Maine, as his credentials of normality.

That sent Kolko on a quest to find what cities best represent “normal America.”

I calculated how demographically similar each U.S. metropolitan area is to the U.S. overall, based on age, educational attainment, and race and ethnicity. The index equals 100 if a metro’s demographic mix were identical to that of the U.S. overall.

By this measure, the metropolitan area that looks most like the U.S. is New Haven, Connecticut, followed by Tampa, Florida, and Hartford, Connecticut.

* Finally, to celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week, let’s take a walk down “what if?” lane.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.