Politics In The News: Indiana's Primary

May 2, 2016
Originally published on May 2, 2016 8:04 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Bernie Sanders is still fighting, though he says it's getting harder to see a way that he wins the Democratic nomination.

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BERNIE SANDERS: That is admittedly, and I do not deny it for a second, a tough road to climb. But it is not an impossible road to climb.

INSKEEP: The next state to vote, Indiana, is fairly flat but nevertheless is part of that up-hill road for Sanders. Let's walk a bit of that road with commentator Cokie Roberts, who joins us most Mondays. Hi Cokie.

COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi Steve.

INSKEEP: Can Sanders still climb it?

ROBERTS: It's really hard. He could win Indiana. He's within the margin of error in the polling in Indiana. And he's then hoping that he can go on to the convention and convince superdelegates to go with him. But that's a lot of convincing to do. And what's beginning to happen because voters and funders are fickle is that his fundraising is no longer as robust as it has been. But it was incredibly robust, but he also spent a great deal of money - outspent Hillary Clinton in all of these primaries.

INSKEEP: Well, let's talk about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the front-runners in each party, who are now aiming at each other. And I want to ask about this because Trump got a lot of attention by saying Hillary Clinton was, quote, "playing the women's card." Hillary Clinton has responded to this so much that I saw on Twitter over the weekend, they are now selling to campaign contributors an actual women's card...

ROBERTS: Right (laughter).

INSKEEP: You can get a women's card.

ROBERTS: Yeah, shocking - it's shocking pink. It's shocking pink. And yes, it's a woman card, which is a smart thing for her to do. And of course, she turned it around to say if a woman card means that I'm for equal pay for equal work, I'm for family leave, I'm for all of that, you know, then bring it on. Deal me in.

But look, this is clearly where he's going to go. He's going to go after her in - her stamina he keeps talking about, which of course is code for old and female. And...

INSKEEP: Just to be clear, they're about the same age. But we'll just go right on.

ROBERTS: But he's actually a little older than she is.

INSKEEP: OK.

ROBERTS: But the fact is is that this is where - it's a very dangerous place to go because there are more women voters than men. And so far, she's been doing well with them in the Democratic primaries. But he is going to really try to make it hard for - hard for her to be the first woman president on the theory that people are really just not ready for a woman.

This is - this is an interesting tact to take to put it mildly. And I think that she's got to be careful how she responds to it. She can't just go all out saying woman, woman, woman, woman. But I think she does have to make it clear that this is - this is in some ways insulting to women.

INSKEEP: They're...

ROBERTS: And that is a big thing for - against him is that question of being insulting to women.

INSKEEP: There are men voting too, of course, and Democrats have had the opposite problem. I want to ask about one other thing here. Hillary Clinton's campaigning in Appalachia today and tomorrow - West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, a couple of Republican states there, a swing state. But whiter more blue-collar areas, more Republican, lots of Trump fans, we should mention. What's the signal there?

ROBERTS: I think she wants to do better with the white vote than most Democrats do. She did win it in Maryland in the primary, and she won it quite handily. But also, this is a place where she's very comfortable. Keep in mind she was first lady of Arkansas. And she does know how to speak to rural voters, voters who have been economically deprived.

And she's done a lot of work with organizations that work in Appalachia. And I think that she is showing people that that's the case and not shying away from that.

INSKEEP: Cokie, thanks very much as always.

ROBERTS: OK, always good to be with you, Steve.

INSKEEP: That's commentator Cokie Roberts. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.