2016 Election

Donald Trump could use his 'celebrity' to persuade uncommitted delegates

'Inside Politics' Forecast: Will Trump woo delegates?
'Inside Politics' Forecast: Will Trump woo delegates?

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'Inside Politics' Forecast: Will Trump woo delegates? 03:31

Story highlights

  • Trump may try to "use the trappings of his celebrity" to woo delegates, reporter says
  • Kasich is looking at the bigger, possibly brighter, picture as Cleveland approaches
  • Senate Democrats have reserved $40 million in airtime in five key states

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump's plans to lobby uncommitted delegates and shore up his foreign policy credentials, John Kasich's long view and how Senate Democrats are prepping (their ad dollars) for November: it's all a part of our "Inside Politics" forecast.

1) Trump slams Cruz delegate strategy but may try similar

    A staple of Donald Trump rallies these days is a complaint that rival Ted Cruz is using unethical tactics to woo GOP delegates.
    Trump's unconventional hunt for delegates
    Trump's unconventional hunt for delegates

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    Trump's unconventional hunt for delegates 00:35
    "They take them out to dinners," Trump complained Friday in Delaware. "They send them to hotels. It's such a crooked system. It is disgusting."
    Tough words, and yet Ashley Parker of The New York Times noted that when she interviewed Trump last week, he made clear that he too was open to a charm offensive to win over delegates.
    "When I interviewed him last week at Trump Tower, he refused to rule that out, and talking to his aides privately, they say he'll do just that: use the trappings of his celebrity, so the plane, trips to Mar-a-Lago, cocktail parties, Trump Tower."

    2) Trump's week ahead includes more than Super Tuesday

    The biggest test for Trump this week comes Tuesday, when he hopes for a five-state sweep to improve his delegate math in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
    But there's more to it than that: Dan Balz of The Washington Post told us Trump is also planning several events that are key to his efforts to consolidate support and ease the concerns of some party leaders. Those worries: his temperament and policy positions.
    "This is a week we'll get a better look whether there's a new Trump or old Trump or multiple Trumps. ... (The settings) will be enhancing or adding to the new operation."

    3) Kasich soldiers on -- and hopes for a Cleveland miracle

    For all their many disagreements, Trump and Cruz share the view that John Kasich should quit the Republican race.
    Why is Kasich staying in the race?
    Why is Kasich staying in the race?

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    Why is Kasich staying in the race? 00:54
    Even some Republicans sympathetic to the Ohio governor share that view, because they see no viable path to victory.
    After all, Kasich is essentially running fourth in a three-man race: He still trails Marco Rubio in delegates six weeks after the Florida senator left the race.
    But Kasich says he isn't going anywhere.
    He is short on money, and prospects for raising much more are slim.
    But Kasich hopes to add a few more delegates Tuesday, and he left last week's Republican National Committee meeting believing that long odds did not mean impossible odds.
    Kasich was warmly received at the gathering, and his team believes there might be an opening at a contested convention if neither Trump nor Cruz can win after two or three ballots.
    Their argument: Party regulars at a convention will care more about electability, and Kasich runs strongest among the three remaining GOP contenders in hypothetical general election matchups.
    To have a prayer, Team Kasich thinks it needs to get 250 or more votes on the first ballot and then grow from there.
    Wishful thinking? Probably. But Kasich is enjoying himself, despite the results, and thinks there could yet be more surprises in this wacky year. "I ain't getting out," he said while campaigning in Pennsylvania. "Just so you all know. OK?"

    4) Turns out that epic Supreme Court political battle is a yawn

    A Supreme Court vacancy in a presidential election year? Sure to be an epic political battle and sure to be a defining campaign issue, right?
    Not so much. At least not yet.
    Julie Pace of The Associated Press shared insights from recent focus groups showing that the vacancy, and President Obama's nomination to fill it, was essentially a big yawn for voters.
    "Among the swing voters, not one of them said this was something that would impact their vote in the fall. Even among the Republican voters who felt like this nomination should wait until the next president, almost none felt like this was an issue that was going to affect their vote, either in the presidential race or in their Senate race."

    5) The Senate map takes shape -- and the money follows

    Democrats hope not only to hold the White House but also to retake the Senate -- and are beginning to put some money where their hopes are.
    Democrats' 40 million dollar Senate strategy
    Democrats' 40 million dollar Senate strategy

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    Democrats' 40 million dollar Senate strategy 00:44
    CNN's Manu Raju reported on a $40 million Democratic commitment to TV ad time in five states viewed as critical to their November Senate odds.
    "The big test will come on Tuesday in Pennsylvania. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee put close to $2 million behind Katie McGinty, their favorite candidate in this primary, but she could lose despite having support of party establishment, President Obama, Joe Biden, and lose to Joe Sestak, former congressman and a fear among the party establishment. If Sestak wins, it could undermine their ability to take back the Senate this fall."