Trump's delegate hunt and how California may complicate his path

'Inside Politics' Forecast: Complications for Trump
'Inside Politics' Forecast: Complications for Trump

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'Inside Politics' Forecast: Complications for Trump 04:24

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump is on the hunt for bound delegates before the Cleveland convention
  • Ted Cruz banks on his organization in California, but Trump knows it's essential for a delegate math win
  • Hillary Clinton's campaign is ramping up its fundraising efforts before the Democratic convention

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump's delegate hunt and California complications, a Clinton money push and why our nervous neighbors are watching the U.S. presidential race so closely: these and more on our "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get tomorrow's headlines today.

1) Not all delegates are created equal

    Donald Trump is past the 1,000 mark in his quest for 1,237 and the GOP presidential nomination.
    Not all delegates are created equal
    Not all delegates are created equal

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    Not all delegates are created equal 00:34
    But some of those are commitments are from delegates who are officially unbound -- and so while grateful for their support, the Trump campaign needs to look past them at the moment.
    Why?
    Trump needs 1,237 pledged delegate votes for the Republican National Committee to consider him the de-facto nominee before the convention begins.
    So CNN's Sara Murray detailed how the Trump operation is looking to ramp up its delegate haul not only in hopes of avoiding a contested convention, but also to get control of the convention planning before the opening gavel.
    "The Trump campaign believes there are a lot of different ways to get to 1,237 before Cleveland. but what they are really focused on are these bound delegates. The Trump campaign wants 1,237 bound delegates as soon as possible because they want to be able to exert as much control as possible over the convention ahead of time."

    2) California is critical to delegate math -- and an organizing challenge

    California is the biggest prize when it comes to delegates, and a big win is essential to Trump's nomination math.
    Trump's delegate disadvantage in California
    Trump's delegate disadvantage in California

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    Trump's delegate disadvantage in California 00:33
    He leads in recent polls, and his team is confident.
    But CNN's Maeve Reston, a veteran of the state's complicated politics, said the big test is whether Trump can successfully counter a Ted Cruz organizing effort that dates back a year.
    Reston explains Trump's team may have to venture into some uncharted territory.
    "They've got to go into all of the blue districts, It's winner-take-all by congressional district and we're talking about finding Republican delegates in Maxine Waters' district in order to send a loyal slate to the convention."

    3) Clinton has a primary cash concern

    To listen to Hilary Clinton these days is to hear a candidate more and more turning to what she believes will be a fall campaign matchup against Donald Trump.
    What is Clinton's primary color? Dollar bill green.
    What is Clinton's primary color? Dollar bill green.

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    What is Clinton's primary color? Dollar bill green. 00:46
    But her primary campaign against Bernie Sanders isn't done just yet. Nor is her need to keep her campaign running until the Democratic convention. Campaign finance rules strictly discern between primary and general election fundraising -- and CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports that Team Clinton needs to refill its coffers for the preconvention stretch ahead.
    "She'll be campaigning and raising money later this week in California and in Texas. Some donors are clamoring to start raising money for the general, but the Clinton campaign wants to raise a few more primary dollars. This is significant here because in 2008 she raised both at once, primary and general money, at the very beginning. This year they only raised primary dollars so it has exactly forced fundraisers to look farther down to find new donors."

    4) Indiana Senate primary another establishment vs. tea party test

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will be watching to see whether Donald Trump or Ted Cruz win the Indiana primary Tuesday night. But that isn't his main concern.
    There is a GOP Senate primary pitting establishment favorite Todd Young against conservative Marlin Stutzman, and McConnell hopes voters send a message.
    CNN's Manu Raju took us inside the 2016 version of a dynamic that defined the 2014 GOP primary season.
    "Sen. Mitch McConnell and his forces are spending a ton of money to stop Stutzman in the primary. They've unleashed a barrage of attacks and super PAC ads. There have been negative stories, OPO research stories that has hit Stutzman. I'm told McConnell's allies are very confident that Stutzman is going to lose."

    5) In Mexico, an interested -- and nervous -- audience for campaign 2016

    Our neighbors to the south are paying extraordinarily close attention to the 2016 presidential election -- and their worries extend beyond Donald Trump and his tough tone on illegal immigration.
    On a visit to Mexico City this past Thursday, I had the opportunity to talk to a mix of young professionals, business leaders and several veteran diplomats and Mexican government officials.
    To a person, all were horrified at a Trump tone on immigration they find inaccurate and disrespectful. And every conversation included a question about whether a Trump presidency was within the realm of possibility.
    But the interest -- and concern -- didn't end there.
    Trade between the United States and Mexico has more than tripled since the implementation of the NAFTA accord early in the Bill Clinton presidency. In virtually every conversation, questions about the future of NAFTA and other trade proposals like the Trans Pacific Partnership came up.
    The concern wasn't just about Trump's labeling of NAFTA as a "disaster." It is hardly lost on our neighbors that Hillary Clinton also has moved significantly left -- and skeptical -- when it comes to trace deals.
    There was deep concern about the future of a business relationship that those with whom I spoke believe has been good for both the United States and Mexican economies and that, in their view, is a primary reason illegal migration by Mexicans to the United States has dropped significantly.