Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.
* Soon after Donald Trump announced he would skip next week’s Republican debate, Fox News announced it has canceled the event. Barring a major shift in the race, the GOP’s debate calendar appears to be over.
* The day after Trump won 66 of Florida’s 67 counties, Gov. Rick Scott (R) announced his endorsement for the Republican frontrunner, urging others in the party to “unite” behind him.
* With Marco Rubio out of the race, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R), a frequent subject of VP rumors, announced yesterday that it’s her “prayer” that Ted Cruz can still defeat Trump in the race for the nomination.
* Reinforcing the pattern about the Republican Party’s ongoing divisions, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) endorsed John Kasich’s presidential bid yesterday. The far-right Oklahoman had been a Rubio supporter.
* Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said yesterday that he expects Bernie Sanders to win each of the next five caucus states – Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, and the state of Washington – but it won’t make much of a difference. “[O]ur pledged delegate lead is so significant that even a string of victories by Sen. Sanders over the next few weeks would have little impact on Sec. Clinton’s position in the race,” he wrote in a state-of-the-race report.
* Tad Devine, Sanders’ top strategist, argued yesterday that winning the nomination “is not a matter of delegate arithmetic.” (I’m pretty sure it is.)
* Clarifying comments he made earlier in the week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) insisted yesterday he will not accept the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s national convention, should it be offered.
* And in Massachusetts, in case there were any doubts about Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) future plans, the Republican governor has raised $3.3 million since last year, “while quietly constructing a massive and historically expensive reelection machine, relying on unique fund-raising methods to shatter records and asserting control of the state Republican apparatus.”