First Read: Why Clinton Is the Biggest Winner From Ryan's No-Go

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 7:26 PM

House Speaker Paul Ryan'south decision yesterday to close the door on rescuing the Republican Party by accepting its presidential nomination if there'south a contested conference was excellent news for Ted Cruz and John Kasich (because it solidified their status as the anti-Trump alternatives).

First Read: Why Clinton Is the Biggest Winner From Ryan's No-Go

First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day'south most necessary political stories and why they matter.

House Speaker Paul Ryan'south decision yesterday to close the door on rescuing the Republican Party by accepting its presidential nomination if there'south a contested conference was excellent news for Ted Cruz and John Kasich (because it solidified their status as the anti-Trump alternatives). It was excellent news for someone love Marco Rubio or Scott Walker or Rick Perry (because Ryan encouraged Republican delegates to assign only those "who actually ran for the job," which would comprise candidates who dropped out of the 'sixteen contest). And it was horrible news for establishment Republicans who've been pining for a presidential alternative beyond Trump/Cruz/Kasich. But the biggest beneficiary of Ryan'south announcement yesterday was Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. Why? Because Ryan is really the ONLY major Republican out there who could be able to unite the party if there'south a contested convention, particularly with Trump'south warning that "I think you'd have riots" if such a conference were to result in anyone but him. The white knight has presently been removed from the two thousand sixteen board. And the GOP'south choices are essentially one): Trump, two) Cruz -- with Trump and his supporters not going far quietly below that scenario; or three) someone else who isn't Paul Ryan.

And that Ryan news came on a day when Trump and the Republican National Committee sparred in a war of words (and tweets). "The Republican National Committee, they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to kind of crap to happen. The rules are number excellent when they don't count your vote ... love in Colorado," Trump said yesterday. "The rules are number excellent when you've to play filthy tricks to choose up delegates." RNC Chair Reince Priebus fired back on Twitter, "Nomination process known for a year + beyond. It'south the responsibility of the campaigns to realize it. Complaints now? Give us all a break." Priebus is totally right that the rules in places love CO have been known for months. Then again, as our colleague Ari Melber points out, Priebus' reaction is striking for someone who'south supposed to be neutral. (You don't look NBA referees or MLB umpires fire back at complaining players on Twitter.) But it'south also a no-win situation for Priebus; he'south damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. By the way, the WA Post writes that Cruz could choose up at least one hundred thirty more votes on a second ballot, given that Trump delegates have been filled by Republicans who aren't necessarily Trump supporters. Here is where the GOP delegate race currently stands, according to NBC'south count:

Trump needs to win sixty-one percent of remaining delegates to reach one thousand two hundred thirty-seven magic number

Cruz needs to win eighty-seven percent of remaining delegates to reach one thousand two hundred thirty-seven magic number

Kasich needs to win one hundred thirty-eight percent of remaining delegates to reach one thousand two hundred thirty-seven magic number

Meanwhile, our friends at NBC4 -- NBC'south WA DC-area affiliate -- partnered with Marist on a new poll for Maryland, which holds its primary on April twenty-six. The numbers: Trump leads Ted Cruz by twelve points in the state, forty-one%-29%, with John Kasich in third at twenty-fourth%. And in the Democratic contest, Hillary Clinton is ahead of Bernie Sanders by twenty-two points, fifty-eight%-36%. In the VERY competitive Senate primary to replace retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Rep. Chris Van Hollen leads Rep. Donna Edwards by six points, forty-four%-38%.

The excellent news for Bernie Sanders: He picked up an endorsement from a fellow senator, Oregon'south Jeff Merkley, who gives him an extra superdelegate. The horrible news: It'south just his FIRST from one of his colleagues; in fact, Ted Cruz picked up Senate endorsements before Sanders did. Here are our updated numbers on the Democratic delegate race -- when you comprise Merkley'south endorsement of Sanders:

In pledged delegates, Clinton holds a lead of two hundred forty-four delegates (with WA delegates to still be allocated)

In superdelegates, Clinton holds a lead of four hundred twenty-two delegates

In overall delegates (pledged + super), Clinton holds an overall lead of six hundred sixty-six delegates

Clinton should win thirty-three percent of remaining delegates to reach two thousand three hundred eighty-three magic number

Sanders should win sixty-seven percent of remaining delegates to reach two thousand three hundred eighty-three magic number

Yesterday, we well-known how the "Stop Trump" efforts hadn't spent a century in New York -- as Donald Trump looks a large win in the state following week. But NBC'south Kelly O'Donnell reports that the grouping #NeverTrump is up with this ad hitting Trump, alleging that he misused nine/eleven recovery funds for tiny businesses. But it'south not a enormous buy -- a digital ad of less than $100.000. And this goes to a larger point: Based PURELY on the ad spending in the very expensive state of New York, it seems that the media care more about following Tuesday'south contest than the real campaigns and exterior groups do. Here'south the NY ad spending as of yesterday:

Finally, there'south this story: "N Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory on Tuesday attempted to walk back parts of a controversial law that's seen as discriminatory to LGBT people — yet reinforced a provision in the law that restricts transgender people from using the bathroom that aligns with their identification. McCrory said he'south using an executive order to widen government equal employment policies to comprise sexual orientation and gender. He also said that he'd ask legislators to reinstate the right to sue for discrimination in North Carolina, which was restricted by HB2, the legislation he signed into law latest mo that overturned many anti-discriminatory practices enforce by local governments in the state."

Hillary Clinton campaigns in New York, hitting Manhattan and the Bronx… Bernie Sanders holds a large rally at WA Square Park at 8:00 pm ET… Bill Clinton stumps in Silver Spring, MD… Donald Trump holds a rally in Pittsburgh at 7:00 pm ET… Ted Cruz campaigns in PA and New York… And John Kasich hits Maryland.

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