The Note: What West Virginia Means for November


--DONALD TRUMP TAKES WEST VIRGINIA AND NEBRASKA: Donald Trump laid claim to the West Virginia and Nebraska Republican primaries last night. "It is a great honor to have won both West Virginia and Nebraska, especially by such massive margins,” Trump said in a statement. “My time spent in both states was a wonderful and enlightening experience for me. I learned a lot, and that knowledge will be put to good use towards the creation of businesses, jobs, and the strengthening and revival of their economies." ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI has more on the GOP results:

--SANDERS CLAIMS WEST VIRGINIA: Meanwhile, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called his victory in West Virginia "tremendous" during a campaign rally in Salem, Oregon, last night. Sanders remained hopeful he could still pull ahead of Clinton in the pledged delegate count. "Tonight it appears that we won a big, big victory in West Virginia," Sanders said. "If we do well in the coming weeks in Oregon, in California, in New Jersey, in Kentucky and the other states, we still have that road to victory in winning the majority of pledged delegates." ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI has more on the Democratic results:

--EXIT POLL ANALYSIS. Now that Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, exit polls showed greater unity on the Republican side than previously seen in past contests. In a Trump-Hillary Clinton matchup, nine in 10 West Virginia GOP voters and eight in 10 in Nebraska say they’d vote for Trump in November. The ABC ANALYSIS DESK has more on the Republican exit poll results: and on the Democratic exit poll results:


BIDEN ON ‘GMA’: ‘I WOULD HAVE BEEN THE BEST PRESIDENT’. Vice President Joe Biden says he “would have been the best president” if he had mounted a successful campaign in the 2016 election, but that forgoing the race was the right decision for his family. Speaking with “Good Morning America” co-anchor ROBIN ROBERTS in an exclusive interview that aired today, Biden said he had planned to run but changed course only after his eldest son Beau died last May. “No one should ever seek the presidency unless they're able to devote their whole heart and soul and passion into just doing that,” he said. “And, Beau was my soul. I just wasn't ready to be able to do that. But, so, my one regret is my Beau's not here. I don't have any other regrets.”

--‘IT’S KIND OF BITTERSWEET’: The vice president’s comments came during an interview with Roberts about his “Cancer Moon Shot” initiative, which aims to accelerate the effort to improve treatments for cancer and to possibly find a cure, ABC’s MARGARET CHADBOURN notes. “It's kind of bittersweet,” Biden told Roberts of his role leading the administration’s fight against the disease that took his son. “But this is -- this allows me to pour all my energies into -- doing somethin' that -- hopefully will -- five years from now if -- someone's diagnosed with what my Beau was diagnosed with, they -- they live.” His decision last year not to run was viewed as a boost to Hillary Clinton’s run for the Democratic Party’s nomination. Biden has not endorsed either Clinton or Sen. Bernie Sanders, her opponent in the primary, but he said he thinks Clinton will be the nominee. “I feel confident that Hillary will be the nominee," Biden said, "and I feel confident she’ll be the next president."


THURSDAY PREVIEW -- GOP SPLIT OVER TRUMP AHEAD OF CAPITOL HILL VISIT: As Trump prepares to meet with top Republicans in Washington tomorrow, House and Senate lawmakers are grappling with the new reality that the controversial New York businessman is the GOP's presumptive nominee. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who will meet with Trump along with his leadership team, has offered a muted endorsement of Trump’s campaign, telling reporters he won “the old-fashioned way.” ABC’s BEN SIEGEL notes, he did not say whether fellow Republican senators should back the nominee, a position shared by Trump’s onetime opponent Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Has Donald Trump met his match in Paul Ryan? Let’s not get crazy here, or make the mistake of overreading a few stray comments to set up Thursday’s discussion. But they go into that meeting with Trump deciding not to blow the House speaker out of the water, even allowing that Ryan is a “very good man” who “loves this country” and the Republican Party. Trump went so far as to tell Fox News he hopes Ryan retains his post as ceremonial chairman of the convention, all despite Ryan’s very public non-endorsement of Trump. Maybe Trump is saving his fire for a late-night Tweetstorm that comes after the meeting. Or maybe he recognizes in Ryan someone with a source of power that’s independent of the Trump candidacy, and perhaps stronger if he keeps it that way. If that’s the case, Trump has made a savvy read: The reluctant speaker needs Trump less than Trump needs him.



ABOUT LAST NIGHT: DEMOCRATS AGAIN SOUND ALARMS FOR HILLARY CLINTON. Eight years after winning on her way toward losing the nomination, Hillary Clinton is losing on her way to winning it. Democrats in West Virginia repeated the message that primary voters have sent with some consistency: They’re not ready to fall in line for Clinton. That’s a message that could come back in the general election, particularly in economically battered regions and among white, working-class voters who appear particularly loath to see Clinton win the presidency. “Every vote we earn and every delegate we secure sends an unmistakable message about the values we share,” Bernie Sanders’ campaign said Tuesday night in a statement declaring victory. The alternate message -- that the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination is effectively over -- isn’t getting through to Democratic voters. Despite an insurmountable delegate gap, Sanders coasted to victory, yet again. ABC’s RICK KLEIN has more:

WHY BO COPLEY IS A BELLWETHER FOR WEST VIRGINIA. On May 2, Hillary Clinton was confronted by a 39-year-old unemployed father of three in Williamson, West Virginia. Sitting across from Clinton, Bo Copley pushed a photo of his three children across the table as he emotionally explained to her that his job is gone and that he -- like many in the coal industry whose livelihoods have been threatened by lay-offs -- worries about the future of his family.   “It was an emotional moment for me to be able to show her my kids and put a face to people who are really affected by things that politicians don’t actually see and are actually affected by what they say and do,” Copley told ABC’s MERIDITH MCGRAW yesterday:

--COPLEY, A REGISTERED REPUBLICAN WHO VOTED ON THE PARTY’S PRIMARY BALLOT, WOULDN’T SAY THAT HE VOTED FOR TRUMP, but did say that during the general election in November, he will not be voting for Clinton or Sanders. “I would really like to hear exactly how he plans on bringing coal back. What he says is all very general,” Copley said of Trump. And despite Clinton’s $30 billion plan to revitalize the region’s economy, Copley said he ultimately wasn’t sold. “Coal is not the only priority,” Copley said. “Her stance on abortion and other things are things I can’t get behind either.”

TRUMP SAYS HE’S CULLED HIS VEEP LIST TO 5 OR 6 PEOPLE. Donald Trump has revealed that he has culled his vice presidential shortlist to "five or six" choices. During an interview with The Associated Press released Tuesday, Trump said that he has narrowed the list down, but did not reveal specific names, with one exception. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY reports, according to The AP report, Trump said that he has not ruled out New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, his onetime rival turned supporter.

NOTED: THE GROWING LIST OF REPUBLICANS WHO ARE SAYING NO THANKS TO BEING TRUMP’S RUNNING MATE. Last man standing Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. But as he prepares to choose a running mate, some of his fellow Republicans have reacted with a thanks-but-no-thanks attitude. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday became one of the latest to end speculation that he may be interested in being vice president. ABC’s PAOLA CHAVEZ has more on some of the other prominent Republicans who have said they don’t want the job.

ONE OF TRUMP'S CALIFORNIA DELEGATES IS A WHITE NATIONALIST.  In California, the office of the State Secretary of State released a list of the delegates that each candidate had chosen to appear on their slate. But the Trump campaign’s list included an interesting name: William Johnson, a known White Nationalist, first reported by "Mother Jones,” according to ABC’s CANDACE SMITH. When contacted by ABC News, the campaign released a statement saying that the selection was an error. "Upon careful review of computer records, the inclusion of a potential delegate that had previously been rejected and removed from the campaign’s list in February 2016, was discovered. This was immediately corrected and a final list, which does not include this individual, was submitted for certification.”

REID SAYS GOP IS TO BLAME FOR TRUMP. Nevada Sen. Harry Reid had some strong words for not only Donald Trump but also for members of the so-called Republican establishment, whom he accused of "waffling" about the party's presumptive nominee. ABC’s MEGHAN KENEALLY reports, The Senate minority leader blasted his Republican colleagues during a speech on the Senate floor Monday, arguing that Trump's expected nomination comes after years of work by a party that Reid says excluded groups of voters. "He's no accident. His nomination is not some mistake. Donald Trump is the natural evolution of a party that spent eight years honing a platform that is anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-Obama and anti-working people," Reid said.



@bykowicz: In another major break from prez campaign tradition, Trump says voters have no right to see his tax returns.

@stuartpstevens: We obviously know that whatever is in @realDonaldTrump taxes is so bad he feels it disqualifies him.

@DavidMDrucker:  If Trump really declines to release tax returns, wonder if that helps HRC defend against attacks that she's insufficiently transparent.

@TomBevanRCP:  For the record, Mitt Romney released his full 2011 taxes in Sept 2012.

@ArunChaud: I spend my life talking to millennials at Bernie rallies and Trump voters at airports. Basically I'm 900k of polling