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Politics

AirTalk election 2016: Previewing West Virginia’s primary, plus a look at the widening GOP rift




Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders waves to the crowd after arriving at a campaign rally at the Big Four Lawn park in Louisville, Kentucky.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders waves to the crowd after arriving at a campaign rally at the Big Four Lawn park in Louisville, Kentucky.
John Sommers II/Getty Images

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The next big primary day for the 2016 presidential candidates will be June 7th, when California and several other states will cast their votes.

This week, the candidates turn their focus to West Virginia, a blue collar state where coal mining is king. Republicans in Nebraska also head to the polls on Tuesday.

Both frontrunner candidates made news in the state last week; Hillary Clinton for stumbling through an answer to a question about how she’d pitch herself to poor white voters and upsetting some in the coal mining industry, and Donald Trump for putting on a miner’s hat and pretending as if he was mining after being introduced at a West Virginia campaign event. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, is turning his attention to New Jersey, where he’s campaigning today.

There’s also evidence that the rift between the Republican establishment and Donald Trump is growing wider, as Trump said this weekend that he wouldn’t rule out blocking House Speaker Paul Ryan from serving as chair of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer.

This week on AirTalk’s political roundtable, our expert analysts take a look at the implications of West Virginia’s primaries for each candidate and the race as a whole, what the continued discord in the GOP could mean for the election, and preview the rest of the week on the campaign trail.

Guests:

Steve Phillips, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and author of the book “Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority

Jack Pitney, professor of political science at Claremont McKenna College