N.Y. primary: Clinton and Trump win big

Clarke Fox, Staff Writer

The Wisconsin primary on April 5 was one for the insurgents, as Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Ted Cruz secured critical wins that made inroads in their considerable delegate holes. In sharp contrast, the New York primary on April 19 saw front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump run riot, cementing their position as the likely standard bearers for their respective parties. Clinton won with 58.0 percent to Sanders’ 42.0 percent, while Trump’s 60.4 percent dwarfed Gov. John Kasich’s 25.1 percent and Cruz’s 14.5 percent. A myriad of questions surrounded Clinton and Trump’s viability moving into the home stretch of the primary season. New York has all but answered those questions, particularly on the Democratic side.

Sanders rode into the Empire State on a wave of momentum harvested from wins in eight of the last nine primary contests. However, the impetus from Sanders’ recent West coast wins proved no match for Clinton’s powerful political allegiances and faithful constituency in the state she represented as a U.S. senator from 2001 to 2009.

Sanders’ chances of obstructing Clinton from reaching the threshold of 2,383 pledged delegates to secure the nomination suffered a considerable blow after the thumping defeat in New York. Still, the Sanders campaign refuses to surrender the nomination. Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, feels reassured that the Democratic superdelegates will choose Sanders over Clinton, giving the Vermont senator a plausible path to the nomination. In the wake of Clinton’s resounding New York win, many representatives of her campaign and big wigs in the Democratic establishment are trying to nudge Sanders out of the race, even as he and Clinton wrestle to a virtual tie among Democrats nationally. The growing bitterness between the two Democratic candidates has been clear in a series of sharp attacks.

“We kicked his ass tonight,” a senior Clinton aide told Glenn Thrush of POLITICO on April 19. “I hope this convinces Bernie to tone it down. If not, f— him.” 

If we’ve learned anything from Sanders since his improbable rise to political stardom, it’s that he won’t capitulate to the traditional political will of party establishment. 

New York proved to be Trump territory on Tuesday night, as he won with the largest margin of victory of any Republican primary contest to date. After weeks of internal campaign chaos and political gaffs, the Trump campaign seems back on track. Cruz’s and Kasich’s strategic attempts to force a contested convention have challenged Trump’s staying power and the ingenuity of his politically inexperienced campaign. Luckily for Trump, those efforts fell flat on Tuesday. New York was kind to its homegrown business mogul, as the Queens native won 89 delegates.

The remaining delegates fell to Kasich. Evidently, New York Republicans hadn’t forgotten Cruz’s derisive “New York values” comment from a debate on Jan14. While Trump’s ascent to the magic number of 1,237 delegates allows hardly any margin for error, New York has imbued new life and legitimacy to a campaign that looked ready to self-implode two weeks ago. For the Trump campaign, New York was a huge step in the right direction. For the rest of us, we are left to writhe in the fingernails-on-chalkboard torment that has been his candidacy.

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